Location: Houston, TX
Rating: 6+ [see key]
In Texas, the only thing that exists in a diminutive state is winter's chill. Especially the further south one travels, temperatures seem to stay above 50 F most of winter. But naturally when visiting the brand new Marriott at the George R Brown convention center complete with Texas-shaped pool, I found the temperature well below freezing, mirroring the icy Philadelphia I had just left.
But on the bright side, I can usually depend on the warm, outstretched arms of a great coffeehouse even on the coldest Texas day. Such was the embrace of Houston's Blacksmith, a welcome sight one morning for breakfast and coffee. The shop sits in a standalone building with a spiffy front porch and spacious interior. Inside, the shop buzzed with patrons going to and fro, drinking in their coffee ravenously to fend off the unusual frost.
Purveying coffee mostly from local Greenway Coffee along with a guest roaster here and there, that morning I decided upon an espresso of Greenway's Scrimshaw blend as well as a pourover of a Ruby Roasters Ethiopian. The espresso, pulled short/medium with brown crema, blasted out delicious notes of cocoa, vanilla, clementine, strawberry, lemon and mineral water. The pourover also proved sweet, bright and delicious, with notes of raspberry, blackberry jam, hibiscus, dulce de leche and a touch of tomato in a light body.
Needless to say, Blacksmith lived up to its hype as an excellent coffeehouse well worth the stop. If you're in town, definitely make a bee line for Blacksmith.