I'm beginning the Blogging from A to Z Challenge with A Café. No, this isn't a take-off on Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First," but the name of our first coffee tasting site is a.café, on West 58th Street. Though it's only a block from my dentist, I don't generally wander into this area. It's off Fifth Avenue and a relatively pricy part of Manhattan. I passed it after walking on Fifth Avenue on Easter. The name and the extensive coffee menu made it my place to begin my best coffee search.
It is part of a small chain, with branches in several American cities and London. I generally won't be including national and international chains in these posts, but I am making an exception here. It didn't feel like a chain and the quality of the coffee, Counter Culture Coffee, is extremely high.
The coffee descriptions drew me in off the sidewalk.
As I initially wrote this is not a scientific taste test. The temperature won't be measured and I won't even be ordering the exact same type of coffee at each site. Generally I will be ordering iced coffee light -- my favorite -- but I may order a cup of hot coffee or if I'm in the mood, a cappuccino. I also won't be displaying pictures of all my coffee orders or many of them. Iced coffee pretty much looks like iced coffee just about everywhere it's served. It's not about how the coffee looks, it's about how the coffee tastes.
Which brings us to my coffee grading system. Don't expect any low grades. If it's below a C (probably a C+) it's not going to be part of the series. I'm looking for good coffee experiences, and if I don't enjoy it, it's unlikely I will write about it. However, unless I'm thrilled, I will not be giving out an A very often, if at all. I hope to encounter some A iced coffee, but that remains to be seen, or tasted.
A.cafe -- based on its location -- was slightly more expensive than my usual iced coffee and as a result I wanted to love it. After my first sip my opinion was that it was good, a solid B. But as the ice melted and the coffee got colder, my opinion changed. I had at least a B+ glass of iced coffee. I'm going to be on the lookout for Counter Culture Coffee and I will be looking to try it again.
I did have an excellent breakfast burrito with my coffee, but food -- especially bread and pastries -- will not be part of the grading. I am concerned about gaining weight just looking at some of the baked goods that are featured in a few of the places I've already visited.
I've got two goodies for "B" for tomorrow and I will be sampling "C," tomorrow afternoon, which is alleged to be the best coffee in New York City.
As ever thanks for visiting and take good care.