Saturday, January 29, 2005


espresso party in mall-hattan

ok, so i have all this coffee -- stockfleths, doma -- and i thought, hey! let's see what oren and genevieve think! so we arranged an espresso party at one of o's stores, much to the apparent puzzlement of his staff.

the newest, adam, confessed he was actually a dead-leaf person. uh-oh: i was gonna be faced with a very difficult crowd.

let's be fair and begin by saying the coffees were both a tad old, altho' not quite in the same league as the 2-group faema, which apparently dates from 1991. i have to say that i applaud the staff at that store, because i personally found it hard to pull shots there -- the hot water wand was bent back, making it tough to rinse the portafilter, and the drip tray screen was rather close to the spouts, meaning it was hard to squeeze a cup in there.

also the dosing mahlkoenig grinder area made it tad challenging to tamp level. so kudos to the patient staff at o's! did i mention we were hogging the machine and grinders while they were attempting to serve customers?

o said he was planning to re-do the store soon and put in some stools along the front window. . . and install a new cimbali. yay!

at its now-advanced age, the stockfleths was definitely showing the past-crop character of the brazil component. many of the delightful higher notes had gone, making it unfair to compare to a fresh batch of o's beowulf.

genevieve found the stockfleth's zero brightness a minus. she said she preferred some detectable brightness even in espresso -- a long-standing a pervasive division between the pro coffee taster and the consumer. as most alties and c-members will testify, low, low brightness is often preferred in the general coffee-drinking population.

i think is partially because consumers tend to associate that bright tongue-tingle with the bad folgers experiences that set them on path to specialty coffee in the first place. . .

i also found o's faema a tad hot and we had to run quite a bit of water thru to get the temperature down to tim's stated temperature.

the doma was just to my mind waaay too old for a fair taste, albeit everyone was much impressed with the pic of the smiling sun etching prize-winning barista jon lewis from doma is known for. for some reason this espresso had a very strong, almost artificial nut smell.

we were worried it had been scooped into the bag with an implement used for flavored coffees. mostly at this maturity, the doma gave off really strong cooked brown rice sensations.

genevieve actually compared it to wild rice. but as i say, i think this coffee was just too aged for a good tasting.

we listened to a lot of old police (the '80s are still back!), chowed on little squares of cafe tasse -- oren sells great candy -- and then it was time to go.

i had to run down to christine chin for my appointment. since i've only known new york as rudy guiliani's disneyland, i was a little worried to go down there after
the recent murder/robbery where a roving gang of hip-hop dressed thugs shot a woman right in the chest during a purse-snatching
(use bugmenot).

whoa! not 2 blocks from the salon! no way do i wanna be down there after dark anymore.

what was also surprising was to see that the "secret," unnamed boutique hotel down there across from economy candy had finally opened. marked only by the undulating lights sunk into the sidewalk, you wander by the slanted facade, peer in the fogged glass and see an elevator graced by a lone mies van de rohe barcelona daybed.

will this black leather/mid-century modern/bauhaus craze never end? it's sooo new money, and just cries out "insecure, insecure." every boring associate in a law office has one of these now.

i actually went to open the door to take a peek, but as soon as my hand touched the door, a figure in all black prada materialized and snootily waved me away. i guess i wasn't good enough to spoil the glass with my cashmere gloves.

i personally have no patience with this kind of pretentious fakery and so didn't go in to check out what is supposed to be a stylish bar. their loss not mine.

i mean if they can't spot a marc jacobs bag and flats, i can't help them. (note to hotel owners: prada is so yesterday's status label. . .)

posted by fortune | 4:34 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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