The past few weeks have been full of great coffee: two café crawls, one special Chemex pot of a fancy new brew, a catching-up beer with an industry friend and sugarplum dreams of competitions dancing in my head.
Let's break it down!
A few weeks ago, a pair of Gimme! guys and my own little self hopped (and got hopped up) at a host of shops we admire-slash-respect-slash-like-slash–hadn't been to, including (but not limited to—there's only so many photos you can take in one supercaffeinated day):
Ninth Street Espresso (AlphaCity location)
Abraço (new E.Vill spot)
Everyman Espresso (thatsa shot of SO Biloya by Counter Culture)
I know that all of the pictured coffees are Counter Culture, but lest you think that's all we tasted, we also stopped by Joe (2 locations!), the new Gimme! on Mott Street and, blessedly, Fiddlesticks Pub, where a couple other kinds of brew were imbibed by yours truly. (Wow, what a truly horrendous website Fiddlesticks has.)
I had an exceptional cup of coffee last week, and I wanted to blog 'er up. On Wednesday, my pal & coffee partner Amanda Byron handed me a wee bag of Barrington Coffee's Ecuador Galápagos (Hacienda El Cafetal), which I proceeded to fall in love with. According to the notes I hastily jotted on a Post-it note, I got a lot of pleasant tartness straight up front—like grapefruit or just-ripe green grapes—which settled in to a bit of woodsmoke, banana and vanilla with just a hint of nut in the aftertaste. A really clean, nicely balanced cup; you all know I'm crazy about Barrington, but man, I'll tell you, this is an exceptional coffee.
Who should drop by last Thursday but the one and only Troy Reynard of Easton, PA's Cosmic Cup—host and organizer of the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Barista Jam in his own fair city.
The event (which I, sadly, can't attend this year) is a great meeting-of-the-minds in a casual environment. Lessons, demonstrations, tastings and practice, practice, practice! Last year's was a blast, and this year the guest list includes Jay aragay, Chris DeFerio, Ellie Matuszak and reigning World Barista Champion James Hoffmann, among others!
March 5-7, 2008 at the Bank Street Annex, Easton, PA.
- Wednesday evening registration and reception featuring food/coffee pairings.
- 'Spro-Down, Espresso extraction competition. (Entry fees to benefit Bikes to Rwanda.)
- Latte Art Throwdown (Entry fees to benefit Bikes to Rwanda.)
- Two jam sessions open to the public, where jam participants will make drinks for the public, donations to benefit Bikes to Rwanda.
Oh, did we mention free beer? Free beer! Check it out, friends.
Nor-way to go!
Yesterday morning, I woke up at the crack of 9am to meet Nordic barista Hanne, who was in New York on an 18-hour layover, following the Nordic baristas' whirlwind trip to Nicaragua.
She and I (without my camera—it was a bit of a harried weekend!) visited the ever-delightful Café Grumpy (whose new Heartbreaker espresso is fantastic); the NSE in Chelsea Market, where we were welcomed warmly (and with exceptional shots) by Tal and Emily; and the Waverly Place location of Joe, where we got to sit outside and talk about the things she learned and saw on her trip, and about the differences between Scandinavian and American coffee stylee.
I had to leave regretfully early, but Hanne was in great hands when Liz Clayton stopped by to pick up the crawl. Where did you guys end up going, Liz?
Phew, all this coffee talk is making me dizzy… I'd better recaffeinate!