By Becky Billingsley
Wednesday, June 27, 2012, Myrtle Beach - Specialty coffees served in a relaxing atmosphere - complete with water effects - are attracting java lovers who want to sip and savor at Coffee Cave, a new brew haven in Myrtle Beach.
Those coffee drinkers will experience Caveman's Brew, a special blend made to shop owner Dennis Andrew's specifications.
"Caveman's Brew is a personal mixture designed to match an Alaskan coffee called Raven's Brew," Andrew said on June 26 while relaxing with his laptop (the shop has free WiFi) while seated in one of Coffee Cave's several massaging lounge chairs.
Staff barista Kory Helmick describes Caveman's Brew as having, "...decidedly smooth richness, as opposed to the acidic nature of brews in chain coffee shops." The espresso he serves is, "...more mellow rather than salty on the palate."
Andrew's partner and friend, Tamela Anderson, was the first of the pair to move to Myrtle Beach from Ohio, about a year ago. She was a special needs teacher and had visited the Myrtle Beach area many times for vacations. She had friends with vacation homes here, and house-sitting for them turned into staying and making a living.
Andrew's says his background is in neuro-marketing.
"It's how people's brains work when they're buying something," he said. "Our brain is literally unable to make purchase decisions rationally. Emotions are always at play...If you can figure out how people buy [items], you can figure out how to sell them."
In addition to having a neuro-marketing firm, Andrew also has waterscaping experience he put to use in Coffee Cave's design. Customers enter through an arch of running water. The shop's interior is painted purple and green, and much of the furniture is black. In addition to the massage chairs, there are also comfy hammock chairs and conventional tables and chairs along with sofas. Recessed ceiling lights are covered with tiles depicting sky and clouds.
"The decor is based on what we wanted people to feel," Andrew said. "Most go into a shop and grab a coffee and bounce right out. We want people to have the chill-out experience."
Ordering is done at the back of the coffee shop, where there is a dizzying array of specialty coffee choices, from a regular dark brew to cafe au lait, caramel macchiato and Girl Scout, a peppermint/mocha blend. You can see many of the choices, and prices, on the Coffee Cave Web site. http://mycoffeecave.com/myrtle_beach_coffee_shop_menu.html
Chai and hot chocolate are also available in addition to smoothies, Harney & Sons hot teas, iced tea and lemonade. While more food will be added to the menu in the near future, for now there are cold cereals, Ghirardelli chocolates, biscotti and chocolate-covered espresso beans.
Coffee Cave is at 1744 U.S. 501 in Myrtle Beach, which is between Robert M. Grissom Parkway and Seaboard Street, on the north side of the road. It's open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and the number is (843) 443-CAVE (2283).