esspressotrips

Something about coffee


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Mill Mountain ~ Coffee and Tea Downtown Roanoke VA

 

 

Picture Credit: www.pinterest.com

Picture Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

Mill Mountain has become our “go to” coffee shop on road trips to TN, NC and SC. Their philosophy is “Be the Best”. Being the best can be achieved by roasting the beans on location and by providing excellent customer service.   Mill Mountain roasts their beans for use in the coffee house and ships them globally. It is clear that this makes the difference cup after cup. However, Mill Mountain lacks a bit when it comes to great customer service.

The service is usually pretty slow (even when we are first in line???) and many times the cashiers are less than friendly. The barristers are a different story! It is evident that they enjoy their craft. From the Vanilla Latte to the Espresso Cooler each drink has been hand crafted to our expectations. Fresh and Delicious and Always Consistent! They also make a mean breakfast sandwich! The bacon egg and cheese is my favorite:)

If you ever find yourself in Downtown Roanoke, you should give them a try! It’s  definitely the coffee that brings us back year after year:)

Here’s the link: www.millmountaincoffee.com/

 

Coffee is Love,

Alicia


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Pound the Hill: Washington, DC (Eastern Market)

My Nutella Latte

My Nutella Latte: Pound the Hill May 2014

I have been a customer of The Pound for several years now. I can recall my first coffee beverage, The Frozen Nutella Latte. I thought my life was changed forever!! I even created a Nutella Cheesecake in honor of this drink (but that is for a future blog). The latte was so good. It kept me coming back for more. Hot, Cold, Iced or Frozen, you will enjoy this one!

The staff is always pleasant and the service prompt. The atmosphere is tastefully rustic, with multiple seating options. While the menu has a lot to offer in terms of food, I have found that it was “just ok”. I asked my husband to meet me for lunch and unfortunately he was under whelmed by the portion sizes.  However, he enjoyed his Nutella Latte:)

I like a coffee house that is serious about serving amazing coffee. This why  I became disappointed when there appeared to be a decline in service.  The coffee was less than great. Not consistent with what I had in the past.

Happily, a more recent visit proved to me that The Pound was back! I also love that the proprietors continue to make improvements.  They recently announced that they will no longer close from 4:00 pm –5:00 pm.  That was a BUMMER!!!!

So, if you are ever in the Capital Hill/Eastern Market are in DC, you should check it out!

For the Love of Coffee,
Alicia

Walking Life~ Ashville, NC

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Walking Life

Walking Life (WL): Hand Brewed Coffee and Espresso

Simplicity at it’s Best. All together charming and quaint is how I describe this coffee house. It is located in an unassuming little house, mildly decorated with comfy seating.  I certainly felt at home in this fine, but simple establishment. The menu was short and to the point. The Baristas were serious and kind but professional at the same time.  It is all about the craft, love of the bean and value at Walking Life.

One of the Manifestos at WL is that “One should be geeky and excited about coffee! Imagine me: raising my hand, like a kindergartner saying,  “OOO, OOO, me , me, me! I’m excited.  I’m geeky and I care about coffee!”

Well, we all know the proof is in the bean. Right? So, I ordered the Raw Latte! It was so very delicious.  The milk to espresso ratio was perfect.  It was evident that this hand crafted drink was made with love by a Barista who was “Made for This!” Made to treat the bean with respect and care. Made to serve up a good ‘ole cup of deliciousness!

If you are traveling to Ashville, NC, this is one place you do not want to miss.  Their values speak for themselves. Try it. Find yourself a comfy seat. Sit back and enjoy.  This will be one of the purest cups of Joe you will ever have!

Coffee and Out!

Alicia

 

 

 


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SPoT Coffee~ Buffalo New York

  SPoT Coffee, located in Elmwood Village is a great coffee house and cafe.  It is nicely decorated with lots of comfy seating.  The staff is very friendly and the menu eclectic.  I had the Mike Sandwich and it was Superb!  My nephew Idris, had the chocolate macaroon.  He was very sweet and shared it with me. It was insanely good.

The Baristas at SPoT know their craft. They use Arabica Beans and  roast them “in house”.  To me, this is what makes the difference in terms of the fresh rich taste that coffee can bring.  While there, I enjoyed a Breve Latte. It was very creamy, and everything I would expect from a Breve’.

If you are in the Buffalo area, you should definitely check out this neighborhood cafe. The  SPoT team has definitely figured out how to serve up a great cup of coffee along with a unique and tasty meal.  I guess you can say they are SPoT On:)

Coffee Love,

Alicia


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Commonwealth Coffee Birmingham, Michigan ~Hamilton Row

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Sweet Jesus! I am not sure whom else to call on after experiencing this “Rock Star” of a coffee house. This is where Class, Simplicity and Rustic meet at the fork in the road.

Walking into Commonwealth I knew I was in for a real treat and it was certainly not for it’s simple yet rustic decor! Not to worry, who needs fancy when you experience the unique “uncommon pleasures” that Commonwealth has to offer? The line was long (but moved quick), there was not a seat left in the house and the spirit was high! It was evident that folks where happy to be in this establishment.

Commonwealth Coffee House offers what appears to be an incredible culinary experience. Using local ingredients and vendors raises the bar in what they are able to accomplish on their menu. It left me feeling like “Dang” “I wish I hadn’t eaten breakfast already!! For example, The Fried Egg Sandwich is made with guacamole, Pinconning cheese, and hot sauce on multigrain toast with a side salad! Sounds so good….right?! Also, a recent tweet says, “Have you tried our tea sandwich (with radish, cucumber, herbed goat cheese, pickled carrots & mustard greens) yet? Also there are a vast array of pastries such as, macaroons, muffins, sweet breads, brownies and cookies. My family and I tried the brownies and the chocolate chip cookies. Yummo!!!!

Finally, the coffee bar was spectacular. Commonwealth roasts single origin coffee beans in house, which is a great start in my book! The “pour over” station and espresso bar was an exciting and fascinating thing to watch. The Baristas where truly operating in their “element”. My husband and I had the  © Latte.  What is a  © Latte…you ask?   Well, it is a traditionally made latte with sweetened condensed milk. Need I say more? It was just PERFECT!!!! Whew!

Listen, do yourselves a favor and check out this Coffee House! It is truly one of the best!!

Commonwealth:  http://www.gocommonwealth.com/

 

Coffee Love,

Alicia

 

 

 


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The Bean and Leaf Coffee Café ~ Royal Oak, MI

The French Vietnamesse Latte_The Bean and Leaf

The Bean and Leaf Cafe is an independently owned coffee house that offers fair trade coffee, teas, pastries, sandwiches, vegan and gluten free options. The menu appears to be very extensive with something for all to enjoy.

I didn’t get my usual latte or cappuccino. I order the French Vietnamese Latte. This coffee drink is made with Chicory, Espresso, and Condensed Milk. It was very good and a recipe that I was not familiar with.

This house is pretty simple in décor but not in coffee. The staff was friendly and attentive. There was lots of seating, free WiFi and a small art gallery. The Bean and Leaf Cafe is a nice place to visit and Voted the Best Independent Coffee Shop by Hour Magazine. Check it out if you are in Royal Oak, MI.

The Bean and Leaf Coffee Café: http://www.mybeanandleaf.com/

 

Coffee Love,

Alicia

 


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Fourteen East: Art ~Coffee~ Soda~ Tea and Pastries Mid-Town Detroit

Fourteen East

Fourteen East: Art ~Coffee~ Soda~ Tea and Pastries

Mid-Town Detroit

Eclectic Charm: Is the best way to describe Fourteen East. This coffee house is located in the Historic Park Shelton (luxury apartments) in Detroit, Michigan and is beyond what you would expect when looking for that good ole’ cup of Joe!

It’s unique décor, art gallery and eco-friendly touches throughout makes Fourteen East a destination. It is very inviting, clean and has adequate seating. The service was quick and more importantly my Barista was friendly:)

I had the Cappuccino! It was spot on in terms of the balance of espresso, steamed milk and froth. Very tasty! I also had the Ricotta Lemon Cookies and they were delish!

If you are ever in Detroit, this is a place you should check out.  I am very glad my friend told me about this little jewel in Mid-Town.

Fourteen East: Art ~Coffee~ Soda~ Tea and Pastries:

http://www.14eastcafe.com/

Java Love~

Alicia

BeanRushCafe

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BeanRushCafe_pic

Pictured:Yelp.com

BeanRushCafe~Roaster-Baker-Sandwich Maker~ beanrushcafe.com

Crownsville, Maryland

The Bean Rush Cafe is a hidden jewel in Crownsville, MD.  I would describe it as not only a hidden jewel, but also an unassuming treasure. This coffee and teahouse has a lot to offer.  The menu has sandwiches, soups, salads, pastries, AND Oh Yes…Coffee!  I had the pleasure of partaking in the Honey Bee Latte (lightly sweeten) and LET me tell you it was remarkably delicious.  It had a very smooth taste and it didn’t come with the bitter finish that some espresso drinks have.  I also had the Soup and Sandwich Combo-Tuna Sandwich on wheat and Turkey Chili (Yumo!)

The BeanRushCafe staff presented as very polite, patient and knowledgeable of the menu items.  It’s warm and inviting atmosphere will bring me back to this “Hometown” establishment.  The proprietors have it right in terms of customer service, menu items and of course good ole’ espresso! Check it out!

Coffee Love,

Alicia

Marty’s Market Pittsburgh PA~ Strip District

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Photo credit: http://www.inthestrip-pgh.com/

 Photo credit: http://www.inthestrip-pgh.com/

Marty’s Market~

http://martysmarket.com/

Pittsburgh PA~ Strip District

During our Annual Family Reunion In May 2013, we had the opportunity to visit the Strip District of Pittsburgh PA. Personally, I went there in search of a good ‘ole espresso drink.  Well, I found that and a lot more! Marty’s Market.

This Market is an incredible venue. I am sure the locals enjoy this meeting place, but it is certainly a destination for visitors.  The “Farm Fresh” Cafe offers great tasting, locally inspired foods that are uniquely pleasing to the palate. The market offers, fresh organic produce, a wide variety of spices, dairy and other pantry staples.  The coffee bar is one of the best I have ever visited. They serve single origin coffee, loose teas and a few pastries. I ordered the Honey Cardamom Latte. This latte was Nothing Like I Had EVER tasted.  It was terrific. So smooth, lightly sweeten and the cardamom takes the experience to another level. I enjoyed it so much that I went back the next day.

Great Service, Great Food, and GREAT COFFEE!