Review: Ninth Street Espresso, NYC

Background: Recently listed as a favorite on the NYT coffee topics blog, and located a few blocks from where I was staying, how could I not try out Ninth Street Espresso before getting on the bus to come back to DC?

Flavor: One of the seven (gods, that's great) items on the menu, the macchiato combines two shots from a semi-automatic machine with a touch of milk froth, to produce dominant citrus and gentle floral notes in just three sips.

Source: Stumptown Coffee Roasters' Hair Bender espresso blend, made from "coffee contents from the three major growing regions of Latin America, East Africa, and the Pacific Rim." Stumptown boasts their own "direct trade" label and lists the exact longitude, latitude, elevation, and farms/farmer's names on their website.

Rating: The tiny, long shop is comprised of one wall of exposed brick with a narrow bar and a couple stools. I got it in the ceramic cup, but by the time I walked to the end of the store to the front window stool and had taken off my jacket and sat down, it had cooled to barely warm-- a good reminder that pulling shots into heated cups is one of those great tricks of the trade that may mean the difference between a mouthful of warm, tasty-bright goodness and cold, bitter, acid-breath. Also a reminder that when it comes to espresso, sip first and ask questions later. Since I prefer nuttier, sweeter flavors in drinks made with milk, I think the Hair Bender espresso blend may be best served on its own for optimal enjoyment of that citrus-y crema.

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