Venturing farther out

So I’ve hit two more shops that I was told I should go to. I wanted to go to both and it was just a matter of time.

Last week, I made it down to JJ Bean on Main St and W 14th. Cool shop, cool neighborhood. Sometimes I get the feeling that I’m in a different country when walking the more international streets of Vancouver there’s just that much of an ethnic presence. I swear there’s a sushi place on every block. Anyways, JJ has quite the setup at this location. 4 grinders (2 being Roburs) and 2 Lineas. Yes, that’s right: 2 Lineas. They also pull two espresso blends there, at least for the time being. They do Nero Forte for milk drinks (it’s a dark roast) and their very nice Palomino Organic, used as a straight espresso. I got a shot of both, and a traditional cappuccino. The Nero wasn’t my style, a wee bit too harsh due to the dark roast. I must give it and the barista it’s due though, as I think it was one of the better dark roast espressos I’ve had. The Palomino on the other hand was very nice. Smooth, caramel notes and a great blend all around. Volume was comparable to other top shops around. The cappuccino was also very good, with a wet consistency (although I was asked if I wanted it dry or wet), no large bubbles kicking around, and some reasonable art. I would go back. Barista was great too, chatted with him for a bit on the local scene and he seemed to be on the ball for the most part.

Today, I went to Prado on Commercial and E 4th. Check out photos of the place on cGeek. I saw those photos back in May, when this was posted, and I thought that this was a place for me (big fan of minimalist decor). Had a double espresso, as I was already fairly coffeed from a trip to the Elysian earlier. It took awhile for the shot, but I’m always okay with that at shops like these. The Mazzer Super Jolly was used, not the Swift, which is good. Got the shot in a wide mouthed preheated demitasse that looked like it would be fun for macchiatos along with a glass of water. Shot was quite nice. The aroma took me off guard at first (still trying to remember what it was reminiscent of). However, it wasn’t quite my style of shot. The body was slightly less than I prefer, resulting in a mouthfeel bordering on thin. Maybe this is attributable to the blend – Artigiano’s new FT/Org espresso 49 Parallel. I’ll be back though.

I may have a barista job too, but it’s not formal yet, so I won’t say any more about it.

In beer news, I have tried several more Belgians that I have not tried before. I acquired several at a specialty BCL location. So far, I have opened up Chimay Rood (a dubbel), Chimay Blauw (a strong dark), Trappist Achel (a tripel) and an odd one from England, Thomas Hardy’s Ale, a bottle conditioned numbered vintage Old Ale. Hardy’s was an odd one. It has almost no carbonation, has 11.7% alcohol in volume and has a bouquet of raisins, molasses, dates and burnt toast. The taste is fairly similar, and has a syrupy mouthfeel. At $4.50 for a 8.5 oz. bottle, I don’t know if it will be bought again, but it was an interesting experience. The Chimays were brilliant and the Trappist Achel was very good. I still have two Abbaye des Rocs (brune and Speciale Noel) as well as a Rodenbach Grand Cru and a Westmalle Tripel. I cannot wait for the Westmalle.

But, I must eat. It’s half past six in the evening, and the dining hall closes at 7.


1 Response to “Venturing farther out”

  1. 1 Scott September 23, 2005 at 7:08 am

    glad to see you’re settling in well pal!


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On tap

49th Parallel El Salvador La Montaña
Excellent coffee for everyday drinking. Well expressed acidity and classic El Salvador profile.

Bulleit Bourbon
By far the best bourbon available in BC for the price. $35 for a bottle gets you the highest rye content bourbon on the market. Lots of spice and typical bourbon corn sweetness. Excellent on its own, but also makes a mean Old Fashioned. Better than Knob Creek in my books and pretty close to Woodford Reserve.

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