All about the brew
Coffee is pretty much a staple my family and the typical American household. A little history on the origins of coffee before I delve into my favorite kinds of coffee and the cafes I’ve come to love… Apparently the coffee bean was first discovered by goats in Ethiopia. Legend has it that goats came across the coffee leaf in a wooded area and began to “dance” from all the caffeine consumed. Their herder found his hyperactive goats and proceeded to gather the coffee leaves and brew them into a tea, throwing the remaining bitter coffee beans into a nearby fire. This fire produced the pleasant aroma we all know and love today. Eventually, Ethiopians began the coffee bean trade in which the coffee beans were first roasted before bartered for other goods. The first country that actually started to consume this beverage on a regular basis was England. In 1650, a Lebanese immigrant opened up the first coffee house in Oxford, inevitably sobering up the locals who were perpetually buzzed from the sanitary lager and wine (water was infested at this time).
Fast forward to modern day and about 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee on a daily basis. According to studies published in the Food Science and Nutrition journal, adults consuming moderate amounts of coffee (3-4 cups/d providing 300-400 mg/d of caffeine) won’t expect any detrimental side effects. In fact, there is little evidence of health adversities with moderate coffee consumption and even some potential benefits from it! Particularly, coffee’s strong antioxidant activity may play a role in decreasing the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Further, moderate amounts may not have any effect on cardiovascular disease, the leading form of death in the United States. I used to be a daily coffee drinker but I’ve shifted gears in the last month and drink Matcha tea (more on that in a later post) during my workdays and indulge in coffee on the weekends. Makes it more of a treat than a necessity to me!
So, I will continue to sip on my coffee from Rising Son in Avondale on the weekends while scribbling down my grocery list. In fact, this coffee helps me navigate through the crowded aisles of Dekalb Farmer’s market and not lose my shit when someone cuts me in line or collides into me with their shopping cart. When I was in grad school one of my favorite memories was grabbing my book bag and coffee-shop-hopping around Atlanta in search of the yummiest and strongest brew. A few establishments that left a lasting impression: the aforementioned Rising Son in my neighborhood, Ebrik in downtown Atlanta, Joe’s in East Atlanta, and Le Petit Marche in Kirkwood. Now, there are plenty of more coffee shops sprinkled around Atlanta that are worth mentioning but the ones above are by far my favorite.
Rising Son’s coffee is a specialty brew from Batdorf and Bronson. My boyfriend, who is not a huge coffee person, salivates over this coffee and asks for refills more than I do! Fun fact, Batdorf & Bronson also supply Dancing Goats with many of their signature origin roasts and blends. Dancing Goats is very cozy in the spring and fall time when the weather is nice. Their swinging benches enclosed in the gazebo-like café are the perfect setting for coffee, conversation, or work.
I will hold a place in my heart for Ebrik for a long time… This coffee spot and the guys who run it are so welcoming; you forget that you’re in a coffee shop and not at a friend’s place. The hip-hop music, benches that line the wall, Banksy paintings, and wooden high top tables all make this spot an urban haven. I would typically go for the light roasted Pour Over on the days I needed more than one cup. Light roasted coffee actually has more caffeine too. Many times I would study until the point of exhaustion but I was so wired from the coffee I’d go to the Georgia State gym to exert all of the remaining energy I had. Now that I live in the Decatur area I can visit their newer location if I ever feel nostalgic (not about studying, I’m not THAT nerdy).
Okay, Joe’s in East Atlanta was also a noteworthy coffee shop experience. I would love to make a lunch for myself or grab something along Flat Shoals in East Atlanta Village and mosey on over to Joe’s. I literally felt like I was in someone’s living room. Rugs, mismatched furniture, long tables, and even a backyard patio with raised beds often gave me a sense of comfort that is hard to find in an establishment. I think I listened to Bon Iver the most here due to the hipster vibe I felt every time I opened the door with the bell that I remember too well (poetry skills). The coffee was always so tasty and often times I would opt for their Guatemalan or Ethiopian roasts, mindfully drinking them till I saw the bottom of the mug. On days where I knew I would sweat out every molecule out of my body at Sacred Sweat yoga down the street I’d even pair up my coffee with their scrumptious zucchini bread.
Now, Kirkwood is becoming my new target of exploration. On my 26th birthday in December I took the risk of switching it up for brunch with my friends visiting from Cleveland. I had already taken them to my favorite brunch spot in Atlanta (Sun in My Belly, more about this magical place in future blog posts), so I wanted to try something new. Le Petit Marche had a cool back story to it and had a mom and pop feel so, I figured why not? The food was nothing to write home about but the coffee…was… out of this world. The brew had a lingering chocolate note that hit my tongue like the string of a Spanish guitar. I will go back to this cute New Orleans style café for the coffee and I hope they don’t change the roast…unless it tastes even better.
I always try to get coffee in neighboring cities or during my travels so expect a future post on memorable coffee and food discoveries while traveling! Now it’s your turn! What are your favorite types of coffee and where do you get them?