Espresso in L.A.: how far have we come!

The refurbished original Starbuck's La Marzocco

The refurbished original Starbuck's La Marzocco

Perusing the NY Times I stumbled onto an article about a pretty hip coffee shop opening in Venice, CA. We are blessed to have some national coffee roasters, i.e. Intelligentsia (found locally at 21st Street Coffee & Tea, Aldo Coffee, Big Dog Coffee, Dozens and possibly others), Parallel 49 (Voluto), Batdorf and Bronson (Tazza D’Oro) and Counture Culture (Bluehorse), represented locally. Simpatico is proud to serve local roaster, La Prima, but it’s important for a prospering coffee community to have choice, and Pittsburgh is now well stocked. Anyway, taking espresso culture one step further, Intelligentsia is combining a little history (the original Starbuck’s La Marzocco GS2 espresso machine) with contemporary espresso chic (four Synessos), and opening a pretty cool espresso bar in Cali. Nice.

Advertisements

Farm To Table Conference, this Friday & Saturday

large_ftt_label2

For anyone looking for some weekend activity, visit the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and the Food To Table Conference. Tickets for the 2-day Conference and Food Tasting are $25 each. There’s plenty to make this worth your while, but especially consider the Friday Night Food Tasting. A quick overview: the conference “has teamed with local farms [and] local businesses that support sustainable agriculture and many leaders of the  that work for change within the Pittsburgh area.” From offering senior centers fresh produce to weekly deliveries to you, this is a wonderful opportunity in a single setting to see what’s happening to “keep it local” in Pittsburgh.

Coffee in the burgh: how far have we come!

Since moving here in 2000, I’ve watched the coffee community grow immensely. From a few scattered Starbuck’s to a plethora of indie shops, the crazy growth of Crazy Mocha (17 shops and counting), and over the past few years competition winning barista’s, Pittsburgh is taking it’s place in the upper echelon of specialty coffee communities. Case in point: Carl Hauptmann and Jake’s Java. This is cross-posted at AldoCoffee.com, and I thought it worth adding to our site for some more potential readership. Visit the Post-Gazette online: “Java anyone?” Carl and his son have turned a hobby into a small micro-roasting business, and the short video is nice insight into their joy, coffee, and roasting. Beaver Falls Coffee & Tea are another example of adding roasting to their business, and also worth a visit. With roasters like La Prima (our supplier), Kiva Han, Coffee Tree Roasters, Nicholas, Presto George, and others I’m forgetting, we have developed quite an expanded community. We hope others will learn to appreciate what we have: Pittsburgh is a coffee town!

Spring is here?

Woke up and HOT coffee is still in vogue. At 27˚ we aren’t moving many iced americanos. But, we’re looking forward to expanding fans of our signature drink (at least we like to think it is). So as things start to warm up and the sun shines, be sure to drop by for a treat, possibly the best iced caffiene (or decaf) drink in town.

We’re also going to introduce a few new smoothies this spring. The Dr. Smoothie acai (for anyone trying to pronounce it, try “ah.sigh.ee”) or Frobidden Fruit. The acai is blended with banana, and Forbidden Fruit features a mix of guava, white guava, and passion fruit. Both healthy and delicious.

On a final note, we heard there’s a simple solution to rising ocean levels: ShamWOW! Someone’s thinking.

Sniffing around for a pick-me-up

Wow, almost a month to post something new. I hope it’s because we’ve been busy, not lazy!

Gotta love the persistency of coffee lover’s attempts to justify our jones. Now there’s research that indicates simply smelling coffee can get you started. I can’t disagree with that. I’ve often thought someone could make a buck from an aftershave or perfume (“he may not be hot, but did you catch that aroma? grrrr”). Although it’s not as catchy, it appears one can “smell the coffee and wake up.” Personally, for satisfaction I need to wet my whistle with some java, but I’d like to see how this might test: ” They suggest pumping them (coffee aromas) into factories to help revive tired workers who can’t sip coffee while operating machinery.” On that basis, I wonder what productivity is like at a whiskey factory? For more insightful info you can share at your next cocktail party, sniff around coffeechemistry.com.

The sportswriters were chomping at the bit for this one!

So today’s Post-Gazette offers up the headline, “Steelers’ first step to tender Colon,” and you have to wonder — how long was someone planning this headline? I know I should concentrate on coffee, but I also appreciate writing, reading the newspaper, and a good cup of coffee. Today I got all three, a trifecta! Granted, the article itself wasn’t of major interest to me, but pictures, graphics, headlines then copy are the order people view the newspaper. A photo next to this headline would have ruined the moment…

Edible art… yes we can!

For quite a while Simpatico had the pleasure of offering the awesome cupcakes from Vanilla Pastry Studio. Unfortunately, the move to East Liberty ended the convenient trip to the West End and we no longer have cupcakes. BUT, here’s an awesome presentation I’m sure would have helped our business! I’ll have to rethink President’s Day in the future. Maybe there’s something to this, coffee and cupcakes in honor of the prez.