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Reading room with a view — and coffee

By Dana Sleger //

Scenic Drive in Pass Christian is well known for its collage of architectural glory with historic homes that overlook the peaceful Mississippi Sound. Coastal residents and visitors frequently enjoy a leisurely drive down this street just for the views on both sides, but did you know there’s a gem of a business nestled on the corner of Scenic Drive and Davis Avenue that drips with exquisite taste in literature and beverages?

Pass Christian Books and Cat Island Coffeehouse is owned by Scott Naugle and Sean Pittman. They opened their new two-story building in November 2013 to provide guests with a light-filled, energetic, artistic, and intellectual environment that encompasses a stellar view over the water.

While sipping on a specialty coffee or tea, guests are encouraged to peruse the carefully curated book inventory and savor the ambience of the open concept design inside, or bask in the outdoors on a wrap-around porch that beholds the Pass Christian Harbor.

Thanks to the business’ fulltime book curator, Barbara Reed, every title available has been extensively researched before it’s added to the collection, and in many cases, titles cannot be located elsewhere locally. The second floor of the building is an especially prized area where Mississippi authors and topics are featured.

Although the bookstore portion of the business has been in operation since 2002, when the owners designed the new building, adding a coffeehouse was a must-have feature, but it’s not your ordinary beverage locale. Truth be told, there is a big difference between a coffeehouse and a coffee shop.

“In a coffeehouse, everything matters in preparation of the coffee beverage from the selection of the single origin bean through to the skill of the professionally trained barista,” says Robert Guillot, artisan barista. “There is no bulk brewing of coffee, but rather the individual drip brewing of each cup.”

Just on a monthly basis alone, thousands of beverages are served while each one is attended to with a handcrafted touch. Single origin coffees change frequently due to the availability and quality of the bean, and they feature a micro-lot coffee for only a few days. More than 20 different types of teas also are offered.

The overall vision of Naugle and Pittman is to present new experiences in coffee, tea, art, and literature to the community. Next time you’re in the area, make sure to stop by Pass Christian Books and Cat Island Coffeehouse to enjoy an exceptional coffee or tea while browsing the one-of-a-kind selection of books in a most relaxing and welcoming environment.