I am an espresso aficionado and I am proud to say that I own a Nespresso machine. Those things don’t really go together as many would argue that real espresso can’t come from a capsule. I agree with that to some extent. I’ve purchased all the Nespresso flavors and have yet to find one that tastes like one freshly prepared by a barista. Indeed, I can’t tell the difference among the flavors, except to say that some colors are prettier than others. Still, for the amount of prep work and cost, nothing can beat my $99 coffee machine.
Enter my experience at Stumptown Coffee. Located at the Ace Hotel in Midtown, this coffee shop was absurdly busy. The line to order stretched outside of the shop into the hotel lobby. I asked the guys in front of me if it was worth the wait for coffee and they said most definitely.
Fifteen minutes later, I had put in my order for a double espresso and stood around waiting to see what the hype was about. “Soy cappuccino for Jimmy, Latte [inexplicable] for Jamie.” One by one pretty coffee drinks with epic froth were being served by the coffee team. As the announcements rang out, I stood around wondering when my simple coffee would be prepared. I never understood why coffee shops including Starbucks don’t make the espresso first and the complex mocha doubleshot, half cow, half goat’s milk after.
I was not the only one growing impatient. The guy in front of me who had boasted about the coffee abruptly told the barista to cancel his order as he could not wait a moment longer.
Finally, ‘double espresso’ was announced and the moment of truth had arrived. I can’t lie.The espresso was really good, a perfect mix of sour and java. Still, I can’t rationalize coming here on a daily basis to get my caffeine fix. New York is supposed to be a fast-paced city where no one has an extra moment to spare. Somehow, that does not apply at Stumptown, an energized coffee shop that operates on its own schedule.