Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Rating: 6+ [see key]
There are two things all Jersey residents agree upon: a deep loathing for the NJ Turnpike and a noticeable respect for the musical heritage of Asbury Park. Once recognized only as a quiet beach resort, the town now tightly holds a landmark reputation for producing stellar rock acts. Today many triumphant musical acts still frequent its bars, and thankfully a similar thirst for excellence has finally spilled into the local coffee community, specifically at a joint called Cafe Volan.
Up north on other business, I took the opportunity to finally try out this reputed gem. Located on Bangs Avenue in a large-windowed shop, Volan is a shop that blends love for the beach with a severe affinity for great coffee. The shop boasts plenty of seating amidst a chill atmosphere of surfboards and sunlight. The bar itself boasts a beefy array of gadgetry, not to mention a nice collection of coffees.
Personally starved for some delicious coffee that afternoon, I ordered an espresso of Counter Culture's Hologram and a cup of Square One's Ethiopian Adado prepared via drip. The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, doled out sweet berries, rock candy, cocoa nibs, kale and rye toast, making for a delicious infusion. The Adado also made high marks, with notes of strawberry, chocolate, hefeweizen, birch beer, vanilla and a touch of seaweed.
While Cafe Volan has not yet the reputation of the Stone Pony, I would put them both down as places one must visit when in town. Even with the oncoming winter, the NJ coast is a beautiful place that compliments well with a hot cup of quality coffee. To put it simply, get rolling to Volan.
These wonderful folks made this visit possible in part. Make sure to check them out!