Showing posts with label pitman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pitman. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Endgrain Coffee Bar

Subject: Endgrain Coffee Bar
Location: Pitman, NJ
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Update 11/16/2022: Coffee roasting and bar skill is definitely worth a visit.

Update 11/14/17:
In the past two years, Engrain has started roasting their own coffee and offering a growing line of different coffees, ranging from light to dark. 

It's no secret that small towns on the east coast have a devastatingly small amount of great coffee. Chalk it up to the high cost of real estate, or to the low patronage from the give-me-drive-thru-or-give-me-death majority. Whatever the cause, it remains a daunting task to find a quality brew outside of major city limits.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

CC: The Ground House

What's does "CC" mean?

The Ground House
Location visited: Pitman, NJ
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 3+ [see key]


Often when I wander the streets of large cities, I relish the fact that by simple probability, a good coffeehouse could be nearby. Granted, my luck has not led to many random finds but the numbers still tell me that hope still exists.

Yet when I'm in small towns where I've already pegged two or three coffeehouses, I'm not really on the lookout for another (the probability does not exactly thrive). And on those exact moments where you look not for something, you often find it (such as in love and in suffering). So was the case in my most recent trip to Pitman, a small town in NJ that already sports two coffeehouses (one decent, one fair) where I was pointed to a third coffeehouse called The Ground House.

Naturally, I ventured over. The exterior is but a tan and maroon flat face with a window having the appearance of what I would deem a jazz club. The interior is a two room venue that reflected quite the dichotomy; the main room (the one with the food) holds a reddish decor with nice mood lighting while the adjoining room with their substantial stage is bright white and green with rather bleh fluorescent lighting.

As per the barista's heavy discretion, the coffee comes from "Millville," which from my basic powers of deduction means either they get their coffee from Kaffe Magnum Opus or a secret roaster untold (Millville isn't that big either). Either way, their house coffee (an Ethiopian) was concocted on a hot plate brewer and had some bright notes with some smoothness, but overall it proved boring and not too savory. The espresso lent similar effects, as it held some enjoyable elements of acidity though overall it lent more heavy char and made for only a fair cup. The tea comes from David Rio.

To say the least, I was happy to find the place even though some of the facets of their coffee seem to warrant small improvement. No matter, give the Ground House a try if you happen to wander the streets of Pitman looking for coffee.

Monday, December 08, 2008

CC: Bus Stop Music Cafe

What's does "CC" mean?

Bus Stop Music Cafe
Location visited: Pitman, NJ
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 2+ [see key]

Though music venues, vintage music, and cafes are popular places for various people, I've never seen all three rolled into one spot.

That is not, until I stumbled upon the Bus Stop Music Cafe (henceforth referred to as the BSMC) in Pitman, NJ. I had heard from a friend that a new coffee location had arisen in Pitman and after a drive around, I deduced it to be the BSMC. On the outside, the venue looks fairly plain with a few outside tables. The interior is rather large, with records and CDs around the walls of the store, the cafe to the back right, and a large amount of seating in the front 3/5 of the store. Overall, a nice physical set-up for the three facets except for a fairly low ceiling for a music venue.

My admiration fell short at the coffee. The coffee comes from a decent roaster in Deptford, NJ called Talk N' Coffee, specifically their Black Cat as it's the only coffee BSMC serves. Served up off a hot plate coffee brewer, the drip proved a tad stale though also noticeably sweet and smooth. To be frank, the espresso scared me. Even though the barista informed me that he was new to this, he then filled the portafilter with pre-ground Black Cat out of an old Maxwell House can, left it untamped, and then pulled. The espresso consequently smacked of cardboard and bitterness. I do not recall the tea.

Granted BSMC is new to the cafe scene but it seems they have a lot of work to do with their coffee skills. Nonetheless, if you're looking for a local music scene, used music store and some fair coffee, then give the BSMC a try.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

CC: Casa De Coffee

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Subject: Casa De Coffee
Location visited: Pitman, NJ
(28 E. Holly Avenue)
Free WiFi ? : maybe
Rating: 4+ [see key]

Few towns do I despise driving through more then Pitman. The whole center of town is a 25 mph speed limit and full of police more then happy to pull you over for the slightest infraction. Granted, I'm sure a great deal of careless motorists ruined the law enforcements' attitudes, but regardless of the past, a town's police should not strike such peril into the hearts of good natured motorists.

Ironically, having lived near Pitman some six years, rarely did I ever pass into Pitman with intentions of staying (downtown revitalization works slooooooowly in South Jersey), that would be until recently, when the town opened up it's first coffeehouse, Case De Coffee. I had heard of it from a friend, that it was a small operation that shared the building with a hair salon (my friend expressed a great deal of displeasure of the smell of hair while sipping his espresso...).

Needless to say, I set out with the woman (fiancee') to see for myself. Not bothering to take down directions, figuring that it would be smack-dab on the Main St, I found myself weaving all over the place to find it tucked away on a random, one-way street near the main strip (I even had to ask a native for direction!).

After finding random street parking behind the building, we headed over to the venue. The outside gave a quaint impression, all too well confirmed by the dark brown interior complete with petit tables and minimalist menu. The place gave an overtly open feel to it, mainly due to the cozy space and high ceiling.

The coffee comes from Crescent Moon Roasters, a phenomenal roaster out of South Jersey. The coffee at Casa De Coffee came from pump pots and tasted very fresh (constant replacement of coffee: a chore but a must). The espresso also sampled quite scrumptiously, with a buttery-chocolaty finish. Didn't observe the tea.

Aside from the good product, Casa De Coffee seems to have an uphill battle for visibility, parking, and return business due to its location. Hopefully, they can move onto Main St and give surrounding locals a good reason to risk the traffic ticket.