By Ryann Heinlen
From owls and spells to villains and magic, Harry Potter enchanted readers when it was first published in 1997 and has since become a multi-billion dollar franchise with its own movies, musicals, and adventure parks. A little piece of that fantasy has fallen close to home in a coffee shop off Eastern; it’s Bad Owl Coffee.
From the moment fans, or “potter-heads,” walk in, the venue is filled with Potter-esque charm. Hedwig, Harry Potter’s trusty owl, sits atop a stack of luggage halfway through the portal at Platform 9 and ¾, a crooked sign points you towards Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, and the restrooms, and the smell of butterbeer lattes mingle with songs straight from any Potter fanatic’s playlist.
Bad Owl has been open just over two months and has already made its mark. Upon arrival, guests can expect a line that ends in the parking lot, making it an almost 30-minute wait to grab a coffee and go, but the wait is well worth it.
The menu consists of coffees and teas of every variety, some of which are brewed using a unique style of brewing called Kyoto. In Kyoto, a brick of ice is placed on top of a three-chamber apparatus that looks like something from a mad-scientist’s lab. As the ice melts, the water flows through a narrow tube in a circular motion and lands in a special brand of ground coffee beans or tea leaves. As the water moves through the grounds or leaves, it collects and dissolves little pieces which are collected in the bottom chamber. Each pot can take up to 16 hours to brew, but the wait is well worth it.
The Kyoto brewed coffee is the perfect mix of bitter and sweet but the real star of the show is the butterbeer latte, based off of the iconic and fictional butterbeer that the wizarding trio drank during every visit to Hogsmeade. The latte has the optimum mix of caramel and vanilla to “stupefy” enthusiasts with its otherworldly taste and strong hint of butterscotch.
Other than Kyoto, the menu features the Lavender Latte named after Lavender Brown, the Affogato which is coffee poured over vanilla ice cream, and the iconic butterbeer takes a new twist in the butterbeer latte and iced latte. The menu also features a variety of pastries, like cheesecake and the biggest and butteriest croissants.
Overall, the quality of the coffee, the magical atmosphere, and the charming baristas create the best wizarding-world experience in Henderson.