Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CC: Blue Horse Coffee

What's does "CC" mean? Location visited: Pittsburgh, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
4+ [
see key]

Too often, coffeehouses seem locked into small retail spaces with no parking. Sure, the reasons can be rooted to lots of things like wanting to be trendy, needing cheaper rent or a fear of minivans. But in my simple observations, we exist as a country deeply in love with personal transportation and suburbia, thus it would seem to make sense for more quality cafes to move out of the city.

While I was in Pittsburgh, I was pleased to find the area had one such specimen right off Washington Rd/Route 19 in a cute shopping center mostly to itself. Blue Horse Coffee was its name, a venue that had lured me with news of superb coffee from Counter Culture as well as some skill with the portafilter. The building itself towered with high ceilings and was adorned inside with a Native American fashion (emphasis on horses) including lots of blues, tans and adobe.

This particular morning, the cafe was practically empty and so unimpeded, I ponied up to the counter and ordered a cup of their house, Crooks Corner House Blend, via drip, as well as a double espresso. The Crooks Corner backed in with notes of caramel, sunflower seed, cocoa, some almond (both in nutty and bitter characteristics) and some noticeable staleness. While the coffee had a good amount of positives, the bitterness and stale aspects definitely took away from it. The espresso, pulled small/medium with thin crema, proved a little too hot off the extraction and held flavors of bitter chocolate, lemon, sugar and a dark body. It seemed my espresso was average. The tea is Two Leaves and a Bud.

While I am happy to find another example of a well-respected suburban cafe, I was not floored with their coffee infusions (Counter Culture's product is usually up on their quality control). I either hit Blue Horse's baristas on a really bad day or they have a loyal following of over-hypers. I hope to make it back (relatively) soon to give it a second try.

If you happen to be in the area, give Blue Horse a ride; maybe you'll have better fortunes.

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