well I for one….

….do NOT welcome our new robot overlords.

I got to San Francisco’s airport early this morning, and after passing through security I saw a reflection in a nearby window of the word CAFE. Wandered over to see a small coffee kiosk, but on closer inspection it was a Café X, ‘manned’ by a robot. Ugh.

I was going to bypass it on principle alone, but I felt an almost journalistic imperative to try it, and was made to feel slightly better after using the QR code to open the menu, where I saw the beans were from Intelligentsia. So I gave it a chance.

Verdict: you will love this if you have the patience for a very fiddly website that makes the payment process painful, enjoy watching a robot wave at you and dance around instead of just giving you your coffee, and/or like a completely watered down, neutered, tasteless coffee. Otherwise, give it a hard pass and find an actual human being making your drink on an espresso machine instead of a pile of wires and bolts grabbing you a sadness cup out of a basic fully automatic coffee maker. What a waste of good beans.

And tell those kids to get off my lawn.

blech. I tried it, so you won’t have to

that back there is your very basic fully automatic industrial coffee maker

don’t do it, mister…. save yourself!

That reminds me, I need to give the folks at Old Glory Insurance a call to update my policy.

bELieve it

In my recent post about exploring new coffee shops away from home, I neglected to mention one place in particular. Not a problem, as it’s deserving of its own story.

The name Eric LeGrand may jog your memory; if you are of a particular age and from New Jersey, you definitely know his story. A Garden State native, LeGrand played football at Rutgers until he suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a 2010 game which left him paralyzed. His fight to recover, build a new life, and help others has been a tremendous inspiration.

Among his many endeavors, LeGrand founded a coffee business, LeGrand Coffee House, which began life in 2021 as a single-origin roaster, and in May 2022 opened a bricks and mortar café in LeGrand’s hometown of Woodbridge, New Jersey. They encourage people to have a “Daily Cup of bELieve,” the last word one that LeGrand has used in his philanthropy and the title of his autobiography.

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travels with macchiato

I’ve been fortunate enough in recent months to do some travel within the US and have experienced some great coffee, here’s a few deets.

The Steel City

Not too long ago my daughter and I took a quick drive up to Pittsburgh, one of my favorite cities and a great place for coffee. On the way we stopped like every other traveler at one of the rest areas in Breezewood, PA, and the young woman working the counter at Dunkin’ asked if I wanted a macchiato, “like on your shirt!” Anyhooo……..

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Happy National Espresso Day!

photo: The Coffee Compass

November 23 is national espresso day here in the US. Glad tidings to all who celebrate.

If you’re looking to joyfully slug back some of that dark brown nectar today, here are some cafés I highly recommend (basically, all those places that have received The Coveted Asterisk of Quality from my guide):

Ozo Coffee Company, Boulder, CO
Corvus Coffee Roasters, Denver, CO
Crema Coffee House, Denver, CO (Larimer Street)
Huckleberry Roasters, Denver, CO (Dairy Block)
Pablo’s Coffee, Denver, CO (13th & Pennsylvania)

Arethusa a mano, Bantam, CT
Coffee Pedaler, New Haven, CT
J. Rene Coffee Roasters, West Hartford, CT

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Matty’s Pacific Northwest Coffee Adventures: Part Three

Oregon coast, from US 101 north of Florence

see Part 1 and Part 2

After Portland we headed down to Eugene, so my son could attend first year orientation at the University of Oregon (Go Ducks). We had a nice time here as well, getting to know the town, staying at a nice cottage. However, we may have chosen the wrong places, but frankly the food and coffee were underwhelming.

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Matty’s Pacific Northwest Coffee Adventures: Part Two

see Part 1 and Part 3

The second leg of the trip was in Portland, Oregon. The city is still scarred from a year of political violence, and there was a sense of uncertainty of when or if some kind of normal will return, and what it will look like. But the attractions of the Rose City are still clear.

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Matty’s Pacific Northwest Coffee Adventures: Part One

Seattle, as viewed from Elliott Bay

see Part 2 and Part 3

Just back from a family vacation in the Pacific Northwest. Of course I drank a lot of coffee. As when I did my coffee tour of Denver three years ago, I ordered a traditional macchiato at each stop rather than my usual quad shot version. This kept my body in check on those days when I had three or four coffees. So let’s get to it!

First Stop: Seattle

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