The Corner Cup: Coffee and companionship in Tennessee’s oldest town

Mystery Diner • Apr 23, 2019 at 7:45 AM

We were halfway through a Saturday morning of window shopping along Jonesborough’s Main Street in when my dining partner and I spotted two members of our dine-around bunch. Turns out the Carnivore and Dieter had also been window shopping, and agreed to join us in a mid-morning coffee break at The Corner Cup.

The creation of Wyoming entrepreneur Deborah Kruse, The Corner Cup occupies most of the Old Town Hall building at the corner of Main and Spring Streets in Jonesborough, Tennessee. This is one of the best locations in town to gather in tired and thirsty customers.

Kruse advertises The Corner Cup as “Jonesborough’s Living Room.” You will find this to be so. The comfortable seating and unique décor does invite the weary and parched to come in, partake of a favorite beverage and perhaps a bite of something sweet or savory while enjoying the company of friends and neighbors in pleasant surroundings. Our “barista” Elena greeted us at the door, found us a cozy nook in The Corner Cup’s “Purple Room,” and was very helpful with interpreting The Corner Cup’s ever-changing menu.

Lemon/blueberry scone with Peaches & Cream Italian soda: Our friend the Dieter was quick off the mark, ordering a lemon & blueberry scone ($2.50) along with a 12-ounce glass of Italian soda ($3.75), with peaches and cream flavoring added to the sparkling seltzer water. The soda was custom-blended in-house, and the lemon & blueberry scone was from the Lazy Lady Bakery. Kruse and The Corner Cup believe in sourcing locally; for instance, their bagels are made fresh daily at Wheeler’s in Johnson City. The Dieter was very pleased with her Italian soda, finding it refreshing and just the thing after a stroll along Jonesborough’s Main Street. Her scone, though a bit over-baked, was quite flavorful; filled with blueberries and lemon zest, it was the perfect complement to her peaches and cream Italian soda.

Potato & feta cheese quiche, blondie, iced coffee: The Carnivore, wanting something more substantial, ordered a slice of the Quiche of the Day ($5). He also chose a blondie ($2) to go with a glass of iced coffee ($3.50). The quiche was perfection in a slice, a potato and goat cheese number prepared on-site and baked in a flaky pie crust until golden. The blondie, the Corner Cup’s white chocolate version of a brownie, was moist and chewy just as a blondie (or a brownie) should be. The iced coffee was drip-brewed fresh, then iced and served promptly so as not to dilute the caffeine content. All in all, the Carnivore was a happy home-town “tourista” this day.

Blueberry muffin, Mocha coffee: My dining partner was in a muffin mood, choosing a blueberry muffin ($2.50) along with a regular-sized cup of hot mocha coffee ($3.75). Her blueberry muffin was big, fluffy-soft and the perfect partner for a hot cup of mocha coffee. I had a bite and found plenty of blueberries to please both my palate and that of my dining partner.

Rosemary/parmesan scone, iced chai: Wanting something savory to eat, I opted for a Lazy Lady rosemary and parmesan scone ($2.50) along with a glass of iced chai latte ($3.75). This scone was about a third larger than the blueberry & lemon scone that the Dieter was happily munching on. Again, the scone was over-baked, though in this case I found the scone’s firm and coarse texture a better fit for the forest-fresh taste of the rosemary, and the slightly alkali pungency of the parmesan cheese. I found myself breaking off forkfuls of rosemary and parmesan deliciousness and dunking them in my iced chai to add a note of sweetness to my meal’s flavor bouquet. Very pleasant, indeed.

The bottom line: The Deborah Kruse has created a cafe where both local residents and visitors to Tennessee’s oldest town can enjoy tasty, locally-sourced and artisan-quality nibbles and noshes and the area’s best and most flavorful coffees, teas, and custom-made Italian sodas. The Corner Cup is fast becoming the place to be in Jonesborough and upper East Tennessee, a cozy setting for friends and family. Come in, kick back, have a bite, a drink and do sit a spell. You’ll be glad you did.

The Corner Cup

148 E. Main Street

Jonesborough, Tennessee


Mon- Sat 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sun 12 noon – 6 p.m.

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Credit cards accepted