Thursday, April 23, 2009

Brooklyn Espresso Bar Run

Big 10K run this morning in Central Park. Like the old days, but slower.

By noon I was walking around in Brooklyn, looking after those famous bars Isabelle and Jeff were talking about.

Earth Day today and no better place to sense this but in Brooklyn. The city seems to be packed with environmentalists, green boys and girls, veggie's and many of them with tattoo's, piercings and loose Urban Outfitters styled clothing. A bit like the East Village, but purer.
Not only Earth Day, but also rainy day.
I took the L train/subway in Manhattan without rain. I get off in Williamsburg/Bedford Avenue and it's raining. 4 hours later I'm back in Manhattan and it's dry again. Hm....?

Coffee now ; that's what this site is about.
Heading to N 4th street I immediately saw this Oslo bar at Roebling street. Oslo at Roebling ; sounds nice. They have a second bar on Bedford.
Half industrial setting, which seems to be kinda typical these days in the States.
Coffee of the house comes from Caffe Vita, a Seattle based roaster. $2,50 for an espresso sounds expensive for this location. Very Italian taste. I miss some brightness. I understand espresso comes from Italy, but we're 2009 now. I remember that also in Stockholm lot's of bars had these kind of espresso's. Copenhagen was way different.
The bar is a nice cool concept with, during my visit, 80's music.
They sell whole beans : the Thor House Blend, Freya Dark Roast and Odin Espresso Blend.
I forgot about the equipment, sorry.

Wandering through the streets of Brooklyn I ended up at Urocafé at 277 Driggs Avenue, a place nobody else is visiting except for Jake, and that's a mistake, cause here I had my best cup of espresso in 2 days of running in and out every hipster bar in the Big Apple!
They brew coffee from the Wisconsin based roastery Ancora. Finally a well balanced cup with a clean finish and no need of a glass of water to rinse the mouth. Clean equipment, good temperature control, the right cup and this Barista Adam pulling single or double shots on his Simonelli Aurelia 3-group. Well done.

Time for the all famous El Beit bar on 158 Bedford Avenue.
(photo from TimStyles, thank you for that)
As in the most of bars it looks more an Internet cafe than an espresso bar. I guess 70% of the clientele in these bars are surfing the net or working charts or something. I presume that's how they get these bars filled, with an exception for those who refuse laptop use inside (Grumpy for example).

I was willing to order a Herbazu Clover coffee, but was excited to taste the Epic Espresso. We had this 49th Parallel Roasters coffee at Caffenation a couple of months ago and I was curious to see how different it would come out. The young Barista failed on his first shot and seemed to be happy about his second try, although his tamping techniques didn't look too professional to me. It was not bad, but again too strong for me. I prefer regular espresso's in stead of double ristretto's.
The equipment : La Marzocco, coupled with Anfim Super Caimano's and Nuova Point cups.
Very annoying was the music. They had a very bad set up and the garage guitar stuff that came out of the speakers was not helping to build good atmosphere. A typical thing I noticed in a lot of cafés and espresso bars all over New York and Brooklyn, with the exception of some, like Ost. Price for the espresso $2,25.

This was my espresso bar run for today. Tomorrow we fly back to our home country.
This week in the USA I had a very exciting, productive and learnful run.
I hope you enjoyed the reports and maybe some of you can use this material for future coffee adventures. Good luck.

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