Rating: 6+ [see key]
Like the gates of Mordor, so stands the George Washington Bridge guarding passage of Interstate 95. Every time I know I must cross, I literally set off in the wee morning hours like a hobbit trying to avoid orc-like traffic. Thus far, I've been fortunate with this method and aside from sacrificing precious sleep, it has had but one major detraction: it takes me past Neat Coffee in Connecticut long before they open up.
After numerous such early morning misses, I decided to risk a different route one morning in order to make a stop at their Darien location. Lo, fortune again shone upon me like the light of Eärendil and I arrived with little delay at their gorgeous fountain and courtyard shortly after opening. As if the exterior wasn't enough to gush over, the interior beamed richly with its attractive style and appealing design.
Of their self-roasted coffee, I settled upon their Kenya Gachatha for both my morning espresso and pourover. The espresso, pulled short/medium with brown crema, smacked of cranberry, chocolate, buttermilk, croissant and sugar, making for a super sweet and bright infusion. The pourover also expelled fireworks of smooth acidity, with notes of nougat, blueberry, corn, spinach/seaweed and orange juice.
All in all, I was fantastically pleased with going out of my way to finally make a stop at this Connecticut gem. If you happen to be going through Darien or Westport, make it a point to hit Neat Coffee for a fine cup of joe.
These wonderful folks made this visit possible in part. Make sure to check them out!