A Visit to Ithaca & Its Coffee Shops

Talk about your favorite cafes, local barista events, or plan your own get-together.
Abe Carmeli
Team HB

#1: Post by Abe Carmeli »

Aiming for a shorter route to Ithaca than the one taken by Odysseus, I headed north a couple of weeks ago to attend a conference at Ithaca College. In between lectures, I explored the quaint little town's coffee scene and brought back some pics.

Ithaca, in the annals of coffee, is the birthplace of Gimme coffee. And as such, Gimme has two shops in town and one in steamboat landing. Armed with a map and an empty stomach, I started my tour at Carriage House Café on a rainy Saturday morning.

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Carriage Hose Cafe, Exterior

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Carriage Hose Cafe, Interior

Carriage House Café occupies that unique location on the space time continuum- where a wonderful restaurant also serves excellent espresso. Come to think of it, it probably stands there alone. I ordered a simple fair of scrambled eggs, toast and green salad, with a side of espresso. The barista on shift was Aaron Chandler, and that one oz ristretto he served me was like a rare aged brandy. I sipped it slowly and licked the bottom of the cup. The brunch that followed was well prepared and beautifully served.
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My order

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Aaron Chandler, Barista Extraordinaire

The place décor is very warm and welcoming and I felt like I could stay there all day, especially on that rainy Saturday. But, I had dragons to slay... and laundry to do. So off I went to my next station, Gimme Coffee on West State Street.

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Gimme on West State Street

Gimme is a staple in New York City, and I usually get a good straight shot in their store on Mott Street. A quick look around, I noticed a Mirage espresso machine. Gimme's technical manager happened to be on site and after chatting with him I learned that they have changed all their machines to Mirage. Something about temp stability and maintenance.

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The Mirage

They have their training center in that location as well.

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Training in progress

My next stop was Gimme's store on Cayuga Street. I ordered another shot and as the rain stopped, took it outside.

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Gimme on Cayuga St.

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Gimme Interior

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My Shot, it went down well

I finished the tour with a stroll along Cascadilla creek. A beautiful little stream with houses on both sides, which runs through an old part of Ithaca.

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Cascadilla Creek

More pics can be found Here
Abe Carmeli

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Marshall

#2: Post by Marshall »

Abe, I was born too soon. In my Ithaca years ('71-'74), the best wine was Pink Catawba, and the best coffee was a No-Doz tab.

Took my daughter to the Cayuga St. Gimme twice at her own graduation ('02).

Chris DeFerio, who created Carriage House's coffee program (and is no longer there), won the Millrock Latte Art championship at CoffeeFest last week. Chris started at Gimme. Actually, you may have judged him at the USBC.
Marshall
Los Angeles

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iginfect

#3: Post by iginfect »

There is another Gimme in Trumansberg, about 20 minutes north of Ithaca. Each August there is a bluegrass festival in Lodi, again about 20 minutes further away. Gimme is a big attraction for me and the baristas are very friendly and accomadating. I've been to two of their shops in Ithaca, and one, the smaller was very friendly. Their main shop was different, with the barista having an attitude with this old fogey 40 years her senior. The wineries and Gimme are part of the draw for me, more so than pitching a tent in a sheep pasture. Its only 2 1/2 hours away.

Marvin

Abe Carmeli
Team HB

#4: Post by Abe Carmeli »

Marshall wrote:Abe, I was born too soon. In my Ithaca years ('71-'74), the best wine was Pink Catawba, and the best coffee was a No-Doz tab.
Marshall, It's a different place alright. As to wine, there are a couple of wineries about 20 miles east of Ithaca. If you check the link on my post for more pics, you will see Six Miles Creek Winery. I bought half a case of Riesling and half a case on Ithaca Red there at bargain price.
Marshall wrote: Chris DeFerio, who created Carriage House's coffee program (and is no longer there), won the Millrock Latte Art championship at CoffeeFest last week. Chris started at Gimme. Actually, you may have judged him at the USBC.
Yeah I know Chris, I judged him at the USBC, but I first met him in New York. He actually started his career at 9th Street Espresso in the East Village, before he moved to Ithaca. Kudos to Chris, whatever he did at Carriage House has lasted long after he had left.
Abe Carmeli

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Mike White

#5: Post by Mike White »

Chris didn't work at 9th St!

Nevertheless, I'm so glad you made it to my hometown. Thanks for the recap Abe!

Abe Carmeli
Team HB

#6: Post by Abe Carmeli » replying to Mike White »

Hey Mike,

You should check this with Ken Nye, I'm talking 2005 or earlier, but I could be wrong... I still look for my car keys in the freezer sometime. :oops:
Abe Carmeli

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Mike White

#7: Post by Mike White »

He joined our team in 2001 or 2002. Before that he worked in Syracuse, NY. Never worked for Kenny :wink:

Check between the couch cushions for your keys, I think you may find them there. :)