Showing posts with label Verve Coffee Roasters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Verve Coffee Roasters. Show all posts

Friday, December 07, 2018


Subject: Fourtillfour
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Car aficionados love coffee, so it's only natural that Scottsdale, with its rust-free climate, would have a car-focused coffee establishment. Opened in 2016, Fourtillfour is a cozy garage-like coffee shop that not only boasts a superb patio, but also hosts monthly porsche nights as well as a similar night for off-roading vehicles.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Coffee Bar

Subject: The Coffee Bar
Location visited: 1201 South St NW, Washington DC
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

While seasonal rain is welcome for purposes of irrigation and staving off drought, downpours during a day in the city sure make the day a little more challenging. Fortunately when recently I ran into this dilemma in DC, I had planned a visit to the African American Civil War Memorial Museum and a highly-reputed coffee stop nearby called The Coffee Bar.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Espresso a Mano

Subject: Espresso a Mano
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Despite its relatively close proximity, I don't make it to Pittsburgh as much as I would like. It's like an old college buddy that has a conflicting social schedule who lives too far away to visit without lodging. Fortunately, when the opportunity knocks to make a stop in the Iron City, I make sure to swoop in like an old chum (suddenly and without warning) for a brief respite.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

CC: Spyhouse Coffee

Subject: Spyhouse Coffee & Espresso
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

When a good friend of mine went out to Minneapolis back in 2010, he came back with a frustrated lament of not being able to find many good coffee spots in the city. Having since scoured the City of Lakes coffee scene in my own adventures, I found his complaint emptier by the coffee stop. 

One of the glorious and slightly accidental finds was Spyhouse Coffee & Espresso on Nicollet Avenue. I had done my research prior to my arrival in the city but I did not find contentment in my final list, so on the fly I did a quick internet search for coffee nearby and BAM, I spotted Spyhouse. The qualifications spoken on their website closed the sale and I soon found myself standing outside their rather spacious corner shop, complete with an outdoor seating area that could charm most to forsake the AC. Moving inside, the digs proved visually enticing as well, with jazzy furniture, great lighting and lots of interesting art pieces. 

The coffee comes from three excellent roasters: Ritual, Verve and Coava. I had Verve's Street Level via espresso and Ritual's Monte Copey Costa Rica via Cafe Solo. The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, trumpeted delicious notes of dark cocoa, lemon, ginger, coriander and flecks of spinach and rare steak. The Costa Rican delivered cranberry, vanilla wafer, romaine, peanuts and a little caramel, all combined in a mellow yet vibrant brew. Both drinks proved well-crafted and delicious.
I count my blessings that I was able to experience some great coffee in one of their outfits. Unlike my friend, make it a point to spy out a Spyhouse location when you're in Minneapolis.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

CC: Tazza D'Oro

What's does "CC" mean?

Tazza D'Oro
Location visited: Pittsburgh, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
6+ [
see key]

So many times little things brighten my day. A small baby making a forceful rolling R sound, a tiger spraying a heckler at the zoo or a correctly-executed high five all tend to put a shimmy in my step.

One moment of late that really perked up my afternoon was a coffeehouse in Highland Park called Tazza D'Oro. I had not been sad or down prior to arriving that fine day but the day had proven rather warm and I was a little worn out.

Noting the shared name to the Roman cafe of fame (though, having just visited Rome, I wouldn't say I was impressed with it), this Pittsburgh cafe is no cheap knock-off. I had heard from many credible palates that the coffee and skill was truly great, and I could feel optimistic (metaphorical) dragonflies lifting my weariness as I walked past their charming outdoor area into their lovely innards.

Standing amidst the stone tile floor, exposed wood beams and nice lighting, I settled on a Costa Rican for my drip and an espresso of (what I was told was) a custom blend, both from Verve Coffee Roasters out of CA. My drip delivered a bright, earthy coffee with the presence of mango, paprika, nougat and a darker body (the last characteristic could be more from time in the pump pot, but I emphasize that it did not taste stale). The espresso, pulled short with beautiful crema, popped with a cocoa, almond, molasses, lemon candy and rum. Both coffee extractions were well-prepared and delicious. The tea is free leaf.

As you may have deduced, my day got another ray of sunshine from my coffee but not from the caffeine (ok...maybe a little), but for the excellent flavors showcased. If you happen to be in Pittsburgh, stop at one of Tazzo D'Oro's locations.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Mugged: Panama Elida Estate [Verve Coffee Roasters]


What does "Mugged" mean?

Subject: Verve Coffee Roasters
Coffees Mugged: Panama Alto Quiel Boquete Elida Estate Dry Process Catuai
Rating: 5+ [see key]

The Bay area is one chunk of California I long to return to, as much has transpired since I have been there last in early 2007. Coffee has taken off quite rampantly, with lots of promise and interesting prospects (you can see a sampling of such things in many Bay-based blogs such as Man Seeking Coffee or The Shot).

Yet once again, I am tided over until I can make such a trip with some whole bean coffee from afar; this time, 12 ounces from Santa Cruz's Verve Coffee Roasters.

Verve's Panama Elida Estate happened to be
the third coffee from my partially debited GoCoffeeGo order and was definitely a coffee I was looking forward to. Not only has Verve won quite a few hearts with their stellar roasting and exceptional cafe operations, but the description of this particular Panamanian coffee truly had my mouth watering.

I received the coffee roasted-to-order from Verve in a simple brown bag (one of very few quality roasters that strays from the CO2 valve) about four days after ordering. I mugged the coffee in the usual three methods of french press, drip and siphon.

The french press initially exploded with a fusion of raspberry and date, followed by a little lemon grass and following in the caboose was a tinge of smokiness. I was tremendously pleased with not only the flavor but the smooth body of the coffee.

The drip also produced a strong, sweetly sour berry flavor with the subtle taste of date, but the cup had much more of a smoky flavor. Overall, there was a nice sweet and sourness to the whole cup and still a nice smoothness.

The siphon stood out with a still beautifully berry-licious cup of coffee, though there was much less of the strong sweet and sourness and more of a light, tea-ish body. This cup was also much earthier than the other two.

As I neared the end of this coffee, I really wished I had more of it to go around. If you're looking for an amazing, flavorful Panama, definitely try out this particular crop from Verve while you can.