Sunday, February 27, 2011

NY: Cafe Grumpy (Greenpoint)

Address:193 Meserole Avenue
Neighbourhood: Greenpoint
Borough: Brooklyn
website; @cafegrumpy ;(718) 349-7623

Coming over on the G line and popping up at Greenpoint Stn, meant a bit of walk through an area saturated with Polish food. What's better is that we stopped in for lunch. Need to refuel for proper EA.
After filling our tummies, we walked over to this clearly cute neighbourhood cafe.
Stepping inside the doors made me feel instantly apart of the hive-network and creative energy in the room. As is typical to cafe culture, chatter and laptop action was prominent. A Long communal table played home to 5 Macs, with couches and smaller tables for close chatter.
The back home to the Roaster, with more tables dispersed throughout/. (read: next post). Exposed brick walls. warm hues of orange, I could definitely sit here for hours.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Espresso: Dark Horse

Spotted: Dark Horse Espresso Bar (Spadina)
Address: 215 Spadina Ave Suite 102
Neighbourhood: Chinatown/Queen W
Beans: Dark Horse Espresso
Blend: 2/3 of a pulped natural Brazil
          1/3 Guatemalan from Puerta Verde
Roasters: Detour Coffee Roasters
Located: Burlington/Dundas, ON

Part of my Saturday morning routine is a post-run espresso. Whether it's at home, or venturing to a known shop for the local flavour, it's always a great experience.

This morning  - I was feeling all about the Chinatown/Queen W hood so it had to be a simple decision: hop into Dark Horse II. Showcase YYZ cafe scene to a friend from out of town, means joyous romps around town to only the crema of the crop.

I've had the new Espresso blend from Detour, but haven't actually tried it at DH2.

Verdict:  Deliciously sweet bright cherries. This espro got better with emulsification, with the 2nd and 3rd sips resulting in sugar bursts! Roast of the week!

On a side note: The above photo is inspired by Adbeus; Collabortive photoblogging of MTL coffee scene.

NY posts to continue: Up next Cafe Grumpy!

NY: Third Rail Coffee

Address: 240 Sullivan Street
               (Bleecker/West 3rd) 
Neighbourhood: Greenwich Village

After settling in and exploring the Flatiron district, SoHo and Greenwich, there would be no more espresso for the first day of travel. Our night ended with a trip to John's Pizzeria in Greenwich for some authentic NY style pie. It was simply delicious.

Waking up the next morning and not having to rush to the office was a great feeling, but noting down the wrong address, wasn't that fun. Day 2 was going to be heavy espresso adventure, with rides on the MTA as we planned to hit up Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Featured Bean: Addis Ketema

Spotted @ Mercury Espresso
Beans: Addis Ketema (North Italian Roast)
Region: Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
Roasters: Terroir Coffee
Located: Mass.

Verdict: Sweetness hits the tip of the tongue, and explodes with more smooth tones as it reaches the back. Huge permisson with subtle lemon-cherry-ade (sweeten drink) accents

After consuming the double espresso, there was a smooth "campy" finish with a lingering campfire smoke caramelized toffee. Now that's how to do a pleasurable after-taste.

Price: $2.50
Disloyalty Card: Supported/Stamped!
From Mercury:
Lemon citrus, Sweet strawberry
From Terroir:
Certified Organic ~ North Italian Espresso Roast!
The Addis Ketema Cooperative has over 2000 farms averaging 3.4 acres each. This fine lot produces a very smooth espresso. It is infused with whispers of candy lemon, ripe apricot and mellow traces of ginger. Mellow acidity with medium body.
Get this fresh new seasonal blend before Mercury runs out.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

NY: ACE Hotel

Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Address: 20 West 29th Street (ACE Hotel)
Midtown Manhattan

Located inside of the slick black lobby of boutique wonder (ACE Hotel) provides a home for Portland charm Stumptown. Known for revolutionizing the direct-trade market, and fair wage practices means a more conscious approach to the preparation of your drink. There is a day and night feel to the symbiosis of the modern design and innovative charm of the lobby and the massively large glass walls that adorn the high-ceiling standing room only "hallway" of Stumptown cafe. Both companies specialize in creating the best product for their clients to experience, and the minute details are evident from the first swing of the door. Onyx black walls adored with witty pop culture references, marble floors, and large porcelain white columns makes the lobby space a micro-office the busy bodies of Manhattan.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Primer: EA does NYC


We landed at Newark ready and eager to embark on the Espresso Adventures: New York Edition. 
A large urban playground, 5 boroughs to explore, musicals and be caffeinated.... come on --we weren't sure what would ensue. My eyes lit up at the chance to have an espresso focused trip with not tooo many tourist attraction, but just enough to fill the time and re-cooperate from caffeination overload.

Next Destination: Penn Stn. With a 7-day unlimited pass ($27) and 2 trusty sidekicks (MTA Subway map and pocket sized Lonely Plant), there would be endless possibilities to romp around town. We quickly gathered out carry-ons and started what would be an epic exploration of 15 cafes in 5 days.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Featured Espresso: Mecca Espresso (AUS)

Want a piece of AUS, you might be too late...

Featured Espresso Mecca Blend (Seasonal)
Spotted @ Te Aro Roasted
Roasters: Mecca Espresso
Located: Sydney, AUS
@Mecca_Espresso; URL

Mecca blend is an Ethiopian boldgrain, Ethiopian Sidama, and Costa Rica Sin Limites.  

Te Aro was the host for "Down Under Event" showcasing many roasters from NZ and AUS. The event was quite the success, consisting mainly of local baristas, roasters and coffee enthusiasts,, it was great to see the scene saturated in one place. Sadly I was unable to attend... but leave it to Te Aro to be blessed with the bags upon bags of espresso. Might as well offer it to the public and run it on their espresso menu.
High Five goes to Coffeestork; and proceeds from the event went to Coffeekids.

Mecca might be gone, but if you were lucky enough to taste some of these beans, you were in for a treat.

Machine: La Marzocco GB/5
Grinder: Mahlkoenig K30 Twin Espresso Grinder
Temp: 197 / Pulled for 25s

Verdict: Crisp woody, smooth nut feel. Highlighting the sweet tip of the tongue. Predominately cocoa/choco base with apricot-berry undertone. Reminiscent of the Dark chocolate with apricot and blackberry found at speciality stores.
Simply delicious.

Thanks Tyler for pulling the amazing shot!

Don't forget about Te Aro's Public Coffee Cupping on Fridays @ 12:30pm.
Around Leslieville? Join them. I wish I could!
Why not? Learn About coffee, sample new crops, enjoy life.
Make time for the pleasures.

Promise I'll get those NYC posts up real soon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

First Experience: Dark Horse III (Queen W)

Dark Horse Espresso Bar

Address: 684 Queen Street West (@ Euclid)
Neighbourhood: Queen West/Fashion District
Website @darkhorsecafe

This is the third location for Deeana and Ed, owners of the Dark Horse Empire. A month ago, I did a spotlight on Detour Roasters, and as one of their biggest clients, it's safe to say that Detour gets to grow as well.

Friday, February 18, 2011

First Experience: Si Espresso

 Si Espresso Bar
Address: 748 Broadview Ave
Neighbourhood: The Danforth
Tel: (416) 463-5550

In true Italian fashion, Si Espresso is standing room only. With an L shape ceramic titled counter hugging the window and exposed brick wall giving just enough space to feel welcomed to enjoy that sip of espresso. Warm tones of reds, and browns create a great autumn warmth as you step into a feel for Italy. Detail isn't spared at this location, with that warm community feel from the jam packed bulletin boards, and even a greeting smile with lovely array of pastries. They even give you a nod of acknowledgment as you enter the cafe/espresso bar, making you feel like you've been here for years.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bean Talk: Te Aro Roasted's Elevens

Straight from Te Aro

"The idea behind Elevens was to create a new espresso blend, that will change seasonally Elevens is brighter, and has fruity tones, the aroma is orange and floral.
The current Elevens is a post roast blend of a very sweet Panama Rio Serreno bean, and a bright orange taste from the Ethiopian Sidama.  The washed Sidama has a lot of apricot which was so unique.
We describe it as orange cream soda, with a refined acidity and white chocolate."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

First Experience: Red Bean Espresso + Market

Red Bean Espresso + Market
Address: 2118 Bloor St. W.
Neighbourhood: Bloor West Village

Tel: 647-352-2326

Located in between Runneymede and High Park subway stations, in the high populated hood of BWV is a relative newcomer. Taking up the space of the former Vespa shop, the high ceilings and clean walls create a canvas of new designs for owner Iris. Creating a family friendly hub is what Iris wants to establish, and that is what she's done.
Food brings people together, that's why half of the back space is dedicated to their in-house kitchen. Proud to have all their goodies prepared in-house the list includes pastries, gourmet sandwiches and soups, but it's that attention to detail that caught my eye.
A huge 4 panel stained glass frame hangs from the ceiling reminds me of the coffee houses in Germany. The amazing Simonelli Aurelia used at WBC, and highly in tune to industry needs, Iris can't go wrong here. Quality.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday Rituals

Run ala Boardwalk.
Winter friends, or arctic bliss?
Scenic Views
Pumping Jams from Robyn, DeadMau5, and Avicii.
Finished off with some post-run eats and essential post-run hydration!

Afternoon spro w/ amazing friend.
Great Convos at the communal table.
Browsing through "Walls and Pieces" by Banksy

Rooster Coffee House 

Taking in the fun times of citizens going down Riverdale Park's enormous hills.
Loved discovering that they had the new espro blend

Machine: Elektra K-2S
Grinder: Mazzer Robur
Turnover: Medium (with Peak hours)

Featured Espro: "Elevens" by Te Aro Roasted 

Verdict: Sweetness the whole way through.but not in the overly sweet way that you get from those Valentine Candy hearts that contain messages. Just enough sweet to satisfy that sugar craving.
Described as "Orange cream soda", I think it's more fizzy goodness with orange essence. 
Thumbs Up!

Love the weekend.

Q: How do you celebrate the weekend?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

V60 + Te Aro Love

Sometimes I bring my coffee on the go.
Not the best set-up, but it's sports a new home, when it needs to.

Working on some exciting posts.

If you are interested in joining some NZ good times at Te Aro.
They are hosting an espresso tasting. (Down under style!)
Friday Feb 11th - 6:30pm - 9pm

Details here

Maybe I'll see you there.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In our backyard: Dundas, ON (Part 1)

Dundas, Ontario

The Espresso Adventure team decided to go on a little road trip to experience the quaint town of Dundas. Just outside of Hamilton, about 1.5 hours outside of the GTA is home to Detour Roasters - prior feature. This time the team decided to make it an official holiday EA, by hitting up the other cafes in the area.
Described as boutique shops, and welcoming vibe filled with an "older" crowd we were in for the count. Driving through back roads, and going up the escarpment last month seemed like a winter wonderland experience.
King street is the bustling strip where our adventure would start and end. Enough time was allocated for a 3 cafe adventure, and we were in for a treat!