New Exhibit, Opening Reception June 13

This month's featured artist is Matthew Davis. Check out some of his work here and save the date of June 13 for a fun and fabulous reception we're holding in the coffeehouse. You may know Matthew if you frequent the coffeehouse during the day on the weekdays-- he's often behind the counter.

Matthew is deeply influenced by his family, his spirituality, music, literature, and fine art; from Jack Kerouac and Richard Farina to M.C. Escher, Jim Dine, and the Renaissance style. His modern inspirations include Shepard Fairey, the guerilla art movement/philosophy and the conviction that drives the people of Washington, DC.
UPDATE: Several of you have asked about Matthew's work already. YES-- it is for sale, and you can pick up his card at the counter or stop by when he's working to inquire about prices.


Review: Roasting Plant, NYC

Background: Roasting Plant has a handful of locations around NYC, founded by a former Starbucs exec and engineer. He developed a trademarked machine called a "Javabot" (no joke) where the beans are roasted on site, sent to vertical hopper tubes for storage (pic here), and then upon ordering, are shot across the store into the all-in-one Egro brand Swiss Coffee machine that grinds the beans and brews them to order.

Flavor: Customers are prompted to pick which beans they want in their drink, no matter what type of drink you order. I was a little overwhelmed by the bean choices (approx. ten) and after tiring of trying to read over each one, settled on the Kenyan in the middle of the row (beans are arranged from raw to roasted, lightest roast to darkest). In mere seconds, a full cup of coffee appeared before me, complete with a thick crema. The coffee was clean, with berry tones and low acidity and the crema was rich and fresh. I admit I was a little jealous of the machine to produce the perfect crema sitting on top of the brew.

Source: The beans available were sourced from locales in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia and the website describes "an eye towards organic agriculture and fair trade practices".

Rating: Having a cup of coffee brewed individually to order seems to me like an event that one should savor and feel a bit luxurious about, so ordering from a flatscreen menu and having the coffee appear in front of you untouched by human hands kind of put a damper on the experience. I was too skeptical of the Javabot's tamping skills and milk prep to get a latte, but will definitely try one out next time so I can fully judge the "woman v. machine" battle when it comes to preparing a coffee drink. I wonder if a Javabot that can produce latte art is in the works?


new brew

we are now brewing costa rican single origin in addition to the house french roast. this light to medium coffee has an almond aroma and a slightly acidic finish. david recommends making it in a press pot. if you don't own a press, get thee to a bargain department store and buy one now. I have seen them for as little as $7-$10 on sale. Many companies make expensive speciality press equipment claiming the perfectly designed container for brewing coffee, but really, every press pot I've ever seen looks exactly the same-- glass cylinder pitcher/beaker + metal mesh or nylon filter attached to metal plunger. The most important thing is making sure your beans are ground in a burr grinder, not a blade grinder, to produce evenly ground particles, which in turn will produce an even extraction. There are few readily available burr grinders available below $100, and we'll post a review soon of those. In the meantime, if you buy coffee from us by the 1/2 or 1 lb. bag we can grind it for you in our commerical burr grinder in the back. There's also a handful of other variables such as water type and temp, dosing, and brew time that make a difference when brewing in a press pot and I recommend researching that if you have the time. Here's a link to basic instructions on how to make coffee in a press pot.


NEW yummy salad on the menu

with the change in seasons come a change in the menu. we are now serving a chickpea side salad-- a simple salad dressed with colorful and bright flavors of lemon and cilantro, and ginger, cumin, and red onion for kick. pair it with an iced mint-green tea and a piece of strawberry-rhubarb pie and you can just imagine it's almost summer...