Subject: Espresso a Mano
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Rating: 6+ [see key]
Despite its relatively close proximity, I don't make it to Pittsburgh as much as I would like. It's like an old college buddy that has a conflicting social schedule who lives too far away to visit without lodging. Fortunately, when the opportunity knocks to make a stop in the Iron City, I make sure to swoop in like an old chum (suddenly and without warning) for a brief respite.
On my latest trip into Pittsburgh, I found myself standing on the doorstep of a well-reputed coffeehouse called Espresso a Mano. Situated in a cute Lawrenceville neighborhood dotted with local enterprise, the coffeeshop jumps out with it's red-letter sign and copious front windows. Within, the shop has beautiful brick walls, a gorgeous counter and lots of sunlight. Numerous patrons were imbibing their drinks as they either ticked away at their computers or shot the breeze with their compatriots.
The coffee comes from various roasters, such as Coava Coffee, Forty Weight Coffee, and Commonplace Coffee. That fine morning, I ordered an espresso of Counter Culture's Big Trouble and a pourover of Verve's Finca Candelaria Guatemala. The espresso, pulled short with a burgundy crema, blasted out notes of bittersweet chocolate, lemon, blood orange, salted caramel and kale, proving sweet, smooth and balanced. The Guatemala pourover blessed my tongue with various flavors such as cornflakes, passion fruit, nougat, sesame seed and a touch of tomato, making for a delicious, multi-faceted brew.
Pleased with my coffee, I lingered a while and then found my way back to the road. Like all great coffee stops, this layover at Espresso a Mano come to a close too swiftly. If you happen to be passing through lovely Pittsburgh, make sure to go out of your way for a coffee at Espresso a Mano.