Stumptown arrives

Last week, the New York Times ran an article, “New York is Finally Taking its Coffee Seriously,” about the recent explosion of cafes around the city—cafes where coffee is more of an art than a quotidian luxury. Having gathered some suggestions as to which coffee houses to visit from a story in Edible Manhattan a few months back, the trend hadn’t escaped us, but I have to admit that (as a Latte drinker first, and a coffee drinker second) I sometimes wondered if the better cups had more to do with the milk fat: at these finer coffee houses, I would never condescend to specify skim milk and so I get a smooth, creamy, whole-milk latte in return. At Starbucks, it’d probably be a “skinny latte” every time. Of course I could tell there was more to it than that, but I couldn’t have put the differences into words—excepting “yummmmmmmm.”

Apparently the key distinctions include beans roasted in the past ten days and ground to order; milk steamed to order; and baristas who are highly-trained on the peculiar functions of a manual espresso machine.  

Still, even before reading the Edible or Times articles, Aron and I had made a connection between places we liked to eat and Stumptown Coffee. Somehow the two seemed to go together. If there was a “We Serve Stumptown” sign in the window, there was a good chance we’d be happy customers.

So we were pretty excited when we found out that Portland-originated Stumptown Coffee Roasters had opened up a shop of their own just off the lobby of the ACE Hotel. The coffee—roasted in Red Hook—has us both humming love tunes. And you couldn’t ask for a much better setting (plus, I’m pretty jazzed that it’s close to my office).

The Times piece has a list of some of the other best coffee spots in the city. I’m thinking I might need a cheat-sheet for my wallet.

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