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Winter Winter
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Attended University of Texas at Austin
Lives in Houston
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Winter Winter

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Winter Winter

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After more than six months working in Northern Virginia, I finally made the time to get down to Misha's, a coffeeroaster/roaster I'd heard about from several baristas.

The first thing I noticed were the blends on the menu, and then the Bunn brewers, and maybe that coloured my expectation, because I wasn't feeling that first taste of the single origin they had on, a Costa Rica.

Once the cup cooled and I got the right level of sugar in it, I found it acceptable, but I was not turned into a fan by that first brew. They do offer a pour over, but I did not want to wait for it because the wifi seemed slow.

They do have tables and outlets, but, like I said, the wifi seemed slow, and you have to pay for the parking right outside.
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Unlike my Starbucking, for which I can use the Starbucks website to identify new locations, my new passion for experiencing independent coffeehouses comes with a challenge, that of finding them.

I do a lot of googling, of course, but I also try to remember to talk to baristas whenever I rewisit a city, to ask if any new coffeehouses have opened that I should see.

3 Bean Coffee was mentioned to me a few times over the last few months, and I finally found the time to get over to that part of the city. 3 Bean is a Counter Culture house, so I'll probably stick with Ceremony as much as possible, but I do want to point out that they use a brewer that I've never encountered, a Silverton...

https://www.espressoparts.com/silverton-coffee-tea-dripper-with-stainless-cone-filter-16oz

One thing about 3 Bean that might encourage me to return is that it has wifi, outlets, tall tables, and an easier parking situation than some of the other cafes.
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I stumbled across Neat Coffee a couple of years ago at the Joe Pro Shop in Manhattan, and I enjoyed the brew so much that I made a mental note to try to drop into Neat's cafe when I had the time.

Turns out this is more of a restaurant than a coffeehouse, and probably not a great place to hang out and work, at least not during busy periods, but the coffee is worth trying out.

And actually, downtown Westport is a neat little town, so if you are heading up I-95 through this part of Connecticut, definitely pop in and check out Neat.
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Espresso a Mano gets a thumbs up for carrying Coava, my favourite roaster in the country, although I was disappointed that they only had it, the Kilenso, on espresso when I wisited.

I asked the barista if he could do an Aeropress, but he did not even consider the option, so I had to try an Americano. I've enjoyed Americano's before, like in London when I stumbled across an espresso-only shop that offered Square Mile, but this time the espresso flavour was just too strong.

Ironically, Coava is such a good roast that the Americano turned out to be the best coffee I'd had that day, ahead of Hewbrews, Coffee Tree Roasters, Starbucks (obviously), and even Espresso a Mano's own Colombian roast, brewed on a Fetco.

I'll return to Espresso a Mano for sure, hoping that they will have a Coava on drip or Aeropress, and if not I'll give their Counter Culture offerings a try.
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Ironically, it was a detour through downtown Bedford in search of a Dollar General that led us to pass by Hebrews. The name reminded me of a small chain down in North Carolina, and I had to pop in and ask.

No relation, and my only option for coffee was a Bunn-brewed blend of unspecified origin, merely adequate. The cafe itself was pretty, however, and if Lisa and I were to pass through again, we'd probably pop in after breakfast at the nearby Bird's Nest Cafe.
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Winter Winter

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I was so impressed with the Milli's roast that I wasted no time I routing myself through Charlottesville, on the way back to McLean this morning.

20+ minutes extra, but that's nothing compared to the pleasure of enjoying an excellent brew.

Unlike Milli's space inside the Pie Chest, their main shop, called Milli Joe, is large, with plenty of seating, outlets, and wi-fi--a fine place to work.

This location also houses the roaster, a bonus for any artisanal coffee house, because the roasting process often fills the space with wonderful aromas.
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Shortly after my first wisit to Tandem in the summer of 2014, they opened up another location, and I finally had time to get up to Maine again to see it.

I love the look, inside an old garage, contrasted with a wall that looks like it belongs in a museum.

UNFORTUNATELY, this location has no wifi, no outlets, and no pour overs, so I doubt I'll be back, as not being able to charge my laptop is a significant impediment when I'm on the road.
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Finally had time to look for artisanal coffee in Portsmouth, although even if I'd had time during my last trip up to Maine, Profile would not have been here.

They serve Counter Culture coffee, not my favourite but always a an acceptable choice, but what I love is their minimalist design with plenty of outlets actually built into the back of the seating.

Also, they have a few rows of winyl records, but not for sale--only for playing music inside the store, a nice twist.
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MAD is really a diner that I stumbled across while looking for bagels while on the way to the new Starbucks in North Bergen. It rates a mention, however, because they serve Joe Coffee, a roast that I enjoy.

Unfortunately, the only option is The Daily, and it's brewed on a Bunn and came out tasting worse than any of the drip coffees I've had at Joe proper (to be expected).

Still, with wifi and outlets, if I needed a place to hang out on this side of the river, I'd come back to MAD.
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I found Coffee Tree Roasters on this Thrillist...

https://www.thrillist.com/…/the-best-coffee-shops-in-pittsb…

...and since it was not far from the new Starbucks in Amos Hall, we dropped by first.

From the moment that I walked in and saw the row of Bunn brewers, I suspected that my experience would be lackluster, and I was right. The light Guatemala brew felt burned as soon as it touched my tongue, and even after it cooled down, it tasted too dark for my taste.

I actually had to give this single origin a lower score, just 6.25, than the blend that I'd had earlier at Hebrews.
I see no reason to return, not with all the other coffee options in Pittsburgh.
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Washington, DC, seems to be a fairly diwided city, with a lot of the higher end neighborhoods in the northwest quadrant, and so of course that's where most of the artisanal coffee is.

Bourbon Coffee is my first wenture into the SE, and I stumbled across it simply because Sidamo, a cafe I found on a best-of list, does not open until 8 AM.

Bourbon only serves Rwandan Coffees, and I had a V60 pour over of a Kizi Rift. It wasn't bad, but even though designated as "light", I found it still too dark, and with some tastes that did not agree with me.

I like the ambiance of the shop, though, and I'd probably come back just to show Lisa the cafe and neighborhood.
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Have him in circles
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Education
  • University of Texas at Austin
    1995
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A few weeks ago I made a post, a little tongue-in-cheek perhaps, about how I was glad that I was driving my own car again, rather than rentals, and I might have jinxed myself, because I just backed into some structure at the gas station, and the rightmost part of the back bumper was torn and pushed in. At first it was scraping against the tire, but I was able to push it back a little. My primary worry was that I would draw attention from some cop who would use the glaringly obvious damage as an excuse to pull me over, and I was starting to think about how much it might cost to fix when, a few hundred metres down from the station, I noticed Clyde's Custom Auto Body. The owner, Matt I think, was able to use a crowbar to pull the bumper back from behind the frame, where it was stuck, and then a blowtorch to soften the misshaped plastic enough to pop it back into the shape. Once that was done, he was able to pop the clip back into the holes, and he says that it will hold. Just $50 for the emergency repair, more than a fair deal, a far cry from what surely would have happened had this been a rental car. I'm sure they would have just replaced the bumper, and I'd have been out well over $500, maybe closer to $1000. Heck, I suspect that most larger shops, in a big city, would have tried to foist more repairs or part replacements on me, but Matt gave me exactly what I needed, at the right price.
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