Good espresso I've had away from home - Page 11

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
User avatar
Chert (original poster)

#101: Post by Chert (original poster) »

Ridgefield, WA: LAVA JAVA.

Upon a recommendation from a HBer, I stopped in en route at Lava Java. Good coffee, roasted by Stumptown with Hairbender but also rotating single origin espresso. Mine was the Costa Rica - Montes de Oro. I would stop by again if my path takes me through there.

Here's another: Olympia, WA: Olympia Coffee Roasting Co.'s Cherry Street Cafe and Roasting Works.

They're making fine coffee. I now know what a cherry chocolate taste treat Big Truck espresso can be. I brought some home and with the experience was able to enjoy better shots than from the other two bags I have had. They were also using a Clover for single origin made to order coffee.
LMWDP #198

User avatar

#102: Post by Marshall »

I wouldn't expect anything less. Lava Java's owner, Phuong Tran, was the 2005 U.S. Barista Champion, and she is a well-respected consultant in the industry.
Los Angeles

User avatar
Chert (original poster)

#103: Post by Chert (original poster) »

I know there are threads about the two places I recently visited, but I thought I would post my own experiences here.

Vancouver, BC: Elysian Room 590 W. Broadway. The pull Black Cat. Probably only the fourth of fifth time I've had it in an espresso bar.

49th Parallel 2152 4th Ave W. Epic. I was hoping to see the Idrocompresso, but the barista was not aware of there ever having been one at a 49th parallel location or what an Idrocompresso is.

Dose 1517 W. Broadway. Origins espresso. Took me back to the old Seattle Hines Public Market coffee. The barista was kind enough to add to the list of espresso places to check out in Victoria, my subsequent stop.

Victoria, BC: Habit 808 Yates. Pull an Origin's espresso blend, a really pleasing, balanced, and memorable shot. I chased it with a French press cup of El Salvador Santa Ana. Also very nice. That shot goes in the running for best of 2011 for me personally currently at the number one spot.

Fernwood Coffee runs The Parsonage. So much great coffee and so little time. I had to walk out without a bag of that excellent blend (1936 espresso), but I was very happy to have tried it.

Discovery Coffee 664 Discovery. Also a roaster and even has some direct trade coffees apparently. The very kind barista was willing to suggest a drink at my request so he poured the Brazil Nossa Senhora de Fatima, iced. A tasty accompaniment to a game of bananagrams with my family next door in their lounge space.

From a recommendation I received at Discovery, the final spot we made it to was Caffé Fantastico King's Road at Quadra where the roastery is on site. I saw two roasters and enjoyed the aroma of fresh roast coming forth.

The one on the list for which I had insufficient time was 2% Jazz which I mention because it was recommended by persons who made the other good to great recommendations and because I am very hard pressed to think of any cafe with a name to equal that one.

I noticed that a regional barista championship will take place in Victoria quite soon. If only Vancouver and Victoria are represented, the competition will be fierce. Just the density of coffee spots in those two places was quite striking; I wonder if there are more per capita than in Portland or Seattle. I stayed out of the chains, but there are really quite a many.
LMWDP #198

User avatar
Chert (original poster)

#104: Post by Chert (original poster) »

Seattle, WA: Milstead and Co. located at 770 N 34th St. in Fremont is a place for great coffee. I wish they had been pulling Fruit Bat the day I stopped by since there was a sign for it on their shelf of fine coffees from the likes of Coava, Stumptown, and Intelligentsia. I had a shot that the barista (I think it was the owner) told me was from Coava, an Ethiopian, i think Kochere. Quite good. The space is also really nicely designed. If nearby in Fremont, I will return there.
LMWDP #198

User avatar
Chert (original poster)

#105: Post by Chert (original poster) »

Plymouth, WI:
We bumped into this café over the weekend, where we had the opportunity to audit the assets, especially the liquid assets, of the Exchange Bank Coffeehouse in Plymouth, WI. Nice pastries and very good milk drinks both past review: Leon Rabuck, proprietor and barista, thus becomes only the second barista to succeed at the challenging task of pleasing my sweetie, a exceedingly tough coffee auditor if there ever was one, with a coffee prepared in a public venue on a par with that which she is habitually served at the Hotel Canard - otherwise known as my house - the other successful barista being Tim Taylor at Ipsento, the host of our last Chicago coffee get together.

Leon has been pulling shots since the early 90's in Plymouth, a pretty little town near the beautiful North Kettle Moraine area where delightful forest hiking can be found. He uses a four group LaMarzocco and Jollys to pull Alterra Coffee - who appear to be the areas roaster of choice being the Milwaukee-based "home team".

Exchange Bank has panini, soups, and frozen assets in the form of gelatos. As the name implies, the shop occupies a charming century-old bank building, with many original fixtures and architectural details. You can enjoy a secure drink inside the vault, or next to the fireplace in the presidents office. Recommended.
...this endorsement was by earl grey_44 in another thread, but I thought it should be in this list.
LMWDP #198


#106: Post by toenail »

Portland, ME

Bard Coffee. Owner/Operators with a serious passion and it shows.


#107: Post by slim »

Dallas TX
Drip: darker roast, heavy body probably from Sumatra, turquoise colored cups, nice atmosphere
White Rock Coffee: darker roast of single origin Brazil-classic big, rich flavor

Napa CA
Ritual: relatively light-roasted and bright single origin espresso


#108: Post by kkillebrew »

Chicago - Lavazza at the Drake Hotel. The drip they give you in the rooms is Lavazza and it was so good I immediately went down to the Lavazza bar and checked it out. I ordered myself a cappuccino and a latte for the wife. My expectations were not high as the help seemed to be Starbucks-like, all too young.

But I was wrong. The drinks were really good and I discovered Lavazza coffee. The Grand Espresso and Top Class beans are my new favorite beans.

User avatar
Chert (original poster)

#109: Post by Chert (original poster) »

+1: Bard in Portland, ME

Bar Harbor, ME: Trailhead Cafe. I finally had a decent lever pulled espresso. They use Batdorf and Bronson Dancing Goats pulled Lungo so quite a departure from the lighter, sweeter ristretto to normale I go for. So the experience served as a challenge to pull longer shots and keep them palatable. They have a Nuova Simonelli Mac lever machine.
LMWDP #198


#110: Post by JonF »

I was really surprised how much I liked the espresso at Old Soul Co. in Sacramento. I send them a note to see what they were brewing, and received this reply. "Our espresso blend is a 65% Brazil single origin bean from the Cerrado region and 35% Dry Processed Ethiopia Harar that is triple picked by the most respected coffee producer/ exporter in the Region...You can get the blend online through our website..It's called the "Sauce"."