Sunday, May 20, 2012

CC: Istria Cafe

Subject: Istria Cafe
Location: Chicago, IL
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

While coffee gets much of it’s spotlight in the morning hours and amidst the work day, I have to admit that some of the best coffee times I have are at night when I can slow down and relax with my coffee. Given a divine blessing, caffeine rarely affects my sleep patterns, so while some might unwind with a cup of chamomile, I’ll occasionally treat myself to an espresso or pourover as I sit in my ninja turtle footie pajamas.

Where the evening coffee treat really proves lovely is when I’m in a town with a coffee establishment with later hours. Chicago being one city with a plethora of cafes that are open when the street lanterns are lit, I made my way to a local coffeehouse called Istria Cafe right after clocking out of work that eve. Located at the Hyde Park Art Center, it proved close to my last stop on business.

The café has large open windows that allow the approaching patron to take in the café well before the door opens. Inside, the café is a mix of orange-cushioned walls and white counter space, complete with beautiful lighting and plentiful seating. For my order, I decided on an espresso of Intelligentsia’s Black Cat and a pourover of Counter Culture’s Ethiopian Idido.

The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, held notes of lemon, cola, bitter cocoa, a bit of pepper and a dash of dough; a good pull of Black Cat. The pourover plowed into my tongue like a mac truck of raspberry and tomato, with aftershocks of wheat, rose petals and potato skin. The pourover proved well extracted and quite delicious. They also serve gelato, free leaf tea and a decent food menu. 

Aside from some minor issues in finding a street parking spot (it is Chicago), Istria was a glorious stop that ended my work day and gave heed to my evening activity beautifully. Give Istria Cafe a hearty hello if you're nearby. 

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