where to find it

last updated 9/20/23

Whenever I travel somewhere, I always google best coffee in <city name>. That and word of mouth are how I’ve found a lot of these places.

Here’s a list of Matty-approved coffee shops. I’ll keep this list pinned to the top of the blog and update it as I visit new places (or remember places I may have forgotten).

If I learn a shop closes I will remove it from the list. But please check ahead before you visit to ensure your destination still exists, given the vagaries of a low-margin business.

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this kid, he gets it

This weekend I had a coffee from a café I hadn’t tried before. Some of the staff looked pretty young. I would think the guy who took my order and made my drink wasn’t older than 15 or 16.

He seemed quite serious and deliberate as he went about his business. When he was done he paused for a second, then grabbed his phone to take a picture of the drink. Very endearing.

This is the finished product:

It tasted pretty good, too!

Well done, young man. May you have a long and joyful barista journey ahead of you.

Salt & Pepper Diner song o’ the day for Aug 27

Our kitchen garbage can, after years of faithful service, apparently is now possessed. It makes a noise as it closes that sounds like the distinctive wump-wump-wump-wump-wump-wump-wump-wump from this song, which is now running on a loop in my head.

Spirit inhabiting local family’s kitchen trash can doesn’t mind the sun sometimes

If you were around in 1996 there’s a very good chance you know the lyrics, so sing along as you play it 21x in a row.

another something special

I was in line at The Coffee Bar in DC today when I noticed a new addition to the signature drinks menu on the board. And the drink was boosted by the fun letter board.

Now is the point at which I admit I snuck a look at my phone to figure out what yuzu is. Finding it to be a citrus fruit with a tart and sour taste and a touch of sweetness, I figured I’d continue expanding my horizons at least be able to get a post out of the experience, and ordered one.

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the ‘other’ Portland

I’ve certainly posted more than my share about the joys of Portland, Oregon. Here’s more Portland travel news, but this time from the Portland that’s not found on the upper left of the map of the United States.

Our family went to Maine recently for a short vacation, which included an overnight in Portland. What a terrific small city! Interesting neighborhoods, nice waterfront, lots of great food and drink options, and what the kids these days call good vibes. For coffee, the city punches well above its weight with a concentration of excellent roasters and cafés. I was able to squeeze in visits to three cafés, two operated by roasters and one independent shop serving beans from yet another well-reputed local roaster.

We stayed at an Airbnb in the East Bayside neighborhood, and the location could not have been more perfect. Within easy walking distance were cafés, bars, brewpubs, and interesting food. We weren’t there long enough to even scratch the surface, but experienced a few places and all were all top-notch.

First stop was Coffee by Design‘s Diamond Street roastery and café. A large industrial space made warm by colorful paint, art, and wood, with a big, round coffee bar in the middle. The staff could not have been friendlier or more thoughtful, the coffee was excellent, and there was a good-sized crowd of patrons for a weekday afternoon.

Coffee by Design website

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happy birthday to…. us!

from freepik.com

This week marks 5 years of Matty Macchiato. This will be the 287th published post, and I’m still surprised that anyone reads this silly little blog. I’m glad it’s given me the impetus to learn more about coffee, to seek out coffee when I travel (with apologies to my incredibly patient family), and to conquer my introversion among strangers enough to chat with baristas instead of looking at my phone and avoiding eye contact.

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported me and taken an interest in whatever it is I’m doing here, particularly my wonderful and extremely patient wife and kids. I greatly appreciate it! You all earn the Coveted *Asterisk of Quality.TM

let’s try something special for a change

It’s not hard to find unique coffee beverages, most every café comes up with hot and cold drinks matching coffee with various flavors. I’ve never been one to get flavored syrup in my drinks, and other than the capuorange, I usually give the special creations a pass in favor of old reliables.

I stopped by The Coffee Bar‘s Shaw location recently, and while waiting for my turn at the register took a gander at the menu board.

Hey, look, signature drinks.

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ice ice baby

I stopped by D’Light Café this week for another capuorange. Since it was a warm day I tried it iced. Still an odd concoction, different this time not just for the temp but also because the OJ wasn’t steamed. Probably not for everyone but I liked it. Next time I’ll ask for a smaller size as it was a lot of orange juice for one serving.

slava Ukraini!

great find in Orlando

I’m on my first visit to Orlando that doesn’t take place only in hotels and conference rooms, and had the opportunity this weekend to get out and explore a bit.

The googles led me to the Mills50 outlet of Lineage Coffee Roasting. Beautiful shop, interesting neighborhood, great coffee. It was really hopping on a Sunday afternoon. Definitely worth a visit when you need to get away from the mouse or your 1,000 closest friends at your conference.

If you’re interested in upping your home coffee game, take a look at the education section of their website and order from the selection of instructional booklets. I leafed through a couple when I was there, and they were very clearly written and not too technical.

yet another Oregon coffee report

I recently made from my annual trek to the Beaver State, spending time as always in Portland and Eugene.

in the garden area at Equiano Coffee Roasters, Eugene

I’m convinced that Portland is America’s best coffee city, Cofflandia if you will. Why, you ask?

  • large number of quality cafés
  • home to some of the country’s best roasters
  • the city has a large geographic footprint, but the high quality cafes are spread all over
  • Portland is a magnet for coffee talent

Let’s dig into the details. Click to keep reading.

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say hello to my newest toy

I mentioned recently that I was saying goodbye to my Rancilio Rocky grinder after much faithful service. The reason was that I have lost the will to ignore the siren song of the gorgeous gear produced by Fellow Products, and have bought an Opus grinder. You may recall a recent post about the Opus and a new Moccamaster home grinder.

If I’m looking for justifications beyond the fact it looks so damned good, I was interested in the Opus because of its smaller footprint and quieter grinding. I was also attracted by the Opus coming with a simple grind guide on the inside of the hopper lid, which will make our lives easier when we’re grinding beans for my wife to use in her French Press.

photo: Evan Malachosky/Gear Patrol

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