esspressotrips

Something about coffee


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The Roasted Boon ~ Washington, DC

This New Eritrean-Owned Coffee Shop opened in July 2020 in the Shaw neighborhood on the northwest side of DC; just months after COVID-19 reared its ugly head in the US. This must have been a challenge but they seem to be working through the ups and downs of this pandemic. I had the opportunity to visit this coffee house today and was very pleased with my Iced Oat milk Latte. If you have been following me for any length of time you know I love this drink. And the fact that they roast the beans in house is a win-win for me. But this latte had a unique depth about it. It was rich, earthy and subtly sweet with subtle notes of dark chocolate. On my next visit I plan to try their signature beverage: The Shaw Latte; which is made with French vanilla syrup and nutmeg. Lightly sweetened for me please! They also serve a variety of pastries, frappes, smoothies and wine too.

Besides my love for coffee and supporting local shops; I must admit the name intrigued me. Boon? Not bean? It’s not a typo my friends. A “boon” is a traditional coffee-making ceremony in Eritrea. It is performed for events such as a birth, death, when having over special guests, or just to pass the time away. Now, I really like the play on words and the logo which has two coffee beans in place of the o’s in boon.

With adequate “social distancing” seating (inside and out), I look forward to visiting this shop again during the warmer weather. This is truly a place that I would frequent often if I lived close by. Are you in the DC or planning a visit? Check out this gem located nicely in the Shaw neighborhood.

Coffee love,

Alicia


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Getting caffeinated during the Coronavirus pandemic

There is no question that this pandemic has disrupted our day to day routine in a major way. Social distancing has arrested one of life’s simple pleasures. And that is sitting down to a good cup of joe in your favorite coffee house. Girlfriends meeting to catch up on the latest news while enjoying a latte has come to a halt. No more cofficing. No more leaving your office for that mid-afternoon #esspressotrip! Sigh!

Thankfully, some coffee establishments are coming up with new ways to keep their customers caffeinated. Zeke’s Coffee in Washington DC has made a way. Hallelujah! You can place your order over the phone and pick up your coffee on a table located at their front entrance. I’m loving it:)

This to shall pass…
My Oatmilk latte is on the table:🙂☕

If you are in the DC area, visit Zeke’s Coffee Roasters. You can also order coffee beans online at http://www.zekescoffeedc.com

To all my coffee lovers out there, Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay hydrated and caffeinate responsibly.

Yours in coffee,

Alicia

 


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Ceremony Coffee @ Riva~ Annapolis MD

Hey Friends!

I have hesitated for more than a year to blog about Ceremony Coffee. Why, you might ask? Well, Ceremony has multiple locations and I typically only blog about independently owned coffee houses with one location. However, for the last three or four months I have visited this “house” and order the Iced Almond Milk Latte. Can I tell you that this latte is so darn good?  I never missed the regular milk? In fact, each time I order from Ceremony I am far from disappointed. Their Flat White and Mocha drinks are delish too!

I am really not surprised by the quality coffee because they roast their own carefully sourced arabica beans and strive to deliver a consistent line up of coffee selections. Their motto is: “WE STRIVE TO DELIVER THE CUP OF COFFEE THAT CHANGES SOMEONE’S LIFE.”  Well, I guess we can’t argue with that! Right?

Pictured below is the Sakura Saku. This is coffee jelly, cherry blossom honey an lime-infused Chantilly cream.  I did not personally have this coffee delight but the customers I interviewed stated that it was surprisingly good and had an interesting taste.

Sakura Saku

On a recent visit I ordered my Almond Milk Latte and the “Amazing Toast” and amazing it was! This avocado toast is topped with smoked salmon, boiled egg, furikake and sesame seeds. This may have been the best breakfast I have ever had! For real:)

Amazing Toast and Iced Almond Milk Latte

Great Service! Great Baristas! Amazing Coffee. If you are ever in the Annapolis MD area go check them out: http://www.cermonycoffee.com

Ceremony does not disappoint!

 

Amazingly yours,

Alicia


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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


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Common Grounds Coffee Shop~Greensboro NC

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Common Grounds (CG) is an eclectic coffee house and wine lounge situated in the heart of Lindley Park.  CG is also a Performing Arts Venue housed in the Chronicles video production studio. So, you can drink your coffee and produce a video all in one spot. Pretty cool! Right? Well it doesn’t end there. CG is a great place to study, meet up with friends, play a little air hockey or read a book.

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K.C. was my Barista and she was so cool. With a professional and personable flair, K.C. whipped up some amazing drinks for my husband and me. All of their drinks are named after an actor:) We had the Charlie Chaplin and the Robert Downing Jr. The Charlie Chaplin is a white and dark mocha with steamed milk and espresso. The Robert Downey Jr. is a salted caramel mocha with steamed milk and espresso. They were both made to perfection. My husband’s personal favorite was the Robert Downey Jr. The next time I will try the Robin Williams. This is a latte made with banana and chocolate syrup, steamed milk and espresso. They also have their own coffee blend called the Lindley Park. It is available by the pound so that you can brew it at home. For the non-coffee drinkers, you can choose from a variety of teas, hot chocolate and locally made baked goods.

If you are ever in the Greensboro area, treat yourself to Common Grounds (commongrounds.coffee/). Tell K.C. I sent you:)

Yours in Coffee,

Alicia


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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 


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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


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Always Brewing Detroit

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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


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UPRISING MUFFIN COMPANY

Uprising

Image: Yelp.com

Happy New Year Coffee Lovers!

Recently, I had the opportunity to hang out with my family at Uprising Muffin Company (UMC). UMC is located in Washington DC: Shaw Neighborhood.  It appears that UMC established this company on the basis of making fresh and tasty muffins.  I can tell you they have completely met the mark and are living their motto: “offerings are simple, fresh & seriously delicious”. Now who can pass that up? I certainly can’t. I sampled the sweet potato, savory spinach tomato parmesan and the strawberry and cream cheese muffins. They were indeed delicious. But this is a coffee blog. Right? My Barista prepared a very delicious lightly sweetened Iced Vanilla Latte (with an extra shot of espresso of course). It had the perfect blend of Stumptown espresso, house made simple syrup and cream. What a treat!

Looking forward to another visit. If you ever find yourself in the Washington, DC area do yourself a favor and go check out Uprising (http://uprisingmuffins.com/) You will be glad you did!

Happy Coffee,

Alicia


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Our Midwest Family Trip

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Kenny, myself and the kids spent the last 10 days in the Midwest visiting the Detroit Metro area and Chicago, IL. We had an amazing time with friends and family. Some of the Chicago highlights were going to the 31st Beach, The Lincoln Park Zoo, The American Girl Store, Giordano’ Pizza and Karyn’s Fresh Corner.

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We enjoyed some great coffee in Chicago. Gaslight Coffee Roasters: Located in Logan Square is an eclectic cafe with very random decor and excellent service. We ordered many items from the menu and since I’m the “blogger” I got to taste everyone’s coffee and food! Pretty Sweet…right? Our friend Heather had a smooth Soy Latte and a tasty Bacon and Brie sandwich. Kenny and our youngest daughter (Dayley) had the Pesto Grilled cheese Sandwich. It was really good. Kenny also had a Cold Brew that was rich, full of earthy notes and had a great finish. Our daughter Dia had a breakfast bowl like no other! It was slightly spicy with rice, bacon, sausage, scrambled duck egg and topped with a fried duck egg. Now, I have to say that is the best breakfast bowl I have ever had. Yummy! I had a Brazilian Slow Bar. This is Gaslight’s version of a Pour Over. It was very good and I Iced it so that I could take it to go. So good! The doughnuts were some kind of good! Especially the cardamom glazed. It definitely takes the traditional glazed doughnut to another level!!

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We ended our Chicago trip by going to Cafe Mushtashe. This cafe, lounge and music venue has a very chilled atmosphere and is also located in Logan Square. As I waited for my Peppered Fig and Vanilla Latte, I listened to Louis Armstrong and noticed that no one was interacting or talking to each other. I found the lack of interaction a bit odd but oh well? The room was dim and the overall feel was hipster. By the way, this has to be the most interesting flavor combination for a Latte I have ever had. It was pleasantly good.

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Despite it’s slow come back, Detroit continues to have charm and promise. Beyond the blight, eye sores and homelessness there are good finds, beauty and chatracter for the whole family to enjoy.

Photo Cred: Great Lakes Coffee Company

As you may have read here before there are some really exceptional coffee houses in the Detroit Metro Area. On this visit we had the pleasure of going to Great Lakes Coffee located in Midtown. Can I just say this is my kind of place? I walked into this coffee and wine bar finding myself grooving to Regulate by Warren G and Nate Dogg. For the record, Kenny tells me that I haven’t listened to the lyrics of this song and that otherwise I wouldn’t like it. Probably not my thing but the music is amazing, so I’m going with it LOL!

Photo Cred: Great Lakes Coffee Company

We enjoyed Cold Brew, a Lavender Latte, Lavender Ice Tea and a Vegan Granola bar made by Avalon Bakery (also featured on this blog). All were very delisious but oh my goodness this Latte had an unexpectedly great flavor. I would have never expected to pair lavender simple syrup with coffee but it was Delish! It totally worked. The menu at Great Lakes is pretty extensive. One interesting item is a beverage made with half beer and half coffee. Different. Right? We will definitely go back there. So many things to choose from. Great Atmosphere.

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We ended this trip with a bang by visiting Astro Coffee located in Cork Town. As we drove up, I immediately noticed lots of customers hanging out enjoying this Beautiful Sunday morning and taking in all that this House to bring. Something told me Astro would have the “It” factor! It did!

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We enjoyed Cold Brew, Mocha Lattes (featuring Calder’s Dairy), Lemon Ginger tea, Polenta Plum Cake and Vegan Coconut Bread. To sum it up, I found myself in Coffee Heaven. EVERYTHING was exceptional. Just Delicious. Simply Spectacular! This chalk art was breath taking!

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Put these places on your Midwest Bucket List! You will be pleasantly surprised.

Coffee Lovin,
Alicia

Chicago:
http://gaslightcoffeeroasters.com
http://www.cafemustache.com
http://www.lpzoo.org
https://giordanos.com
https://karynraw.com

Detroit:
http://www.greatlakescoffee.com
http://www.astrodetroit.com