esspressotrips

Something about coffee


Leave a comment

Sidewalk Coffee Series: Santa Cruz, California~ Saturn Cafe

I have decided to become a coffee snob. Truth be told, on any given day I will and have ordered and sipped coffee from fast food joints, gas stations, and out of those forbidden machines at any random 24 hour rest stop and have actually enjoyed it! I am admittedly coming out of the obscurity of drinking random, commercialized and manufactured beanery to a more discerning taste which reflects my coming of age (I just turned 50) and actively becoming more socially aware of the choices of coffee I make and why.
Also, before I share my first experience with trying one of my most favorite drinks at an independently owned coffeehouse and after coming to terms with my age and my evolving taste buds I must first set the parameters of which I will engage in this search and quest for the java that jams! Foremost, it has to be a stark contrast to how, when and why I partake. No more driving up, convenience or coffee chains, and way more free/fair trade, fair and environmentally responsible and sound.

Let’s also establish that coffee has become a good friend in the morning or early afternoon as the caffeine is just the jumpstart I need as I strive for that boost of clarity in my work as a consultant juggling multiple tasks, lists and errands. Another benefit is that I travel as a part of my work and sometimes the road can get monotonous. So, my plan will be to locate a small coffeehouse within walking distance of my hotel and stroll there to order my cup of joe. I will journal the taste, my in house experience and record the sights, sounds and smells! I am so excited!

My first experience on this journey of becoming the coffee snob I have always wanted to be was a trip to Santa Cruz, California. I stayed at a chain hotel fairly close to the downtown area. I walked approximately 4,000 steps one way to my desired destination. The first lesson I learned is that not all cafes specialize in coffee. This place was quaint and nestled on a quiet corner but adjacent were my favorite kind of self-care stores full of sage, crystals, tie-dyed clothing and incense! I was in my element! It was certainly not a surprise to me that the cafe was named after Saturn, where the stars and solar worlds meet and clash and beam and glow. The streets on my way to the cafe where also lined with moon and stars, astrology and religion, rocks, wood and nature. I enjoyed this walk!

So the coffee was organic, local and from fair trade! I am winning! Tres America was the brand and the taste was boldly smooth, earthy and took very well to cream and Splenda (look do not judge me, I am working up to trying other exciting sweeteners!) The environment was laid back and really cool, the average corner greasy spoon was more like it and I prefer so I had a dandy time! The service was amazing and the view out the window was equally pleasing. By the way, I tried the coffee hot and on ice and they both were pretty good! Wait, am I supposed to do that with the same brand of coffee? Snobs, fight me. LOL!
Well, this is my first try at it, and I will continue to try and visit more cafes, coffee houses and baristas while I am on the road…I hope my sidewalk coffee stories will encourage readers to get some steps in, reflect on local beauty and business and taste the best coffee ever! I am not a coffee snob yet but I am too excited about what the future holds in becoming one!
Sip on,
Kalimah

(Guest blogger)


Leave a comment

New Order Coffee Roasters ~ Detroit MI

 

New Order Coffee Roasters is located on the ground floor of Midtown’s Crystal Loft Building and near Grey Ghost Detroit. From the moment you walk inside, their mission to “delight and energize your everyday life” is clearly evident. The decor alone will take you to a happy place. The color scheme is aqua, orange and white, almost giving you the feeling of being in a candy store.

New Order is not your average coffee shop. They start off the right way by carefully selecting their beans and roasting them in small batches on site. However, what sets them apart is their fun and whimsical approach to making their beverages.

wp-1507399600638.jpg

Customers can order drinks like the Cereal Milk latte, lattes with flavor-infused homemade marshmallows and M&M ganache. New Order Coffee also offers sweet and savory pastries and specialty foods and candies.  They offer several brew methods and have Nitro of tap too! On our visit, my husband and I order the Cracker Jack latte (…and yes, it came with a prized! LOL) and the Marshmallow latte. Both were terrific and the Frosted Flake milk had us feeling nostalgic. “Who thought of this?”  I asked my Barista. She replied, someone who is truly a kid at heart! Yes indeed! Another really cool thing about this coffee shop is that customers can buy freshly roasted coffee beans right there on the spot! The roasting can be customized to suit their taste and they can walk out of the shop with a warm bag of beans to brew at home roasted just for them in minutes. How awesome is that?

wp-1507399638486.jpg

The proprietors at New Order are truly on to something fresh and new in the coffee world.  They are a great addition to Midtown Detroit and I look forward to my next Esspressotrip there. Check them out if you are in the area: www.newordercoffee.com Also, go to my Instagram page to see my Cracker Jack Latte. My IG page is: Sweetsations

Yours in Coffee,

Alicia

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Urban Bean Company ~Detroit, Michigan 

On the corner of Grand River and Shelby Street: Downtown Detroit, you will find a very unique building. Its orange. A sea of orange with floor to ceiling windows. This  coffee house has a unique decor with a rustic flair. You won’t find your typical music here either. Urban Bean proudly supports electronic music. I certainly didn’t expect that!

Green Fairie Latte: Urban Bean Co.

Serving freshly roasted local coffee and local pastries including Dutch Girl Dounuts you will find something to make your palate smile. I sure did:) I had the Green Fairie Latte. Hand crafted with fair trade espresso, pistachio, white chocolate and steamed milk. This specialty drink is among one of the favorites. I can totally see why. It was very good!

Second Floor: Urban Bean Co.

Need to have a meeting with friends or colleagues ? Study? Wanna listen too some electronic music? You can. At the Urban Bean on the second floor👍.

If you are in Detroit and need lite catering or a specialty coffee drink, check out the Urban Bean: http://www.urbanbeanco.com

Urbeanly yours,

Alicia


Leave a comment

Shot Tower Coffee: Philadelphia PA

wp-1481766937506.jpg

Shot Tower Coffee is located in the Queen’s Village/ Bella Vista neighborhood of South Philly.  This contemporary coffee house with rustic features offers a nice place to enjoy a cup of coffee. With indoor and outdoor seating you are sure to find a good spot to relax.  The communal seating is a plus for meeting up with friends and family.

Nice music……..Check

Nice ambiance……..Check

Great baristas…………Check

Great customer service……..Check

Oh! You want to know my favorite part of this #esspressotrip? I thought you’d never ask:) The Iced Mocha! First of all they start with carefully sourced and handmade coffee from CounterCulture. Secondly, they make their own chocolate syrup for this handcrafted drink. Now it doesn’t get much better than that! Right? My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this “His” and “Her” espresso treat.

If you are ever in South Philly check out Shot Tower Coffee. You will quickly see who’s calling the shots:) Lol

Mocha Love,

Alicia


Leave a comment

House Blend Cafe~Ocoee Florida 

This morning, I had a lovely Toffee Latte at the House Blend Cafe. Very good service. They serve breakfast and lunch food.  The menu of coffee and tea is pretty extensive. The Mocha Mint Latte would be a good choice for my husband. 

Visiting Ocoee? Check them out. I enjoyed my Latte very much:)

Latte Love,

Alicia 


Leave a comment

The Drunken Monkey~Orlando Florida

 

The Drunken Monkey is located in the “Milk District” on Bumby Avenue in Orlando Florida. It has to be one of the most unique coffee houses I have visited.  Some people describe it as hipster but I call it “uniquely eclectic.” You will find local art and a variety of comfortable places to sit but no one piece of furniture matches! LOL! They also have a drive thru, which is pretty cool too.

Always a plus, the coffee is roasted in house and they only serve fair-trade, organic or rain forest alliance beans. In addition to coffee, The Drunken Monkey serves tea, smoothies, iced and frozen drinks. They also offer an assorted variety of vegetarian sandwiches, soups, quiches and pastries. I enjoyed the Iced Mocha and my husband had the Iced Caramel Latte. Both were really good. We also had the breakfast burritos, Anzac Cookie (banana, peanut butter and chocolate), snicker doodle and chocolate chip cookies.  The Anzac was by far a favorite. Delish!!! The staff and baristas were very professional and accommodating.

If you are a coffee connoisseur and find yourself in Orlando Florida’s Milk District, give them a visit. You will be pleasantly surprised and happy you did!

 

Yours in Coffee,

Alicia


Leave a comment

Always Brewing Detroit

image

Are you looking for a solid cup of coffee? Well, you can find that and much more at Always Brewing Detroit. This cozy coffee house is located in the Grandmont-Rosedale Community (Detroit MI). They are serving up Fair-trade coffee from Chazzano Coffee Roasters which is freshly roasted in Ferndale, MI. All pastries, milk products, and food are derived from local sources. Some of these sources include: Fresh Corner Cafe, Soup from Corktown’s own Brooklyn Street Local, Detroit Institute of Bagels and Love & Buttercream. This is keeping it fresh for customers and gives back to the community. Gotta love that. Right? Speaking of Community, that is certainly the focus at Always Brewing Detroit. The owner,  Amanda Brewington provides a creative community space for local artists to share their talents during open mic night. You can also find art work from local talents, a good book and even drop in for a yoga class each week.  What a cool way to use a space and enjoy coffee too!

I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Brewington. She was super nice and personally  made me a “mean mocha” 🙂 It was superb!

If you are looking for a place to wind down, meet a few friends or colleagues Always Brewing Detroit is the place to go!

Yours in Coffee,
Alicia