While not strictly on list of items we typically publish, we decided to expand our beverage category beyond wines to include coffee – at least for this one amazing exception.
We came across La Colombe while wandering the streets of Philadelphia to explore a bit of breakfast, and some artisan, non-franchise store coffee. The first impression was that the cafe (our first experience was at the Rittehouse Square location) must be doing something right, given that the line was outside the store. While waiting for our cup of Joe, the chatter from the customers was equivalent to the excitement heard from a group of techies waiting for the next iPhone.
To quote my line-mate Ted, “Best. Coffee. Ever!! I’ve had a lot of coffee, but I’ve never had something so delicious I actually had to travel back to Philly to repeat the experience. This coffee is rich, dark, strong, smooth — no bitter after taste. Silky smooth.”
And the wait was worthwhile. We had a wonderful cappuccino in a retro-design cup, with a beautiful foam signature, and a small sweet – and it was the best coffee this side of Italy: silky smooth, intense flavor without a trace of bitterness.
We purchased two bags of coffee beans to try at home: Nizzi (a South American blend; $12 for 12 ounces) and Brazil Fazenda Santa Mariana (a “Workshop” single origin coffee; $17 for 12 ounces). While a bit pricey, you get what you pay for at La Columbe – an exquisite cup of coffee. You can find all of their coffees on-line at their website: www.lacolumbe.com.
If you find yourself in Philadelphia, NYC, DC, or Chicago, hunt out one of their cafes – and prepare to wait. And prepare for the best cup of coffee in the US.