HomeRoast Digest


Topic: An Espresso experience (8 msgs / 174 lines)
1) From: Spencer Thomas
In DC for a meeting earlier this week.  Afternoon free on Wed.  Metro
over to Natl Geographic office to view "Gospel of Judas."  Kind of
inspiring to look at something that was written over 1600 years ago
(not a copy, but the real thing).  Still had some time, so back on the
Metro to Eastern Market stop (Orange/Blue line).  Out of the metro,
cross the intersection diagonally (lots of school kids having fun as
school had just let out) to Murky Coffee.  "Our mission is to serve
you the best d**n coffee in the district."  Wait for the guy in front
who is ordering 8 different foo-foo drinks (mocha this, latte that). 
Finally my turn.  "Double espresso for here."
My cup goes on top of the espresso machine in line with all the paper
cups for the foo-foo drinks.  I'm getting a  thick porcelain espresso
cup.  Watching the barista.  Great economy of motion.  Dump grounds,
hit grinder switch (grinds don't sit too long in the doser), flick
flick flick, sweep sweep, tamp (portafilter on the counter edge,
hand-held tamper), flick, tamp with twist, dump loose grounds, lock
into machine.  Repeat. :-)
When my cup comes up, first she runs some hot water into it to prewarm
the cup (you can bet this wasn't happening with the paper cups.) 
Portafilter loading was the same practiced routine, but after locking
it into the machine, she apparently prewarms the filter (flicked a
switch, nothing coming from the spout).  Eventually, two dark streams
of espresso start pouring into my cup.  She watches intently and cuts
it off when she feels it's done enough.  Result: about 1/3 full in the
cup, dark swirling crema on top, intensely flavored espresso, sweet
with some bite.  Three sips and I'm done.
Looked to me like they just bang-em-out for the foo-foo customers, but
when someone wants the real thing, they pay much better attention and
care.  I also tried their "classic cappuccino" -- in a porcelain
"coffee cup", "for here only, no substitutions."  Very nice, prettily
presented, great coffee-in-microfoamed-milk flavor and texture.
This place is not in the tourist area, being south and east of the
capitol, just off of Penna Ave (the direction away from the White
House).  It's very possible it's got the best coffee in DC, though.  
I did spot a storefront near Federal Triangle (about 11th and E St NW)
with a big sign saying "Coffee Roaster".  I was going the other
direction on an errand and didn't get to investigate more closely. 
Maybe someone else can take up the hunt there.
--
=Spencer in Ann Arbor
My Unitarian Jihad http://tinyurl.com/6valr)Name is:
Sibling Dagger of Mild Reason
What are you?http://homepage.mac.com/whump/ujname.html

2) From: Tara Kollas
Great post, Spencer.  The local places near me don't make straight espresso
well because they're so used to making the "foo-foo" drinks.  And don't you
hate getting stuck in line behind them while when you just want coffee?
Never fails, someone in front of me wants a skinny chai latte with vanilla
syrup and I just want a large coffee to go.
Tara

3) From: Greg Scace
Gotta say that Murky Coffee does a great job, and they promote 
coffee!  Nick Cho was MC at the US Barista Champs.  He and his minions 
organized the mid-atlantic Barisat Champs.  And Nick puts out 
www.portafilter.net, which is pretty cool and has cool podcasts.  Murky 
lives and breathes coffee - a great DC resource!
-Greg
At 02:51 PM 4/28/2006 -0400, you wrote:
<Snip>

4) From: Woody DeCasere
It's always great to hear about places so when you go to visit you can stil=
l
get great coffee, i was at the only local place to not be Corperate coffee
today, thier espresso is good, not great, the counterpeople (i refuse to
call the untrained baristas) dont really understand the concept of applying
pressure to the tamp, they tamp but not quite enough and it seems just to
level off the shot, the quality of the coffee is great they roast instore
with a really nice Diedrich Roaster. SO today i got a Breve (steamed 1/2 an=
d
1/2) with 2 shots, very nice, in fact i got a second. In the midst of all
the sh***y coffee houses out there it is better, but i wish they cared more
about the shot.
Woody
On 4/28/06, Greg Scace  wrote:
<Snip>
t
<Snip>
--
"Good night, and Good Coffee"

5) From: Sandy Andina
They have another one in Arlington, VA, in one of the newer,  
burgeoning sections of downtown (a small parking lot, but on-street  
is available). Same great service and coffee (they use Counter  
Culture from Cary, NC).
On Apr 28, 2006, at 9:19 AM, Spencer Thomas wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com

6) From: Spencer Thomas
I visited the Arlington location about a year ago, but it's harder to
get to on the Metro from where I was, and also I wanted to visit the
"home" location.
On 4/28/06, Sandy Andina  wrote:
<Snip>
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
--
=Spencer in Ann Arbor
My Unitarian Jihad http://tinyurl.com/6valr)Name is:
Sibling Dagger of Mild Reason
What are you?http://homepage.mac.com/whump/ujname.html

7) From: Steve Hay
On 4/29/06, Spencer Thomas  wrote:
<Snip>
I"m going to have to try this place (the one in DC), which is within walkin=
g
distance from where I work.  Awesome.  The only place I knew about in the D=
C
area that did coffee was Misha's down in Alexandria, with which I've not
been terribly impressed.
--
Steven Hay
hay.steve -AT- gmail.com
Barry Paradox: Consider k to be the greatest element of the set of natural
numbers whose description require maximum of 50 words: "(k+1) is a natural
number which requires more than 50 words to describe it."

8) From: Steve Hay
On 4/28/06, Spencer Thomas  wrote:
<Snip>
...
My cup goes on top of the espresso machine in line with all the paper
<Snip>
I went here yesterday and got an Americano, and  I noticed the same thing.
She looked proficient to me.  Shot duration was good, portafilter prewarmed,
latte art in the capps and lattes...  With places like this, it is amazing
starbucks can survive at all..  Anyways, I'm happy to find this place since
here pretty soon I should be able to walk there from both work and home.
Finally a place to grab some coffee and maybe learn some technique.
-- 
Steven Hay
hay.steve -AT- gmail.com
Barry Paradox: Consider k to be the greatest element of the set of natural
numbers whose description require maximum of 50 words: "(k+1) is a natural
number which requires more than 50 words to describe it."


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