Showing posts with label Heart Roasters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heart Roasters. Show all posts

Monday, August 31, 2020

Doubles Cafe and Bar

Subject: Doubles Cafe and Bar (formerly Colony Club)
Location: Washington DC
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

I can usually count on at least one trip to DC a year, and each year I try to give a new coffee shop a chance. This past visit I went out of my way to sample a place called the Colony Club. Named for the owners grandparents' flower shop called Colony Flowers, it was a popular and beautiful cafe that had both spacious back patio seating and a cozy interior.

Monday, July 22, 2019


Subject: Futuro
Location: Phoenix, AZ
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

There are a few days each year where going out for coffee is more about escaping the heat than getting a cup of joe. These last few days across much of the USA has reminded many of the glory of a great air conditioner, especially when cold air is pumping throughout a great coffeehouse.

Monday, January 08, 2018

The Wydown

Subject: The Wydown
Location visited: 14th St, Washington DC
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Long weekends on the road often make coffeeshops the perfect oasis for some leg stretching and refueling. Recently after spending some time relaxing with friends in Crystal City, my family was heading north towards NJ, when a (typical) major traffic upset sent us on an odd detour through the middle of DC. While driving through our nation's capital can be an inconvenience, in this case it actually made for a perfect opportunity to hit a coffee establishment that's been on my list for some time: the Wydown.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Scout and Co.

Subject: Scout and Co.
Location Visted: Scout O.N.E in Burlington, VT
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

While I tend to shy away from rankings (mainly due to their subjective nature that gets passed off as empirical data), I must put Burlington as one of my favorite locations in the USA. I have been to many centers of population, and none combine the majesty of local nature so well with the amenities of a slightly urban area. I can say with utter surety that there are few things that rival a sumptuous cup of coffee sipped along the shores of Lake Champlain. 

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.

Monday, February 22, 2016

4121 Main

Subject: 4121 Main
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Coffee is a lot like a flower: both are beautiful, regularly coveted and add a necessary spice to life. And like a great coffeehouse, one does not easily discover a great florist on every street corner. Fortunately for Pittsburgh, they can find both tremendous coffee and eye-catching floral arrangements in a small boutique called 4121 Main.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Pour Cleveland

Subject: Pour Cleveland
Location: Cleveland, OH
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Ohio and I did not begin on the best of terms. As a child, my only memories consist of a handful of weary suburbs and local landmarks from when we visited kin. As a young man, I saw the state as but a hurdle on my continental adventures to and fro. Finally in my 30s have I come to slowly appreciate and enjoy the overlooked treasures of the Buckeye State. 

Monday, May 11, 2015


Subject: Either/Or
Location: Portland, OR
WiFi?: Yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

One of Portland's many charms is its numerous, extremely-livable neighborhoods. While cities further east often have tight city lanes where space and parking are at a significant premium, in a place like Portland many neighborhoods offer the peace and parking of suburbs with the proximity of city life. 

Sunday, November 04, 2012

CC: Happy Coffee

Subject: Happy Coffee
Location: Denver, CO
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

If I were to move away from the ocean, it would be to a place like Denver. Somehow, the balance of mountains and dozens of great coffee spots easily compensates for the distance from a true oceanic shoreline. 

One coffeehouse that would add to my enticement is Happy Coffee. A local establishment that sits pretty on a corner location on Broadway, they provide great coffee from various coffee roasters like Four Barrel and Heart. One sunny morning, my entourage (the family, an old friend and I) made our way over to the coffeehouse early enough to beat the crowds and have the place to ourselves. The windows gave a spacious feel amidst the minimalist yet warm interior, with the coffee bar smack in the middle giving an air of performance, with the array of seating surrounding as a chic gladiator arena.

As for my coffee, I ordered an espresso of Four Barrel's Friendo Blendo and a pourover of a Heart Guatemalan (a Palencia I believe). The espresso, pulled short with a brown swirled crema, spoke of lemon, sugar, salt, cream and dark cocoa, all harmoniously dancing together to form a delicious alliance. The pourover also rocked, giving notes of wheat, apple juice, cascara, curried broth and vanilla; a pleasantly juicy and complex cup great for AM sipping. 

At the risk of sounding cliche', Happy Coffee deftly lived up to its name. If you happen to be in Denver or close by, stroll down for a great coffee experience.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

CC: Caffe Streets

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

In the world of coffeehouses, most shops look pretty much the same. What I mean is that right now most shops (especially in the same city) seem to use very similar layouts and themes. For all the shrinking the world is doing these days, it is still hard to find truly unique interiors. Of course certain staples like counters, tables and chairs tend to gravitate to a certain trendy uniformity, but it's surprising how many shops fail to set themselves apart with a rocking decor simply because they lack or leave out the creative process. 

But some places do their planning well and put together a memorable shop. When I was last in Chicago, I found such a cafe in Caffe Streets. While the exterior didn't scream anything different than a normal coffeehouse would, the interior drew the eye (and eventually the rest of the body) in with its layers of wood, well-placed plants and its one-of-kind counter that boasted not only fine equipment, but also several street lights that loomed becomingly over the baristas. 

As for the coffee, they served me Los Andes of El Salvador, a single origin espresso from Heart Roasters out of Portland, and a pourover of El Trapiche Colombia from Intelligentsia. The espresso, pulled medium-short with a brown crema, issued notes of lime, powdered sugar, a cigar-like sweetness, butter cracker and balsamic vinegar amidst seaweed salad; a delicious extraction that enamored me with its bright front. The pourover tasted of condensed milk, clover honey, bits of grass, some merlot, vanilla and a smidgen of dandelion, overall smacking of a mellow cup of caffeinated nectar. 

Of course no stylish cafe is complete without great coffee, and Caffe Streets held the full package. If you're in the lovely city of Chicago, swing by to the only shop that offers street light both inside and out. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

CC: Heart Roasters

What's does "CC" mean?

Heart Roasters
Location visited: Portland, OR
Free WiFi ? : yes
6+ [
see key]

We all like a good heart. Whether it be a cut-out valentine, everyone's favorite cardiovascular muscle or even the new, hip verb form (I use it to denote a degree of admiration below "love"), I have yet to meet someone who does not like hearts.

In traversing Portland, I found yet another Heart to love. In the lovely neighborhood of Kerns resides one of Portland's newest coffee roasters called Heart Roasters. In deciding where to visit while in town, word was that they were doing spectacular things with their coffee and with needing little other reason to visit, I dropped by.

Heart's cafe is all together pleasing to the eye. The shell is a simple black face with a large garage door that opens in the nice weather. Inside, the mix of vintage furniture and creative minimalism sets the mood at an oh so inspiring calm.

At their spacious coffee bar, they boast two espresso machines, a halogen siphon bar and pour overs. I settled on their Ethiopian Sidama via pour over, an infusion that threw out notes of bright blueberry, sweet hibiscus, mellow fig, lemongrass and a smooth body. This coffee was delicious by and large.

For my espresso, I settled on their Kenyan. Pulled short with good crema, the shots lent the flavors of dark lemon, mango, ginger and cocoa. A good balance of flavors and a great single origin espresso.

The tea I failed to officially note but I'm pretty sure its free leaf.

To put it simply, I definitely hearted my experience at Heart. If you are in the vicinity, dock it.