Showing posts with label Rochester. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rochester. Show all posts

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters

Subject: Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters
Location: Rochester, MI
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Driving south from Saginaw, a plethora of gems exist on the way to Detroit. One is Frankenmuth, Michigan's Little Bavaria, a town with tons of tourist gold like the Bavarian Inn and Zehnder's that provide plenty of delectable eats, tourist-rich charm and German-oriented amusement. Another great spot is the city of Rochester, an area not only regarded as one of the better places to live in these United States, but also home to Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

CC: Joe Bean Coffee Roasters

Subject: Joe Bean Coffee Roasters
Location: Rochester, NY
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Of the towns I've frequented in Upstate NY, Rochester is by far one of my favorites. The city holds a lot of nifty sites, good memories and despite the exodus of some large companies like Kodak, the city still seems to grow in its appeal with every visit I make.

One relatively new development (at least to me) was Joe Bean Coffee Roasters. Located down the street from the George Eastman House, Joe Bean is on the bottom floor of a medium-sized office building. The cafe opens up into an extremely warm shop, with a huge island counter allowing for many points of barista-customer interaction plus lots of small tables orbiting on the perimeter.

As an accomplished roaster, they offer a nice variety of beans, and on this visit I sampled a Nicaraguan via pourover and an espresso of their espresso blend (Dolce Vita I believe). The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, held notes of lemon, dark cocoa, nutmeg, ginger, white wine, a pinch of salt and a little balsamic vinegar; a tart yet smooth espresso. The pourover (via Hario) doled out red grape juice, snickerdoodle, vanilla cola, a twang of mango and a dry sauvignon blanc, which in the end made for a vivaciously juicy and sweet coffee.

To frankly summarize, Joe Bean proved one of the better coffee establishments I've been to in NY state. If you're in Rochester, give Joe Bean a shot.

Friday, February 13, 2009

CC: Boulder Coffee Company

What's does "CC" mean?

Boulder Coffee Company
Location visited: Rochester, NY
(Alexander St location)
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]

While I am tremendously aware that good interior design is hard to come by, I still find it a bit depressing to find so few good examples of it in coffeehouses. Sure, other things factor in (location, economy, etc) but with so many resources out there for the design-challenged (like IKEA and blogs like Apartment Therapy to start), it just seems so wrong to sit in a boring white wall cafe adorned with Walmart art and coffee puns.

But recently I stumbled upon a swanky coffee pad in Rochester called Boulder Coffee Company. The place sits in the downtown area of Rochester in a rather large brick building. The inside opens up into a beautiful facility with high ceilings, candle-lit tables,vintage furniture, a ceramic-tiled stage for performers and a beautiful collection of eclectic art. And judging by the website and nice stage, it seems that a lot of local talent go through their doors.

They roast their own coffee and seem to have a fair amount of offerings. I had the Boulder Blend, a fair coffee with hints of honey but with strong shades of char, not to mention a little stale; can't say I was thrilled with it. The espresso actually proved slightly unique in a good way; the shots were pulled long and the closest thing I can pin the taste to is like chocolate milk with a nice acidity and only a hint of char. Besides the coffee and tea (the tea I forgot to note), they also serve wine, beer and a full food menu.

While I can skim little from the actual intended coffee practices from the website, I feel that Boulder seems on the right path. I definitely would like to give Boulder another try the next time I'm in town. If you're nearby and looking for decent coffee and a beautiful place to sit, give one of Boulder's locations a try.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

CC: Java's Cafe

What's does "CC" mean?

Subject: Java's Cafe
Location visited: Rochester, NY
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]

It always seems that the local places (especially the good ones) hide, tucked away in spots off the beaten path and not really conducive to a multi-event evening (a stellar coffeehouse near an amazing culinary venue stands as a rare sight). Yet occasionally, a coffeehouse manages to find a nice place to roost.

One such well-placed coffeehouse is a rather large place called Java's Cafe. The coffeehouse sits in what seems to be a rather nice part of the city adjacent to the Eastman Theatre. The outside of the cafe possesses a clean look with not much in outside seating at the time (since it was cold, they retracted it) and nice front windows. The interior gives the impression that the place once was a pub of sorts as it has a central counter, a large amount of dining space, and a downstairs complete with two billiards tables (mind you, beware of the steps needed to reach them; they're a bit steep). And not only did the place prove full of character and local love, but they even have a lunch counter/deli and a whole wall dedicated to free leaf and coffee off to the right of the shop.

The coffee comes from Java Joe's Roasting Company, a coffee roaster out of Binghamton, NY. I had their Kenya AA (brewed on hot plate brewers...yucker), a mellow sweet blend that had potential but since it had been sitting, I couldn't get at it. The espresso, though pulled a bit long (barista skills were half decent), had a nice acidity and smacked of cocoa, all with minimum char. The tea is free leaf.

While the coffee and espresso weren't bad (could use a bit of improvement), I'm sure the convenience of the facility (and maybe the food too) probably really strengthen business. If you're in the proximity, give Java's a try.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

CC: Spin Caffe

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Subject: Spin Caffe
Location visited:
Rochester, NY
(Park Ave location)
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]

Most of my life, I've never had a good image of Rochester. As a boy, my father would make trips there, usually in the winter, talking about how he loathed the drive from Philly (a good 6 hr hike) as well as the bitter winds off Lake Ontario. My two younger brothers helped confirm it when they went up a couple years ago for business purposes, not speaking highly of their time spent in the city.

Thus, when I planned on meeting some pals from Bozeman, MT for lunch and coffee in Rochester, I wasn't thrilled. I did my homework and found little promise of decent coffee where I was headed and to top it off, I only had a limited window to catch up with my comrades so I planned on not worrying to much about finding decent java.

So after finding my caballeros east of Rochester, I followed them and a friend of theirs (a local) into the city of Rochester, a change from our original plans to eat where we had met outside the city. I didn't really pay much attention to where we were headed as I was busy chatting with a good friends, one of whom had become a barista after I last saw her and totally lost herself in the search for coffee wisdom (that and she's a chatterbox :) ).

Eventually we found ourself off of East Ave on a hip-looking row of restaurants and shops. Still not thinking we'd find a good coffeehouse, I stood mouth agape when I noticed a sign that said "coffee roaster" when I got out of the car. We walked past the sign hung on the side of the Spin Caffe on our way to get lunch down the street at a Mediterranean place called Sinbad's, where my friends enjoyed sumptuous pitas and I suffered through a wickedly vinegar-ized cornish hen and parsley salad.

Of course on the way back we stopped at the Spin Caffe, especially with my one barista friend and another buddy who had recently dove into the world of coffee roasting (it appears he's self-taught himself well). The exterior was nothing too exciting; lots of plastic lawn furniture surrounding the brick building that boasted a really nice big storefront window. The interior was much nicer, with a variety of chairs and tables surrounded by some nice decoration with a clever spinning theme.

Spin Caffe roasts their own coffee, which upon some minor study looked fairly well-roasted. I ordered the Mexican Organic, a light roast which seemed a bit too light as I sipped it, proving somewhat bland yet with some minor earthiness to it. The espresso seemed decently pulled and the shot tasted fairly sweet with a nice acidity, though it had a hint of cardboard on the back end. My friends added a little bonus feedback: my friend's
(the barista) latte was poorly presented (milkshaky) and my one non-coffee-crazy-but-loves-mochas pal really liked his (just the right amount of chocolate). I noted the kinds of teas and they seemed to be all free leaf but I'm not 100 percent sure.

Overall, I have to say I sit on the fence regarding Spin Caffe. On the one hand, they seem to have it together roasting-wise (despite the bland coffee, something I've had at amazing places too) and a decent espresso operation. On the other hand, they seem like they need a little more refinement behind the espresso machine. I guess I will have to make a few more trips before I know for sure. In the meantime, if you have any wisdom or experience with the place, please do comment.