Essay – What I did this summer
Monday’s photo essay on my holiday coffee-drinking adventures featured only some of the great coffeehouses I visited during my holiday. Here is the complete list with some notes on each.
Mudhouse serves a mighty fine espresso and some very good coffees roasted nearby at Lexington Coffee Roasting. I enjoyed a Tanzanian peaberry with very pronounced blueberry notes.
- Saint’s Café
State College, PA
Saint’s serves up Intelligentstia Direct Trade coffees on a clover in my hometown; during my time there I was able to sample clover-brewed DT coffees from Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua, Rwanda and Honduras.
- Coffee Exchange
This Fair Trade roaster and community café is a CRS partner in the Fair Trade Coffee Project and a birthplace of Coffee Kids: co-owner Bill Fishbein co-founded the organization. The good folks at Coffee Exchange sent me on the road with a Coffee Exchange Backpack Bottle (thanks, Charlie!) and a very complex coffee from Papua New Guinea.
- Spro Coffee
This was bittersweet. The good news: Baltimore’s best espresso bar has now evolved into a unique coffee emporium that allows you to choose a coffee from among a half-dozen or so great roasters — Barefoot, Counter Culture, Intelligentsia, Origins Organic Coffee, Stumptown, etc. — and select the brew method — v60, Aeropress, Chemex, French press, vac pot, etc. The bad news: the good folks at Spro waited until after I moved to Guatemala to open a café just blocks from the house where I used to live! I had two outstanding Ethiopian pour-overs — Counter Culture’s Michicha Sidama natural and a washed Yirgacheffe from Origins.
- Peregrine Espresso
DC was a coffee wasteland when I lived there in the 1990s. Now the scene is beginning to burst, led by this cozy Eastern Market café, which was started by a former Counter Culture employee and brews up private-label coffee roasted by Counter Culture. I had a berry bright Michicha natural from Ethiopia from the brew bar.
Lines stretched out the door at Stumptown, where the people-watching was top-notch and I had out-of-this-world coffees from the El Injerto, Chicua and Buenavista estates in Guatemala.