Showing posts with label VT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VT. Show all posts

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Duchess Coffee

Subject: Duchess Coffee
Location: Brattleboro, VT
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Never have I encountered a situation where every lodging option, down to the least appealing motel, were all fully booked, but such was my fate one Friday night in the city of Brattleboro. I was traveling east towards Maine and I hit a wall of fatigue after driving from Columbus, Ohio that morning, so I sought a place to crash for over an hour to no avail. Finally after giving up, I found a parking spot in a shopping center, reclined my seat and snoozed until the sun awoke me. 

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. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

CC: Black Cap Coffee

Subject: Black Cap Coffee
Location: Stowe, VT
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]

Of all the coffeehouses in Vermont, one of the few coffeehouses roasting their own beans is a chic cafe called Black Cap Coffee Roasters in lovely Stowe, VT. Having spent a good day roaming around the town, picking up some great Maple syrup at Nebraska Knoll and visiting the Trapp Family Lodge, a stop at Black Cap was just what the doctor ordered.

Situated in the main part of town, the cafe sits in a gorgeous maroon, house-like structure, with huge windows flanking the front door, providing ample light inside. The interior itself proved warm in temperature and ambiance (a must for a ski town), with lots of tans and browns, local art and huge tables.

As for the coffee, I decided upon an espresso of their espresso blend and a cup of their Ethiopian Burundi via drip. The espresso, pulled to a medium volume with blondish-brown crema, danced across my tongue to the notes of blood orange, black pepper, cocoa, sea salt and a slight woody character; a decent profile that only proved obtrusive due to a little excess heat (temperature) and bitter flavor. The drip of the Burundi held some pleasing qualities of tart grape, soda bread, cloves, raisin and milk chocolate though the brew itself had been siting a bit and as such, some flavors of staleness proved prominent.

Though both my espresso and drip had some negatives, I thought a lot of it a possible one-time glitch and myself maybe a victim of a badly timed visit. Overall though, I did enjoy my experience at Black Cap and hopefully the place holds much more than what I experienced. If you're in Stowe, give Black Cap a go.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

CC: Birchgrove Baking

Subject: Birchgrove Baking
Location: Montpelier, VT
Free WiFi ? : no
Rating: 6+ [see key]

I've been to my share of state capitals, and of them all Montpelier has to be one of the fairest. Sure it might be small, but what it lacks in size it makes up in character.

Driving through the streets of the city one overcast day, I stopped by a local bakery reputed for offering a superb cup of coffee, a place known as Birchgrove Baking. Situated a bit off the beaten path in a cozy one-story structure, the bakery exudes a warm, inviting aura with a few bar tables and a homey-yet-slightly eclectic decor inside.

As for beans, they offer Vermont Artisan Coffee, a fine roaster out of Waterbury. Looking to sample their wares, I ordered an espresso of the espresso blend and a drip of Mane's Blend. The espresso, pulled to a medium volume with a brown marble crema, held notes of ginger, bittersweet cocoa, a little lime, some salt and a bit of sweetened clove, proving to be a well-balanced extraction with a nice body. The drip displayed flavors of sweet tea, pear torte, bubblegum, Italian bread and sugar cookies; a pleasantly smooth coffee designed to accompany a well-baked treat.

After consuming my libations, I grabbed a few pastries and hit the city roads. And since the pastries were likened to angelic carbohydrates from hallowed hearths, I can say that Birchgrove did a mighty fine job all around, coffee and confection. If you happen to be in Montpelier, give Birchgrove Baking a visit.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

CC: Panadero Bakery

Subject: Panadero Bakery
Location: Burlington, VT
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Every town should have a great bakery. While I'm sure many dieticians would disagree, in my opinion a local operation that makes quality baked goods is a must for any enclave. And of course you can't have a great cookie/muffin/croissant/bear claw without a great cup of coffee. It's that simple folks: great baked goods and great coffee.

Sadly, few towns have what I would call a great bakery. But when I do happen upon one in my travels, I get worked up like a little kid on Christmas morning. Such was the case as I giddily trekked from downtown Burlington to the off-the-beaten-path and well-reputed Panadero Bakery. The building is impossible to miss with it's mustard yellow exterior accented by a patriotic red and blue. Inside, the interior is much less loud, with a demure collection of woods, soft colors and a vast parade of available pastries.

Looking to their coffee, they offer Vermont Artisan Coffee and Tea Co. and that fine day I ordered an espresso (blend unspecified) and a Sumatra Gayo via drip. The espresso, with a medium pull and marbled crema, extolled lemon, apple, buttermilk biscuit, cocoa and a velvety texture with a tingle of salt mixed in with the sweetness. The drip delivered notes of honey, maple syrup, traditional Italian bread, Dr. Pepper and some malt, providing a sweet with a few deep notes.

Overall, both infusions proved utterly delectable and well worth the visit. And while the quality of a venue's baked goods really doesn't factor into my rating, the cherry on the proverbial cake was their pastries, which gave the final confirmation that Panadero is indeed a great bakery. If you happen to be in town, definitely stop by.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

CC: Espresso Bueno

Subject: Espresso Bueno
Location: Barre, VT
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Part of the charm of Vermont is the prominence of small towns and cities that dot the landscape. Places like Barre, a small mining town that even in their industrial peak only held about 10 thousand folks, really beget a simple yet extraordinary existence. 

Like every town and city should have, Barre is home to a reputedly great coffeehouse called Espresso Bueno. Operating out of a brick store front on Main Street, the cafe provides a warm environment of orange and black, full of soothing woods and comfortable chairs. 

As for their beans, they sling coffee from Vermont Artisan Coffee out of Waterbury. The day of my visit I ordered an espresso of their espresso blend and a pourover of their Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. The espresso, pulled short with dark brown crema, trumpeted notes of smooth chocolate, salty grapefruit and a little basil amidst an overall balanced flavor and pleasant mouthfeel. The pourover remitted accents of asian pear, pound cake, hot cocoa, a little oregano and a pinch of wheat; a delicious coffee within a medium body. 

To find that Espresso Bueno proved as scrumptious as their advocates had advocated was that extra bit of sunshine to make a day truly sparkle. If you happen to be in or around Barre, make sure to stop by.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

CC: Maglianero

Subject: Maglianero
Location: Burlington, VT
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Of all of the close by places that have remained elusive all of my long years, Vermont has remained at the top of my list. No matter how many vacations, road trips, business ventures and detours I have attempted, nothing could get me close to its quaint borders. 

But finally a beacon of light blazed onto my schedule and my wife's fancies, as I was able to escape with my lovely bride to the Green Mountains and gorgeous landscape of Vermont for a long weekend. Of the many things we did there, one of them was hang out in Burlington and hit a few stops of note. One place in particular stood out quite boldly, a coffeehouse very much off the beaten path called Maglianero. 

Located south of the main stretch of town, I made my way over with the wife to find a very huge warehouse space that seemed to serve a host of needs. A home base of sorts for every breed of cyclist, their interior conveys a love for bikes along with a communal space that is not just for those riding cycles. 

Aside from various visually stimulating art pieces and eclectic furniture arrangements, Maglianero primarily caught my eye with their focus on quality coffee, serving up local Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea. For my visit, I ordered an espresso of their house espresso blend and a Clever Coffee Dripper of a Kenyan Coffee. The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, smacked of apricot, caramel, a sniff of cigar, lime and cascara, all proving a beautiful and juicy symphony of flavor. The Kenyan tasted of pancakes, hot cocoa, sweet curry, kale, pulled pork and chamomile; a bright, brothy and sweet brew that made me wheelie.

Maglianero is yet another establishment that makes me wish I rode a bike more frequently. Make sure to grab the address before you adventure out, as you might miss this hidden gem if you're not careful. No matter the wheels you travel upon, give them a stop.