DC Coffee

28 09 2010

What better to do in DC than do a coffee crawl with people who know the scene best? Alex and Brian of Counter Culture and John of Coffee Catcher. Began with coffee cupping and espresso tastings of Apollo and Toscano.

Chinatown Coffee Company (feat. coffees from Counter Culture and Intelligentsia)

Peregrine Espresso (feat. Counter Culture): Julie (right) is the BGA's Mid-Atlantic chapter rep and pulls a mean shot.

Dolcezza (feat. Wrecking Ball, Ritual, Intelligentsia, and Counter Culture): A gelateria featuring coffee or a cafe featuring gelato? Don't matter. They put extensive emphasis on both. My first encounter of Wrecking Ball's DMT espresso.

Nice to see a custom pourover bar fabricated by Kyle at Ritual in DC.

Filter Coffeehouse (feat. Caffe Pronto): Around the corner from Dolcezza in Dupont Circle is Filter. They have a really inconspicuous espresso machine.

Filter's tshirt! OMG OMG





NYC Coffee

6 07 2010

NYC is known for great food but their coffee was only as good as its urban fragrance exhibited in the subways during the peak summertime heat. That is, until in the recent years, when major roasters and key local coffee heroes paved the way for specialty coffee.

This is, of course, not news. But I am here to show you some delicious pictures of coffee and food from our adventures in NYC during LMOOB NYC last month:

Third Rail Coffee

Stumptown at the Ace Hotel

Stupdendous dinner at Emporio

Abraco - amazing for coffee AND their olive oil cake and cookies

Abraco's rocking the Linea at 198.7 F with Counter Culture spro

Ninth St Espresso - there's always a line

Can you believe the size of that meat rack?! Yatagan Kebabs on MacDougal.

This is what "donor kebab" is... kinda like a Turkish taco

Unfortunately it was only last weekend that the super upscale (read: expensive) cycling clothing brand Rapha opened their “pop up” store on Bowery. Filled with various cycling memorabilia and paraphernalia (wake up, Eddie Merckx fans!), the store is also interesting that they’re streaming Tour de France live (what better way to watch 60 pro riders fall all over spilled motor oil?) AND they have a built in coffee shop, courtesy of Third Rail Coffee and Stumptown. So next time you’re in Manhattan and want a pair of Team Issue Bib Shorts to go along with your cortado, swing by Rapha on 352 Bowery.

Rapha's "pop up" store (photo from Flickr user pedalstrike)

Of course there are a number of other notable coffee establishments in NYC but, due to limitations in time, I wasn’t able to swing by (Joe, Bluebird), forgot to take pictures (Blue Bottle, Gimme, Grumpy), or wasn’t open just yet (Caffetteria).

Lastly, what better way to end this mini slide show with the 3 amigos singing and playing guitars on #7 en route to Queens?





An Espresso Analogy

2 05 2010

So I came across an article titled What Happens During an Espresso Extraction by Erin Meister of Counter Culture Coffee and Nervous Cook. It’s an excellent primer for coffee newbies on what makes an espresso an espresso. But it’s this that caught my eye:

“Espresso sure is a complicated elixir for being so small. Like Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity, a high-quality shot can be multilayered and complex: rich, sexy, sweet, but also fast and smooth—maybe even a little dangerous—with a hint of a bitter edge.”

I don’t know about you, but rich, sexy, sweet, fast, smooth, bitter, and dangerous is how I have my espresso everyday (especially the dangerous part, as it is my middle name as well). But Barbara Stanwyck and Double Indemnity? What the? Well, here’s the writeup according to Netflix:

“Smitten insurance man Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) plots the perfect murder with femme fatale client Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck): staging her husband’s “accidental” death to collect double indemnity on his life insurance and absconding with the loot. But before their scheme can pay off, the lethal duo must first get past a crafty claims investigator (Edward G. Robinson) who senses something isn’t kosher.”

While it does have a rating of 4.1 stars on Netflix, I wonder how many readers out there has even heard of this gem from 1944? Certainly not I. Erin, may I recommend this instead?