Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CC: Corning Museum of Glass Cafe

What's does "CC" mean? Location visited: Corning, NY
Free WiFi ? : yes

5+ [
see key]

Gorgeous museum layouts truly capture my admiration, and the Corning Museum of Glass did surprisingly that. I showed up expecting a warehouse-ish display of fancy old glass containers only to find an engaging collection of history, art and practical knowledge.

And the surprises did not stop there. As I walked into the cafe to get a glass of water, I noticed that they had a two group lever espresso machine, specifically a Mirage Idrocompresso, a machine I rarely see in serious coffeehouses never mind a museum cafe. I asked the barista if she knew how to use it, to which she confidently assured me she did, so I indulged and ordered an espresso.

Using Gimme Coffee's Piccolo Mondo (surprise number two: a museum using good coffee!), I must say I was floored. The barista not only handled the machine with grace but she pulled a delightful, short pair of shots with good crema and flavors of whiskey, sugar cane, chocolate chip cookie and but a smidgen of bitterness on the end. The single downside was that she only had paper cups.

The cafe also offers three drips; a medium roast, a dark roast and a decaf of Gimme Coffee. While I didn't go for any drip this trip, the pump pots seemed often replenished and I can at least vouch that Gimme's medium roasts are usually quite delicious (not a fan of their dark roasts and I don't drink decaf enough to recommend). I did not note the tea.

Walking away, I got my last surprise in that the barista told me that the museum plans to make this experience even better (I think that included ceramic cups) when they reopen their coffee bar in the near future (apparently it is closed for winter).

Putting it all together, I have to say that of all my cultured experiences, this is one of the few times where good coffee practices found a way in. If you're around Corning, even if you don't go into the museum, give the cafe or coffee bar a visit.


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