Showing posts with label tazo tea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tazo tea. Show all posts

Sunday, November 15, 2009

CC: Port City Coffee Roasters

What's does "CC" mean?
Location visited: Portsmouth, NH
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 3+ [see key]

hen at conferences, the prospect of finding good coffee even moderately close by is low. But nonetheless, I have to search (it's in my blood).

Traveling the city of Portsmouth didn't offer much hope as I had received no recommendations amidst the beautiful city, but I still clung to hope. Finally, I ended up settling on a cozy-looking place called Port City Coffee Roasters located in a shopping center a little off my beaten path.

Strolling in, the cafe struck me as a basic place and somewhat deli-esque in feel (flourescent lights, not much seating, etc). I ordered their Bed and Breakfast blend, a smooth medium roast with the flavor of Ovaltine and in totality, not a bad cup. The espresso was pulled long (almost a tiny americano), served in a paper cup and possessed little else besides a milkshake-ish head and a bitter bite. The tea is Tazo.

Getting out into Portsmouth proved nice but Port City Coffee Roasters did not add as much to the trip as I had hoped. If you're looking for a fair coffee in Portsmouth, stop by Port City.

Friday, March 27, 2009

CC: Redcat (their lounge)

What's does "CC" mean?

Subject: Redcat's lounge
Location visited: LA, CA

Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]

oing to the theater has a very rushed and uncomfortable feeling to it, probably because I'm always late, I usually have to look swanky and the seats usually are made for a much shorter fella than I.

But when I last walked Los Angeles, I got word of a theater sounding somewhat the opposite. The Redcat in downtown LA had a reputation not only for good shows, but for their lounge renowned for serving up good coffee.

Needless to say I made my way over to investigate. After finding parking far away (which is absurdly priced to boot!), I walked into Redcat's beautiful spacious lobby and found the lounge about 200 ft from the entrance in an outcove on the left. The space is a beautiful wood-paneled space with a nice mix of natural light, art and seating.

The coffee they serve is from Espresso Vivace out of Seattle, a welcome addition to the coffee variety of LA. Unfortunately, my drinks hardly did justice to the bean's reputation. The espresso possessed hints of nougat and condensed milk but was also pulled really long and lacked the pizazz of a Espresso Vivace shot. The drip coffee was horrible; a stale brew with strong hints of exterior oil with but only hints of mild sweetness. The tea is Tazo and they also serve alcohol.

While I didn't see a show at the Redcat, the interior (lounge included) did make the theater seem a like a nice place to take in a show, with its chill atmosphere and open feel. But nonetheless, it's a shame to have such excellent coffee and not use it to its full potential (maybe I was there on an off day...).

So if you're in LA and looking for a show, try out Redcat and maybe try the coffee.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

CC: Ridgewood Coffee Company

What's does "CC" mean?

Subject: Ridgewood Coffee Company
Location visited: Ridgewood, NJ

Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

The land of NJ that lies to the northeast is a land fairly different than the rest of the state. The number of roads and highways obviously is much greater and the proximity to New York City makes the place a congested nightmare during the waking hours of most days.

With such a large amount of traffic, you would think there at least a few good coffee places, especially with New York City's ever-improving coffee scene. But alas, few good places have sprung up in northeast NJ.

Yet every now and then, a prospect pops up, the most recent being a place called the Ridgewood Coffee Company in the lovely town of Ridgewood. Rumor had it the place was doing great things with great coffee, so the first time I needed to go through the area via automobile, I made sure to make a stop.

I arrived in Ridgewood one brisk weekday morning, finding the coffeehouse sitting pretty on a corner along a main stretch of town. The outside had a collection of plastic porch chairs (some had blown away) and the building itself had but one large window. Inside, the seating forks on either side of the coffee counter in what was a fairly dark room with most of the light coming in from the window.

The coffee comes from three coffee greats: Ecco, Novo and Intelligentsia. With such an arsenal, the fact that Ridgewood can show them off on a Clover makes good sense. I had the Novo's Colombian via Clover which came out lovely with the sweet taste of pear and dough; an overall mellow and wonderful coffee. The espresso, which was pulled so-so (the barista was definitely half asleep), expressed a tart lime-ish tang in front followed by notes of cane sugar and (sadly) a strong amount of char on the back end. The tea is Stash and Tazo.

Sadly, the whole coffee experience was soured by the two baristas working that day. Not only did they both give me their coldest shoulders when I first came in (they were still slowly setting up) but despite a completely empty shop, I had to initiate every inch of my order (including payment!). Even after I sat down 5 ft away from the counter, they were loudly grumbling about how they needed more money as well as other woes in their life. Normally, I give a slip in customer service the benefit of the doubt, but this topped the charts as the worst I've ever suffered. Hopefully I just experienced a negative anomaly (so it seems, as others seem to have had good experiences).

Thus in the end, I drove away from Ridgewood let down with the overall experience but pleased that a coffeehouse with potential of blooming has taken root in the northeast of NJ. While I'm not up in that neck of the woods a lot, I do hope to make another stop in soon, with hopefully better results.

If you're nearby, give Ridgewood Coffee Company a try; I pray your encounter plays out better then mine.