Bozemama is a Dalien
April 14, 2014
Posted By: Bozemama
As a moody teenager growing up in a Midwestern college town during the ‘80s, I used to dream of a café where I could show up in a tipped beret, eyes lined thick with black kohl, a clove cigarette dangling between my fingers and a ratty Moleskine filled with bad poetry under my arm. In this café, everyone would know my name, we would listen to the Velvet Underground and nod in sync while drinking espresso. We would all share in the awesome badassness of ourselves, with or without conversation, because we had all chosen to be in this particular place at this particular time.
Little did I know then that I wouldn’t discover this locus of coolness, The Daily Coffee Bar in Bozeman, until 30 years later as a mother of two in Montana who still wears black liner but has ditched the cigarette and sometimes shows up in pajamas. Because here’s the thing I’ve learned after three years as a devoted Dalien: No matter your age, gender, religion, musical taste or coffee order, you will be treated and loved with equal opportunity and amazing freaking coffee. Always.
Six-inch chocolate cakes with salted caramel filling and Italian buttercream
First, we should talk about the coffee itself. The beans are locally roasted by Yellowstone Coffee , which supports Coffee Kids and its mission to improve the quality of life for families in coffee-growing communities around the world. So, just by having a cup of heavenly coffee from the Daily, you’re actually helping others. What could possibly be better than that?
Well, the scones, actually. Put simply, the scones – along with all the other baked goods – at the Daily are otherworldly. There are some days when nothing, and I mean nothing (not my children’s desperate calls; not a zombie apocalypse) will get me out of bed other than the promise of a Butterscotch Pecan scone and an Americano. Sometimes it’s a frittata or morning glory muffin, but it’s always an Americano.
You might be wondering, right about now, how we Bozemanites got so lucky with the Daily. Well, it’s all thanks to a groovy gal named Noelle who, 21 years ago, opened the College Street location with big dreams of bringing great coffee and delicious pastries to this college/ski/ag town of ours. It was in this hole in the wall with the tiny little bakery that her dreams grew out of love and into the locus of coffee coolness that it is today.
Easter sugar cookies at the Daily, available all week.
Oh, sure, I’ve flirted with others over the years. There was Guy and Gallard in New York City (where I lived for four years in my twenties) and the Uptown Café in Seattle (“Home of the Velvet Foam!”), but none has matched the chummy mellow vibe, urbane ambience and consistently delectable goodies that can be found at the Daily. And while it’s not at all easy to talk about, there are those right here in Bozeman who don’t fully get grasp the specialness of the Daily. It’s true.
There are those who frequent (and are sometimes even devoted) to one of the other coffee joints in town. You see them walking the streets carrying their cups, like gang members sporting tattoos, defiantly pledging their allegiance and, worse, dragging their children along with them. The horror! More than once, my son has come home from school a little shakey, speaking of dissension and discord in the classroom regarding everyone’s favorite coffee bar in town. For my children, there is – of course – no question. For years, it has only ever been about bee sting buns and vanilla frappes for my son and a scone with Goji Green tea for his sister. It’s where we go after school, where we catch up with pals and warm up after skiing and sledding. It’s where we get birthday treats, mini cakes and big cakes for special occasions.
The last (but not least) best thing about the Daily is the people – both the customers and the employees. Those who frequent the Daily all share in the knowledge that they have impeccable taste and would never even think of straying elsewhere. They are Bozeman’s best and brightest who – depending on the location – include MSU students, moms, professors, skiers hitchhiking up to Bridger, cops, etc. And then there are the fabulous employees who make you feel like a cool kid just by engaging in conversation with you. You can tell these folks love working here and take pride in what they do; they’re engaged, interesting and caring and they don’t ever rush you or shuffle you along like so much cattle in a herd (as some other coffee bars have been known to do.)
And now, onto our most urgent piece of business: cake. As they do with all major holidays, the Daily will be selling all manner of delicious goodies for Easter, including tiny sugar cookies decorated as flowers, eggs and baby chicks; tiny cakes that are chocolate cake with ganache and Italian buttercream frosting; six-inch chocolate cakes with salted caramel filling and Italian buttercream and coconut cream tiny cakes decorated to look like birds’ nests. In a word: Spectacular.
Well, that’s it. Welcome to your life as a Dalien. Trust me: There's no going back.