COLD BLACK HEART

Finding my Pittsburgh. Mostly art, music, and coffee.

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The Coffee Hunt: Cafe de Noir

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

I really dig Pittsburgh’s Brookline neighborhood: it feels like old-school Pittsburgh, it’s generally very friendly and down-tempo, and it’s the home of local gems Pitaland, Las Palmas #1, and Rather Ripped Records.I was looking forward to sitting down in Cafe de Noir to check out their espresso game. But while their Mediterranean treats look pretty tasty, the coffee was only so-so.

6/10

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The Coffee Hunt: Big Dog Coffee

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

In the South Side of Pittsburgh, on the mostly-residential Sarah St. is Big Dog Coffee. (Be warned that their Web site commits one of the cardinal sins against good design: it plays music automatically upon page load. No one likes this.) It’s a parlor-esque place and I was immediate struck by the friendliness of the two baristas. They serve Intelligencia Black Cat which make a tasty shot.

 

9/10

bigdog

The Coffee Hunt: 21st St. Coffee and Tea

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

I was in The Strip yesterday, and having already tried La Prima Espresso, I opted this time for 21st St. Coffee and Tea. They serve Intelligentsia (as do many other local joints) so I knew this shot would be decent as the least least. The verdict: nicely executed, nice shop, I’ll be back.

9/10

21st St. Coffee and Tea

21st St. Coffee and Tea


 

The Coffee Hunt: La Prima Espresso

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

A couple of days ago I finally got around to trying La Prima Espresso in The Strip. I’ve been looking forward to this place as it’s definitely old-school (complete with Italian dudes playing cards in the corner) and has a good reputation. They serve their own roast, so the “house” espresso truly is from the house. Overall: a very good coffee and well worth the visit. To me though, it’s a little too smooth as I prefer more bite and fruitiness in a shot.

8.5/10

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The Coffee Hunt: Espresso A Mano

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

Today I tried espresso a mano in Lawrenceville. Unlike most coffee shops I’m encountering in Pittsburgh, espresso a mano offers two “house” espressos: Counter Culture and Coava. Since I’ve had CC many times, I went for the Coava El Gorrion. Absolutely PERFECT cup of coffee, and the best I’ve had in Pittsburgh so far.

10/10

espressoamano

The Coffee Hunt: The Ace Hotel cafe

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

Today I found myself at the cafe in the lobby of the Ace Hotel in East Liberty. This was my first time walking into this place, and for a second I thought I was in the Twilight Zone: it was the most Brooklyn-y scene I’ve seen since leaving Brooklyn after a ton of years this past summer. I have no idea if that is good or bad– depends on who you are, I suppose.

Anyway, while hanging out in hotels kinda makes me itchy, I have to admit that they NAILED the coffee.

10/10

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The Coffee Hunt: Le Petit Chocolat and Cafe

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

Today I’m at Le Petit Chocolat and Cafe in the South Side. This place is not at all my typical haunt, but I was with my daughter who was lured in by the cupcakes, so I gave the coffee a try. Not too bad for a place where coffee is not their primary focus!

7/10

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The Coffee Hunt: Orbis Caffe

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

Today I’m at Orbis Caffe in Mt. Lebanon, kind of a mix of locals, coffee-shop types, and guys in suits. They have a good selection of coffee, and this one is pretty good!

8/10

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The Coffee Hunt: Black Forge Coffee House

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

This afternoon, I’m in the Allentown section of Pittsburgh which can only mean one thing when it comes to coffee shops: Black Forge Coffee House. This place is a winner on so many levels.

9/10

 

black_forge

The Coffee Hunt: Delanie’s Coffee

My home city is new to me, but my coffee habit is long in the tooth. I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

I happen to be in The South Side this morning, so I’ll start with Delanie’s Coffee.

6/10

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