NYC Coffee Scene
For those that don't know, NYC just so happens to be the place to get good coffee on the east coast. By and large, the east coast has been behind the specialty coffee curve, but things are starting to change. The city that never sleeps is now running on better tasting caffeine, due in large part to the vibrant specialty coffee scene and publicity from New York Times coffee and food writer, Oliver Strand. For those who live in or near the city and want a list of great shops to visit, Strand has contributed a list of coffee bars for the New York Times' extensive NYC guide app, The Scoop. The app is made for the iPhone, but they do have a web-based version. The coffee community continues to grow in NYC and this growth amongst baristas and coffee geeks can only mean better coffee for the everyday coffee drinker. The forefront of the coffee community is often seen at events that bring many of the city's baristas together for a good cause. Sam Lewontin (@coffeeandbikes), barista at Everyman Espresso and one of the nicest guys in coffee, has helped put together one of those regular events: TNT (Thursday Night Throwdowns) NYC. This latte art competition donates its proceeds to Bikes to Rwanda, an organization who provides cargo bikes to farmers who work on coffee cooperatives in Rwanda. Needless to say, there are some great things happening with the coffee scene in NYC which made my trip to NYC a couple of weeks ago all the more exciting.
Lucky for me, my wife enjoys a good cup of coffee so it wasn't hard to talk her into visiting some of the shops. Relying on recommendations from coffee friends, I was able to visit four coffee bars: Cafe Grumpy (Brooklyn), Third Rail, Everyman Espresso, and Gimme. We tried to visit RBC, but they were closed for Labor Day (Lame, I know; they should have considered my vacation). These shops showcased some of the best in specialty coffee. I had brewed coffee from three different brewing devices (Clever Dripper at Gimme, Chemex at Third Rail, and Kone at Cafe Grumpy) and one of the best cappuccinos I've had in a long while. The best brewed cup had to be the Guatemala Aragon brewed up by Tommy at Cafe Grumpy on the Kone (Yes, I am a geek and did verify it was the newest version). This cup had a real muted acidity that gave way to a sweet orange that I hadn't tasted in a Guatemalan coffee before. The best espresso based drink I had was served up by Sam at Everyman Espresso. This ~5oz capp reminded me of my old school coffee days when I would get a double short cappuccino and throw a raw sugar in....except this cappuccino wasn't bitter, was sweeter, and tasted like Sam had thrown in a chocolate bar when steaming the milk (so maybe it was nothing like those Starbucks capps I used to get). Add incredibly friendly baristas on top of this great coffee and you had one happy NYC coffee tourist.
Only had my camera out at a couple of shops but I've added some pictures from Third Rail and Everyman Espresso.
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$53.00Hario's stainless steel water kettle, the V60 Buono, has been spotted popping up in coffee houses and the kitchens of baristas for some time now. A detailed search on the web will reveal, for the moment at least, that the Buono seems to be widely accepted as the most useful pouring kettle available. What makes this kettle so popular amongst pour-over enthusiasts? Several reasons stand out.
First, the thin pouring spout enables greater pouring precision as well as a slower, more consistent and controlled rate of pour, both of which are very helpful in achieving a precise, prolonged extraction.
Second, the stainless steel construction and large 1 liter capacity contribute toward keeping up the brew temperature for the duration of the entire brew cycle.
Third, the ergonomics involved in the design of the kettle help to make using it much easier. This may not seem like much, but if you're brewing large batches of coffee and pouring for three or more minutes per batch, doing several batches of coffee will quickly become a chore if your kettle doesn't cooperate with you.
Combine all of these facets with the fact that the Buono is manufactured by Hario, a very popular name in the coffee-brewing community, and the kettle's popularity is easily understood. For best results, combine the Buono with a V60 Dripper or Chemex to get a truly exceptional cup of coffee.
Ever forgotten water on the stove until it evaporated... needed to consistently maintain the temperature of your water without constantly monitoring it... been frustrated that your old kettle could not be removed from its electric base for easy pouring and cleaning? The Pino Digital Kettle Pro is the answer to these water heating frustrations! With such standard features as a Digital Display with which the water temperature can be set and maintained, an easily detachable base for quick and safe pouring and cleaning, an easy-to-read water gauge, and "No Water" protection which automatically turns the kettle off when it runs out of water; the Digital Kettle Pro is one of the top kettles for heating water quickly and efficiently.
For most companies it's hard to find motivation for pushing out new products if you find yourself on top already. This is not, however, the case with La Marzocco. The Italian based espresso machine manufacturer continues to push the envelop when it comes to innovations in espresso machine technology. The newest line from La Marzocco continues their progression in the specific areas of temperature stability and pressure profiling. We've discussed the Strada Electronic Paddle version in detail in our Strada EP blog post and listing for the 2 Group Strada EP. The Strada Mechanical Paddle employs technology similar to the Mechanical Paddles on other La Marzocco models but with a few new features including individual pressure gauges, digital PID control, and dedicated group boilers.