Thursday, August 12, 2010

CC: Big Dog Coffee

What's does "CC" mean?

Big Dog Coffee
Location visited: Pittsburgh, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
5+ [
see key]

I have a negative association with the product line of Big Dogs. Everyone is entitled to their own tastes and mine never favored the hackneyed phrases and witty(?) dog pictures. Yet sadly, every time I hear the phrase (or a variation) of "Big Dogs," I think of the clothing line.

Fast forward to a nice evening at Pittsburgh's Hofbrauhaus (try the Oktoberfest Schweinshaxe if you like good pig and have a herculean appetite) when a leisurely stroll and some nice coffee was needed to work off a Germanic food coma. Lo and behold my party stumbles on Big Dog Coffee. I had heard of it before but I hadn't expected to hit it in my trip to the city given that our travels during coffeehouse hours hadn't been in the area. And while my lack of plans had nothing to do with my aversion to the name (I am not so childish, I swear), I couldn't help but expect to find a large picture of a black-and-white canine over the mantle.

Thankfully, the associations were curbed right there. The cafe beams a sharp contrast of a tan building, black awnings and big windows, with the interior spinning 180 degrees to a color scheme of pink and kiwi as well as what felt like a real homey decor.

Big Dog serves Intelligentsia, of which I ordered a doubleshot of Black Cat and a cup of the Costa Rican Flecha Roja via pump-potted drip. The espresso, pulled short/medium and with a nice crema, displayed dark chocolate, lemon, a bit of ginger plus tinges of smokiness and tobacco; a pretty good display of Black Cat. The drip had notes of pear, cocoa, black cherry, nutmeg, grass and celery as well as a slightly old/stale character. Aside from the age, it was good coffee. I did not note the tea.

I would say my disdain for the word combination of Big Dog(s) has been lessened by this keen cafe. Sniff out Big Dog Coffee if you're nearby.

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