What's a Coffee Commentary?
Subject: Ithaca Coffee Company
Location visited: Ithaca, NY
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]
It really comes as a surprise to me how much influence pretty architecture, decor, and design has on my bearings when I come across businesses, especially (and obviously) coffee establishments. It's always refreshing to see a local, regional, or even national establishment put creativity and pizazz into their decor. Not to mention that a business that puts you to sleep with its drab walls or eye-burning decor needs to spend a little time rethinking the importance of first impressions.
So when I pulled up to Ithaca Coffee Company, I was very used to the flat brick exterior as there's not much one can (cheaply) do with the outer face; it's the inside that should shine (though they had very nice red awnings). Yet when I walked in, I was a little perplexed, as the sign said "Ithaca Coffee Company" but the coffee establishment in my midst said "Cafe Quik-E Mart." The place was very much filled with all kinds of products, even beer towards the back of the space. Upon further inspection of the company, it seems they produce a whole lot more then coffee so consequently the space serves dually as a cafe and store (at first, caught me as weird but now it seems to be a wise service of convenience). To their credit, the place has a decent look and moderate seating, but I think it could use a bit more design love.
Onto the product, ICC roasts a number of varieties of coffee, with a good handful that look pretty promising according to their website. In-house, the coffee sampled nicely with some floral and berry accents in the coffee (I recall it being the Ithaca blend). The espresso was also not bad, as it possessed a nice fruitiness in the cup and a barista that seemed to have qualified skills. I failed to note the tea.
After leaving, I gotta say I kind of envy Ithaca. They not only have Gimme! but on days where they want something different, they have ICC; especially if they need to grab a some cheese and a 6-pack.