Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Rating: 6+ [see key]
Astronavigation is a skill severely lacking in our robot-dependent world. I recall many times as a child staring up at the night sky, trying to use the stars for directions. As a young adult, I remember my first unobstructed night sky while camping in the New Mexico desert, a sight that instilled a divine awe of the majesty and enormity of the universe. And thus, after lots of star gazing, I've learned that looking for dependable basics is key, like using the Big Dipper to find Polaris so one can head north. Similarly with coffee, a few key signs in a coffeehouse, like their roaster and reputation, can provide a directive beacon for some great coffee.
The great tales of great brews from roasters like Ceremony Coffee are what guided me to Pittsburgh's Constellation. Arriving one sunny morning, I walked into their minimalist cafe alive with the sounds of students and freelancers. The sun was streaming in through their large front windows, dancing off the wooden floor and the buzzing coffee bar.
As for my coffee, I ordered an espresso of Mass Appeal and a filtered infusion of a Colombian. The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, smacked of chocolate, blackberry, almond butter, sugar cane, arugula and blood orange, proving syrupy and smooth. The drip doled out a smooth, sweet river of honey, oats, caramel, strawberry jam and rose tea within a medium body.
Constellation adds nicely to the bejeweled sky of Pittsburgh coffee stars. Next time you roll into town, seek out this beacon of coffee bliss for a great brew.