Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Hotel RL + Victrola Coffee


Many people expect a decent cup of coffee in the morning when they stay at a reputable hotel. Is it too much to ask for a hot cup of joe that doesn't taste like old cigarettes? Experience would echo with a resounding "yes." Sadly this expectation for good hotel coffee has been eroded over time, with tons of mediocre (at best) coffee experiences regularly tarnishing the mornings of coffee lovers across the globe.

But fortunately, some hotels are exceeding expectations in terms of coffee excellence. Take the Hotel RL, who not only offers great coffee from Seattle juggernaut Victrola Coffee Roasters but they have actually gone as far as to build a legit coffee bar in many of their lobbies. Having the opportunity to stay at their Baltimore location this past weekend, I was able to experience this hotel rarity firsthand.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Pretty Bird Coffee Roasters

Subject: Pretty Bird Coffee Roasters
Location: Yardley, PA
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

I once knew a somewhat unpleasant fella from Yardley. It wasn't that he tried to be off-putting, he just never had anything to contribute except woe and headaches. Sadly, due to the fact that he was the only constant association with Yardley, I subconsciously allowed my love for this river village of Pennsylvania to grow cold over the years. Thankfully news of a decent coffee roaster surfacing on the main drag sparked a return one afternoon to sip some coffee and give Yardley a new chance.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Mugged: The Barn

Subject: The Barn
Coffees Mugged (coffees were not rated on the normal scale due to small amount mugged) [see key]:
- Nano Challa, Gera, Ethiopia
- Amaca - Los Anayes, Cauca Colombia
- La Isla, Naranjo, Costa Rica
- La Montana, Narino, Colombia
- Fazenda Um, Minas Gerais, Brazil
- Nguguini AB, Kirinyaga, Kenya
- El Diamante, Intibuca, Honduras

Lots of coffee roasters extend across the continent of Europe, but only a handful have a strong reputation internationally. One of these roasters is The Barn Coffee Roasters in Berlin, a German roaster that has been growing in reputation since their inception in 2010. Sadly I have not set foot in Europe during the past 8 years, so my interactions with their coffee have been fleeting and subject to luck in finding them here in North America.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Black Swan Espresso

Subject: Black Swan Espresso
Location: Newark, NJ
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

Having driven through Newark hundreds of times this past decade, it has been a constant pang of grief that the city possessed little (if any) in the way of great coffee. Yet despite my fruitless searches, I never gave up searching for a long-lost caffeinated diamond in the rough, and finally after ten years of combing the internet, I found Black Swan Espresso.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Sawhorse Cafe

Subject: Sawhorse Cafe
Location: Williamsport, PA
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Some towns have all the luck. While I am not one to let envy overtake me, I definitely get a little green in the eyes when I find a town has more than one great coffeehouse. With most towns operating with zero quality shops, it is truly great fortune when a small geographic area gets two (or more!) great coffee operations.