Showing posts with label northern liberties. Show all posts
Showing posts with label northern liberties. Show all posts

Saturday, January 03, 2009

CC: 1 Shot Coffee

What's does "CC" mean?

1 Shot Coffee
Location visited: Philadelphia, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

*Updated 2/3/11

I always find it funny how businesses can pop up unnoticed under your very nose. Just this past week, after a Sunday brunch at Bar Ferdinand with my wife, cousin and her husband (a unique and fairly sumptuous experience, though I realized that day that I really don't like poached eggs or hollandaise sauce), a quick stroll down Liberties Walk exposed a new coffeehouse called 1 Shot Coffee. Needless to say I begged my compatriots to stop, to which they so graciously agreed.

The exterior of the place is a beautiful tan brick with red and gray metal accents as well as few sharp pieces of outside furniture. Inside, it looked a little like Pee Wee's Playhouse with a touch of vintage and no talking inanimate objects (great place to hang).

The coffee actually comes from Intelligentsia out of Chicago, a renowned coffee roaster that serves a pretty mean brew. The coffee served was sadly nothing like I expected; sure it had a decent brightness, low acidity, and smooth body but it was pretty stale and overall lackluster. The espresso was pulled long, displaying a cocoa-ishly sweet pair of shots lacking a decent bite. The tea is free leaf and they also have a host of other menu options.

While it's obvious that 1 Shot is aiming for quality, it seems that they could use a bit more refining with a few basics. With such a fine location and enticing set-up, it would be sad to see them settle. Thus, if you're around the Liberties Walk in search of a fair cup of coffee, give 1 Shot coffee a shot.

Updated 3/21/10

This is an update a little overdue, as I have been meaning to put this up for well over a month now. I was able to spend a good chunk of an afternoon here as of late and had a much better experience.

The Intelly house blend this time produced a light coffee with hints of condensed milk, a bit of pepper and a pleasant smoothness. Not the most complex of coffees but still good.

The espresso this time around was a nice, short/medium Black Cat pull: tangy lemon and semisweet chocolate with hints of paprika and blackberry, all within a syrupy body and topped with decent crema.

Give 1 Shot a true shot if you have not yet.

Updated 2/3/11

While this is not a re-review (which is due because of the following news), in the past year they have switched over to Stumptown Coffee and have moved to a far more elegant facility around the corner (I know, the picture is old too). Their food menu is also considerably larger. Stay tuned for a more extensive update.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

CC: Higher Grounds Cafe

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Higher Grounds Cafe
Location visited: Philadelphia, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 3+ [see key]

Of all the areas of Philadelphia, the Northern Liberties must have been one of the last places I've explored. Growing up, I had never heard of it and assumed the neighborhoods north of Center City were just boring residential areas. That was until about two years ago when I heard of the many coffeehouses and up-and-coming eateries housed within the area.

So one recent wintry day, I utilized some hang time with a good friend to check out Higher Grounds, the first coffeehouse I had heard of in the area. My friend and I were in heated yet friendly conversation on theology (which I will add, continued through the whole experience) that made finding parking in the very narrow streets a challenge. After some time, we finally found a spot somewhat close by and made our way over. The exterior displayed an eclectic multi-colored front with an inside to match in creativity and clever space usage. Personally, I really liked the decor and bohemian use of the historical architecture.

The coffee actually comes from an Alabama organic coffee roaster with a very similar name, Higher Ground Roasters. I had the Mocha Java (from the geographic area, not the flavor) which tasted fairly good (my notes failed to expound further as I was busy explaining a point when I wrote it down). The espresso was pulled averagely and delivered a so-so experience, with a noticeable char and an overall bland flavor (it was my buddies turn when I had the espresso). The teas were loose and seemed to consist of a good variety. And on a random note, they make a delicious hummus and cucumber bagel (they had other lunch/snack options as well).

With my first coffee experience in the Northern Liberties down, I hope to explore the other coffee establishments soon enough. As for Higher Grounds it seems to be a decent coffee establishment but as I was slightly preoccupied that day, I would like to return to better solidfy my opinion.