Rebecca Michaels, owner of Reading Terminal Market's smashing Flying Monkey Patisserie, tells Meal Ticket that she's started the ball rolling on Flying Monkey Deuce, a standalone concept at 1112 Locust (formerly Village Coffee House). Deuce will serve all of Flying Monkey's signature treats (baking will still be done @ RTM) as well as coffee. Michaels is shooting for a September opening.
Joseph Cesa recently closed his Joe Coffee Bar at 11th and Walnut, but he'll be back in action before you know it: In about two weeks' time, Ian Moroney and Hillary Bor's Pumpkin Market will begin offering coffee roasted by Cesa right on the premises. Right now, they're working on setting up Cesa's roaster, as well as seating for about eight, in the finished basement of the Market (1610 South St., 215-545-3924). The plan is to use the space for both gatherings and coffee roasting seminars in the future. This also means that you'll soon be able to enjoy espresso drinks at across-the-way Pumpkin Cafï¿½ (1609 South St., 215-545-1173). Since space is tight, only traditional coffee will be offered in the actual Market.
In this week's food section, I told you about red espresso, a concentrated, rooibos tea-based riff on traditional espresso that's just arriving here in Philly. Since it's both caffeine-free and boasts five times as many antioxidants as green tea, it resides in an interesting tweener gray area in the coffeehouse milieu ï¿½ recovering fiends who're weaning off caf can sip the stuff and still feel like they're getting their latte fix, and at the same time, traditional tea drinkers can opt for something a little more bold.
Developed in South Africa, red espresso (that's the brand name, all lowercase) has just recently become available in Philly. You can get it at Caffeination (2100 Chestnut St., 215-568-8006, caffeination.com) as well as at Rim Cafï¿½ (1171 S. Ninth St., 215-465-3515, rimcafe.com), where owner Renï¿½ Kobeitri and his wife, Mimi, whip up all manner of red specialty drinks.
After the jump, check out some photos from my visit to Rim Cafï¿½ ï¿½ including a look at the meticulous preparation behind the iced chai drink detailed in my piece.
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|Custom stained-glass transom|
Plan to swarm the newest Capogiro Gelato Artisans location, in half of the former RoseLena's space at 1625 E. Passyunk Ave., as early as Tuesday, May 12.
The homey Victorian vibe, along with RoseLena's original moldings and fixtures, have been preserved by Capogiro owners John and Stephanie Reitano. URBANSPACEDEVELOPMENT, the design/build firm who built out both the 13th and 20th Streetyeah locations, put in new white hexagonal tile floors and remade the old-school space without Capogiro's signature slick Euro stamp.
"We wanted to preserve the original feel of the house," says manager Nate Hopkins. "This is more of a Capogiro scoop shop."
The white marble bar has four stools that have a view of the scooping action, but the gelato case hides the 12 to 18 daily-changing flavors from greedy eyeballs. About 10 tables will live in the sky-blue dining area, with a few more on the blooming back patio Capogiro shares with neighbor Michael's Cafï¿½. For those without time to linger, a cone service window at the front of the shop will provide fast gelato infusions.
The P'unk Ave. location will serve La Colombe espresso drinks and drip coffee in addition to gelato. The classic "rocket ship" espresso machine is a Victoria Arduino Venus Century, number six of a limited edition of 100.
Opening hours will be 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays. On Friday and Saturday nights, the Capogiristas will scoop until 1 a.m.
Capogiro Gelato Artisans opens early next week (May 12, as of now) at 1625 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-462-3790, capogirogelato.com
Last week, I stopped in to Brew, from South Philly Tap Room owner John Longacre, beer guy Joe Bedia and coffee guru Aaron Ultimo. The space (1900 S. 15th St., 215-339-5177), which will open this coming Friday, May 8 at 7 a.m., is a combo bottle shop and coffee house ï¿½ while Bedia will be heading up the 500-plus-variety beer end of the bargain (liquor license still en route; it's a less than a month out), Ultimo, formerly of D.C.'s Murky Coffee, will be in charge of all things caffeinated. He and his wife Elizabeth were kind enough to walk me through some of his offerings ï¿½ all supplied by North Carolina's Counter Culture roasters. I was a little extremely tweaked out by the time I left, but it was totally worth it.
If I somehow found myself on the board of trustees for a coffee museum, Ultimo would be my first choice for curator. The guy speaks about coffee eloquently and passionately while still managing to keep it clear and understandable for the less well-versed. Longacre linked up with him for this project through West Philly musician Denison Witmer, who met Ultimo awhile back while touring.
Brew (Ultimo Coffee when referring to this operation singularly) will work like this: Every morning until 11 a.m., the crew will serve coffee brewed in a Chemex. From 11 on, however, you'll be treated to your choice of four artisanal coffees hand-brewed using Bee House pour-over drippers (see first pic). Ultimo says he prefers this technique (just $2-$3 a cup) to French press, as it lends a little more clarity to the coffee. Espresso, also acquired from Counter Culture, is pulled with a top-of-the-line La Marzocco machine. All the coffees and most of the gadgets here will be offered wholesale, as well.
"This menu is sourced specifically because it's out of the ordinary, and it's taste-specific," explained Ultimo of his selections. They're all very different, and each carries with it an intricate back story, from sourcing to climate to details on the real-life people who work to produce it.
Some brief notes on Ultimo's four current handcrafted coffees:
- La Golondrina (Colombia): A "sugar browning" coffee, which basically means it has darker notes akin to caramel and chocolate. Slight acidity and bitterness to it, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
- Bwayi (Burundi): An "enzymatic" coffee, carrying more fruity aromas and flavors than your average. Notes of flowers and citrus. Burundi is not yet well-known for its coffee production, but it's an up-and-coming player in Africa.
- Idido Misty Valley (Ethiopia): This is a unique one ï¿½ the pre-brew grounds burst with the scent of berries, so you might be under the impression that it's a flavored coffee. It's not ï¿½ using the ripest fruit from the coffee plant under strict and carefully regulated drying guidelines produces the fruity characteristics.
- Ariel Pajoy Microlot (Colombia): A lovely, balanced and subtly sweet coffee named after the farmer responsible for growing the beans. "Microlot" means this is a coffee roasted in extremely limited quantities, so get this while it's still available.
A quick word on the eats approach, being headed up by Elizabeth ï¿½ they plan on carrying croissants, babka and other bready-type things from Four Worlds Bakery; locally produced granola; yogurt; and a lineup of simple sandwiches (brie/honey/apple; goat cheese and jam).
One last thing ï¿½ yes, they will have decaf.
We touched on this in the latest Feeding Frenzy ï¿½ Joe Coffee Bar, a member of Philly's Independents Coffee Cooperative and a vocal advocate for fair trade products in the city, is closing its cafï¿½ location at 1100 Walnut Street toward the end of May. Owner Joseph Cesa (above) announced as much in a recent e-mail statement:
Together with my customers, joe supported over 200 fair trade coffee producing families (collectively) by selling their fairly-produced coffee, tea, chocolate, nuts, spices, fruit (sometimes), mugs and other accessories-anything we could sell.ï¿½ And we did it while we recycled everything imaginable-and got a good laugh reading how the corporates said you can't cut your waste-stream by half or more.
We made a difference with you. Just by buying a cup of coffee, organic locally-grown and milled wheat flour in your banana bread, or organic fruit in granola, a mug changed peoples' lives. The students I met who said they were encouraged to volunteer, do social work or seek employment in alternative industry to make more change possible convinced me we made progress.ï¿½ How do you top that?
Thank you all for being there. We're gonna miss you in June. Ciao.
Customers and fans shouldn't fret too much, though ï¿½ Joe's organic and fair trade beans will still be available for purchase at the Headhouse Square Farmers Market (launching this year on Sunday, May 3) as well as online at joecoffeebar.com. Cafï¿½/restaurants locations that'll carry the same coffee include Kaffa Crossing (4417 Chestnut St.) and the three Pumpkin locations (the BYO, the cafï¿½ and the market) on South Street west of Broad.
Caffeinated cheers to Aaron Ultimo of the coming-soon Brew/Ultimo Coffee, who reported on his blog that Lovers and Madmen debuted this weekend at 40th and Ludlow.
The coffee shop, which Meal Ticket first mentioned in February, carries Counter Culture espresso and coffee (French press, of course). Anyone who's tried this stuff at Spruce Street Espresso, the only other cafï¿½ the North Carolina-based roaster currently supplies, knows that it is the truth.
Right now for eats, they've got pastries and the like from Michael Dolich's Four Worlds, but the options will expand in the coming months; movie nights and art shows are in the works, too. There's free WiFi; they're currently cash only but should have their credit card system up and running within the next week.
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
The only thing I take more seriously than myself is my coffee. So when I get invited for cups of fresh-roasted, fresh-brewed Kenya Amukui Estate, Indian Monsooned Malabar Coelhoï¿½s Gold and Brazil Cerrado ï¿½ all from Phillyï¿½s Peregrine Coffee ï¿½ I run, not walk. Thatï¿½s because Iï¿½ve already had a pot of their Kona to go.
Peregrine owner/roaster Kevin J. Lawrence has an online business (peregrinecoffee.com) and a roast shop in Tacony that focuses on custom roasted whole beans. (Lawrence's partner, Jean-Luc Fanny, runs South Street's Cafe L'Aube. Ed: This is no longer the case.) Therefore, their stuff isnï¿½t sold and brewed regularly around town. They offer a bespoke coffee service that seeks and fulfills each drinker's needs, hold private tastings frequently (at my house next?!) and had one public tasting, at Walnut Bridge Coffee House, six months ago. They're holding another one at the same location (2319 Walnut St., 215-496-9003) tomorrow, March 8, from 10 to 11 a.m.
"Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, such shaping fantasies, that apprehend more than cool reason ever comprehends. The lunatic, the lover, and the poet are imagination all compact. One sees more devils than vast hell can hold, that is the madman. The lover, always frantic, sees Helen's beauty in the brow of Egypt." — A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act V, Scene 1
That's the chunk o' Shakespeare that inspired the name of Lovers and Madmen, a neighborhood café that looks to open sometime in March at 40th and Ludlow streets (28 s. 40th St.). Let manager Megan Powers, who settled on the name with the wishes-to-stay-anonymous owner, explain: "[It's] talking about how the way you feel in love is very similar to the way you feel when you're crazy, basically," she says. "It's a passage about passion and intensity, and that's sort of the idea we wanted to communicate. We're passionate about the area."
Coffee geeks will soon be passionate about it, too, as the 25-seat L&MM will be getting its beans from North Carolina-based Counter Culture Coffee, which also supplies Spruce Street Espresso. Michael "Challahman" Dolich of Four Worlds Bakery will provide the shop's bagels, croissants, etc. They'll have sandwich options, as well, with a focus on local/organic products. Movie nights and art shows are also in the plans.
We told you about Brew, the combination beer and coffee shop from South Philly Taproom owner John Longacre, beer dude Joe Bedia and uberbarista Aaron Ultimo, earlier this month. Keep tabs on the progress of the 15th-and-Mifflin project by checking out Ultimo's blog, where he's been posting progress shots of the buildout. (He's using the name Ultimo Coffee to refer to the java end of the concept, while Brew refers to both the coffee and beer.)
Looks like things are coming along nicely. Last time we checked, Longacre was aiming for a February opening, though the café will likely debut before the bottle shop does.
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