I’m blogging to you from New York. More specifically, a beautiful apartment in alphabet city. It’s my first visit to New York and it’s long over-due.
It seems that whether we’ve tasted the coffee or not, we all form relationships in this industry. Directing our traveling customers to a spot we know or we’ve heard of. I’ve been directing people where to go based on what many of my coworkers have told me. Now, I’m excited to finally put the coffee to the test.
I arrived yesterday and quickly found myself inside the original 9th St. Espresso location. Where I’m staying is a convenient 6 blocks down. Intelli currently roasts the coffee being used by 9th St. I was under the impression that the blend being served was very similar to black cat. However, even at the uttering of the worlds Black Cat, the barista was quick to make it clear that the blend they use is their own. As they’ve used other roasters previous to us, this seems to be something I’ve always heard… Ninth Street fights hard to hold it’s own identity. This is something I can respect.
Anyway, the espresso… It was a solid, happy two ounce extraction. Most of my travels seem to be in the Northwest and it was so nice to see a proper extraction away from home. It tasted delicious. Nothing about it was overly acidic or bright. The majority of the flavors were chocolate-y, nugget, and caramel. The coffee made me happy.
We walked from Ninth Street to the block that seems to be ran by Momofuku… As in, all three or four, five or six types of restaurants. Miss Liz Clayton had keyed me in that the Ssam Bar was her fav, so we headed there. I have a new found love for fantastic artisan cocktails. I like creative stuff. I respect the classics, but show me what you can do with weird, fine ingredients. That said, I had an amazing pomegranate, ginger sour. The combination of rye whiskey, pomegranate molasses, ginger, and lemon was spectacular. One of my favorite drinks in a while, for sure. The pork buns are what everyone raves about here. They were amazing. So sweet. So spicy. A dish I’ll remember for a long time.
Today, we woke up at a reasonable time and headed straight to the Ace Hotel. I was very anxious to see the Stumptown cafe and some old friends. I was especially interested in seeing what the coffee was like after tasting Hairbender in both Portland and Seattle a mere two weeks ago. I found the espresso to be better than anything experienced in the west coast stores. Bright, clean, and sweet. I accompanied that with a mug of Finca El Puente from Honduras… which had some lovely milk chocolate up front, and continued to get sweet with persimmon on the finish.
Hanging out in the lobby of the Ace was rad as well. It’s a large space with so much comfortable seating. Apparently, they are doing coffee table service too. The experience is very comfortable. I like the fact that the best cafe seating is so separate from the bar. It allows one to escape what can be a busy and noisy scene to enjoy their coffee in a quiet, more laid back setting.
The rest of the day has been spent at Brasserie Les Halles and the Met. We’re gearing up to head out for some Indian and to explore more cocktail bars. I’m stoked. Today was a healthy 20-ish degrees. It’s so nice to be in real cold weather. I’m digging this city. Tomorrow, I think we’re going to explore Brooklyn and more of the coffee over there.