Sunday, March 30, 2008

CC: Higher Grounds Cafe

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Higher Grounds Cafe
Location visited: Philadelphia, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 3+ [see key]

Of all the areas of Philadelphia, the Northern Liberties must have been one of the last places I've explored. Growing up, I had never heard of it and assumed the neighborhoods north of Center City were just boring residential areas. That was until about two years ago when I heard of the many coffeehouses and up-and-coming eateries housed within the area.

So one recent wintry day, I utilized some hang time with a good friend to check out Higher Grounds, the first coffeehouse I had heard of in the area. My friend and I were in heated yet friendly conversation on theology (which I will add, continued through the whole experience) that made finding parking in the very narrow streets a challenge. After some time, we finally found a spot somewhat close by and made our way over. The exterior displayed an eclectic multi-colored front with an inside to match in creativity and clever space usage. Personally, I really liked the decor and bohemian use of the historical architecture.

The coffee actually comes from an Alabama organic coffee roaster with a very similar name, Higher Ground Roasters. I had the Mocha Java (from the geographic area, not the flavor) which tasted fairly good (my notes failed to expound further as I was busy explaining a point when I wrote it down). The espresso was pulled averagely and delivered a so-so experience, with a noticeable char and an overall bland flavor (it was my buddies turn when I had the espresso). The teas were loose and seemed to consist of a good variety. And on a random note, they make a delicious hummus and cucumber bagel (they had other lunch/snack options as well).

With my first coffee experience in the Northern Liberties down, I hope to explore the other coffee establishments soon enough. As for Higher Grounds it seems to be a decent coffee establishment but as I was slightly preoccupied that day, I would like to return to better solidfy my opinion.

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