Tag Archives: Coffee

Insider’s Look at NEAT of Westport: Part Cafe, Part Cocktail Bar, 100% Awesome

7 Jul
Uppers and downers all in one spot!

Uppers and downers all in one spot!

Espresso NEAT has built a reputation in Fairfield County as being at the top of their game.  Year after year, they’ve been awarded best cafe and best coffee, and after you’ve gone there, you can see why.  Owner Rachel Haughey and her crew pick their coffee beans with care and perform routine coffee cuppings to ensure that only the best quality coffee will be served at their Darien hotspot.  And, that quality comes through big time.  Add in their other options like tea, espresso, coffee, salads, snacks, breakfast goodies, and sandwiches, and you’ve got the perfect spot to hang out or grab a quick bite.  

So, to Rachel, it was only natural to take Espresso NEAT into the next phase of evolution by opening up a brand new restaurant that was part cafe and part cocktail bar.  The new venture, NEAT, will open up in the National Hall Campus in Westport in early August.  Working with Rachel in this venture will be owner of Experience Hospitality, Bobby Werhane, and Managing Director Kevin Daniel Lalumiere. Both Bobby and Kevin are locals, too, with Bobby coming from Westport and Kevin from Fairfield.  Kevin and Bobby unite Rachel’s expertise and cafe experience with an amazing resume of bars, restaurants, and shops.  The team at Experience Hospitality helped to bring some amazing restaurants into NYC like Spasso, dell’animaL’artusi, and Johnny Utah’s, adding an even more rounded background to the structure of NEAT.  

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Cool Beans: The Buzz Truck Set to Percolate, Caffeinate + Feed the Masses

8 Apr

Update:  The Buzz Truck is running and fully caffeinated!  

Mornings, afternoons, or whenever you wake up from your late night out just got a helluva lot better.  That’s ‘cuz we’ve got a brand new food truck that’s ready to hit up the streets of Fairfield County called The Buzz Truck.  Run by husband and wife team Alex and Jess Grutkowski, The Buzz Truck is nearly ready to get us buzzing with caffeine and fill us up with some awesome local baked goods.  We think their new food truck will fill a major void in Fairfield County and will round out events perfectly.  So, let’s hear a little bit from Jess about how The Buzz Truck came to be, what drinks and food they’ll feature, where they plan to be stopping and setting up shop, and what their plans for the future are.


Where did the idea for The Buzz Truck come from?

The idea came about organically, just from being a coffee lover and a mom short on time. My husband Alex and I both have a corporate background (online advertising and public relations, respectively). We always knew that someday we would start our own business, but it took some time to come up with the right idea. We thought about children’s parties, the Community Theater in Fairfield, mini golf, but nothing was “just right.”

I was always late to pick up my girls from nursery school at Earthplace…it was kind of embarrassing. But my friends and I would always cover for each other when we were late to pick up, especially since some of us drove from Fairfield and would get stuck on the highway or behind school buses.

I remember being in line one day watching the clock – slightly panicking – and the only guy in front of me pulls out a piece of paper and starts reading off orders…”One sugar, free, non-fat, vanilla latte, extra hot 190 degrees, not a ton of foam.” I was left to choose:  be late again or ditch the line and forego coffee all together.

Then the idea hit me. Why isn’t there an ice cream truck, but for grown-ups, with coffee? Even the name, The Buzz Truck, came to me at that moment. I could drive to the nursery school at pick-up time and the moms and staff could get coffee or tea, kids snacks and drinks.

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Steam Coffee Bar Opens 2nd Location at Westport Train Station

15 Jan

Steam Coffee Bar Westport

It seemed like it was the perfect idea:  give Metro North customers (and locals) a few good things to make their morning better and the commute into NYC just a little bit more manageable.  And, Steam Coffee Bar did just that when they opened up inside the Green’s Farms train station.  There Briana Pennel and Chris Barrett had created a coffee shop that featured CT-based Shearwater Coffee Roasters, breakfast sandwiches, and plenty of freshly baked goods and pastries courtesy of Briana.

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Holiday Gifts and Giveaway w/ Path Coffee and Cathy’s Biscotti and Sweet Treats

18 Nov

biscotti-coffee-pairing-fall%5b116%5d

You’ve probably passed by it a hundred times.   It’s just a big brick building in Port Chester.   But, as you get closer the amazing aroma of roasted coffee beans assaults you.   This is where Empire Coffee and Path Coffee roasters (a division of Empire)  roasts and packs up different varieties of coffee.   Head brewers Johnny Steverson and Jason Richter are roasting up small artisan batches of coffee there at a seemingly endless pace.

Where the magic happens at Path!

Where the magic happens at Path!

And, just a few miles down 95 in White Plains is Cathy’s Biscotti and Sweet Treats.  Owned by Cathy Schauber, Cathy’s Biscotti and Sweet Treats has been creating yummy biscotti cookies and more since 2006.  And, guess what?   They’ve come together in a perfect pairing and marriage with Path Coffee for the holidays.  Yes, you can get 6 biscotti and a 12 oz bag of Path Coffee for just 22.58.  

But, our readers have a chance to get this package for free!   Continue reading

Feeling bookish? Lorca to host monthly book club – Stamford, CT

7 Nov

 

Waaahh waaaaaaah.

Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays.

Psssh, not any more!  That’s because Lorca in Stamford is giving you something to be excited about even though it’s the start of the week.  Yes, Friday won’t seem so far away when you get to take part in their brand new book club.

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Deadly Grounds of Norwalk: Wickedly Good Coffee to Die For

31 Oct

Deadly Grounds Coffee Hearse, courtesy of Deadly Grounds and Tom Lialios Photography

Tom Lialios drives a hearse and when he takes it around Connecticut or even Hell, Michigan for Hellfest he gets quite a reaction. That’s because it’s a souped-up model with the logo for his coffee company on the back door.  Along with the Deadly Grounds logo is his company’s name and the slogan, Coffee to Die For.  We wondered if it 20131027_092747was really to die for, so we ordered up some small batch brews from their site: Pumpkin Spice, Hell’s Fury, and the Dark & Deadly Roast.  We were happy to see that the shipment was fast and got to our door within two days of ordering.  If we weren’t so lazy, we could have just gone to The Dock Shop in Darien, The Market Basket in Norwalk, or even visited Vanchetta food truck to try out some Deadly Grounds.  The list of places to buy grows often, so check back to see if your favorite place has these hellish beans.   

So, we were excited to see that we had a few sample packs thrown in with our order, and we immediately brewed a batch of the Pumpkin Spice.  We poured the grounds in our french press and after a few minutes we had one of the best seasonal coffees ever.  There was a beautiful richness mixed in with hints of spices.  Over the next few days we tried the smooth yet bold Hell’s Fury, the official coffee of Hell, Michigan and the rich, smooth, and bold (yet not burnt-tasting) Dark & Deadly Roast.  We enjoyed each coffee so much that we decided to reach out to Tom and find out more about what people think about his hearse, how and why he began Deadly Grounds in Norwalk, which flavors his fans like the most, and his plans for the future Deadly Groundification of the world.

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Brewing Awesome Coffee @ Home with Path Coffee Roasters in Port Chester

20 Jun
Path Coffee Roasters Brewing Awesome Coffee Educational Series
The beauty of a single cup of coffee, for us, is beyond compare.  There’s really nothing like a morning with that perfectly bold and robust cup of java.  And, there’s also nothing like a morning when you’re in serious withdrawl.  Maybe you need that caffeine and coffee so bad that you transfuse it through an IV right into your blood system.  Yeah, we can sympathize.
And, as rabid bean lovers, we’re always in search of a good cup of coffee and we’re always looking for ways to make our coffee better.
This is where Path Coffee Roasters in Port Chester steps in.  They are a division of The Empire Coffee Company and have an artisan approach to coffee.  Many coffee companies will gather beans from many different areas, then put them together in a blend, oftentimes sacrificing quality.  Path believes in the power of single origin beans, so when they say you
are having Columbian Finca Potosi or an Ethiopian Sidamo, it’s actually from Columbia or Ethiopia and not a mish-mosh of areas.  It’s with this respect for the bean and the growers of coffee that Johnny Steverson (Director of Speciality Coffee) and Jason Richter (Director of Marketing and Online Sales) come together to make Path.

Oh Dio Mio, Zeppoleme! Killer Coffee, Sandwiches, Zeppole + More in Port Chester, NY

18 Jun

Aye, paisanos, have we got a new spot for you to check out! We’re talking ’bout Zeppoleme, right on Main Street in Port Chester, walking distance from our part of Greenwich (uh oh, we’re in trouble). Ever since we saw the sign a few months ago, we’ve been dreaming about the zeppoles we’d enjoy on, oh, say EVERY Sunday morning, starting with this past Sunday when they opened up shop!

Lucky for Kristien’s parents, they just so happened to be in town when they opened…which was the perfect way to round out our weekend of gorging. See just two nights before we had taken the rents out for dinner at Bar Sugo and feasted like the good Italians we are.  But back to Zeppoleme

Immediately, we were happy to see how cute and cozy the interior is. Lots of dark wood tables and rustic tones make Zeppoleme chill, relaxing, and comfortable. Plus, if you’re feeling like it would be nice to eat outside, check out their pretty outdoor garden dining that they share with sister restaurant Nessa next door. Eh, you gonna get to the food? Psshhhh, here are the basics:

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Latte Art Competition and Live Music @ espresso NEAT in Darien

14 Jun

It’s officially summer in Darien when espresso NEAT opens their beautiful outdoor patio.  So, what better way to kick it off than with some live music and a contest to prove your worth?  We’re talking about Doug Allen live outside of NEAT and a latte art competition.  They’ll begin the signup for competitors on 6/20 at 6 pm and the first pour will happen at 7 pm and go until 9 pm.  Check their FB page and their site because they might be offering an online sign-up for those who can’t make 6.  Each entry costs $5, but that money will be going directly to help the victims of the devastating Oklahoma tornado.

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One sip, one bite and you’re a Lorca-vore for life! Lorca, Stamford

4 Jun

Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and cruddy deli, diner, or gas station coffee. Those have really been the only options for you if you wanted a pick me up in Stamford. Well, that was until Leyla Dam opened up Lorca on the lively Bedford Street. Her view on coffee and cafes? Only serve the best quality beans, only make coffee with the best methods that highlight the flavors, support local bakers like Wave Hill Breads, and make food from scratch. Looks like a great view to us!

As we entered, we loved how cute and quaint Lorca was. There are a few tables to sit at, a beautiful exposed brick wall, and a coffee counter with a bright churros sign pulling you in. Churros you say?  Oh, yes the churros. You might say she’s just a bit of an expert. See, she actually spent time in Spain learning the art of  churro making. So, needless to say, we were drooling for months waiting to finally try ’em.

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