Thursday, March 31, 2016

Early Bird Espresso and Mercantile

Subject: Early Bird Espresso and Mercantile
Location: Frenchtown, NJ
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Right along Route 29 above Trenton exists some of New Jersey's prettiest scenery. Growing up within a 45 minute drive, I would love romping through Washington Crossing and patronizing towns like Lambertville with their antique stores, medieval weapon shops and local bistros. The area is also one of few spots in NJ with a long-standing quality coffee presence at Rojo's Roastery, a fact that kept Route 29 a common route for me. Fortunately, the slow growth of quality coffee has finally led to another tulip flowering about 15 miles north on 29 in Frenchtown, an outfit called Early Bird.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Astro Coffee

Subject: Astro Coffee
Location: Detroit, MI
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

The multi-roaster coffeehouse is one of my favorite iterations of a coffee-serving establishment. Poised to introduce its consumers to different coffee purveyors and offerings, it's much like the local taproom with an ever-rotating selection for the fanatical beer enthusiasts. And while not every city possesses a ton of such venues, I am fairly certain most possess at least one.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Espresso Bar

Location: Ann Arbor, MI
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

It's hard to imagine bookstores without a coffee presence. Though some would say the cafe element can ruin the bookstore experience, that it turns a shop into a library where coffee stains abound on new books, I personally love the idea of a having coffee amidst prospective literary acquisitions. Sadly there exist few book purveyors that host quality coffee establishments, so I tend to make few adventures to such places. Yet rest assured, worthy coffee does exist in certain bookstores, and if I had to pick my favorite to date, I would likely choose Ann Arbor's Espresso Bar.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

No. 7311

Subject: No. 7311
Location: Ventnor, NJ
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]

*Update 2.26.19*
They stopped offering light roasts and George Howell. Coffee has become a tad more lackluster (though the baked goods are still amazing).

One of the things I don't enjoy about the Jersey shore is the seasonal nature of many communities. Naturally summer boasts huge crowds, merriment and thriving beach islands full of life. Yet the fun ends in autumn when most shore businesses close up and the once-thriving towns become a place for polar bear plunges and boardwalk exercise. I do not deny that this might be the natural order of the universe, but I find no greater disappointment than knowing that I must wait until May for the next funnel cake or block of fudge.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016


Coffees Mugged and Rating [see key]:
- Toby's Estate: Brazil Santa Ines 5+
- Bold Bean: Finca La Esperanza 5+

Coffee subscriptions are becoming more and more a part of the coffee drinker's arsenal. Years ago, you were pretty unique if you were willing to subscribe to one coffee roaster's coffee for a several months, but now, with the numerous subscription services that offer all kinds of coffees from all kinds of roasters, it's increasingly conventional. Chances are that if you like coffee, there's a subscription out there that fits you just right.