Archive for January, 2011

Mad Mocha: A Week on the Stumptown Trail

January 13, 2011

1. Stumptown at the Ace Hotel:  This is Joe Baum food theater for the PoMO set. Baristas look like a Greenpoint drama class doing a read through of a “Deadwood” spec script.  Fortunately, they have a few more practical skills to go with the props and costumes.  Oh, and the lattes are flawless.

2. Café Pedlar LES: Yes, I’m on the Stump this week, and it’s not a bad way to get your bean juice. However, Café Pedlar’s rumpled ersatz emo rocker staff is a bit too inconsistent with the pull.  I’ve had some good espressos here, but this time, the result was a bit on the burnt popcorn side.  A followup latte was just as bitter but also frothy and fat laden.  In short, Stumptown beans are not quite getting the treatment they deserve.

3-4. World Bean at LGA: Who would have expected some of the country’s best coffee in the putzy part of the Delta terminal at LaGuardia?  Color me a convert. High end machine, well trained staff and cherry picked beans made for my best pair of lattes of the week. As good outbound as it was inbound four days later.

5. Whitney Museum finally worth visiting:  Hipster coffee, the city’s current top espresso machine, and the crema that is Danny Meyer hospitality make this the most impressive cup of coffee I’ve ever had in a Brutalist building. It’s still an awful space, and I have my doubts about how much the forthcoming USHG restaurant can warm it up, but for now, this is the best place to get caffeinated on the UES.

Honorable mention:

Lattes from Kato’s jerry-rigged coffee setup in the “Green Hornet.”  I haven’t tasted one, but they sure look great in 3D.