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ST. ALi is the latest Antipodean transplant to London's burgeoning coffee scene, a veritable sanctum to champion blends and artisinal brews. The cafe/restaurant, located in fashionable neighborhood of Farringdon, originated in Melbourne over a decade ago, a city well regarded for its commitment to quality coffee and exporting talented baristas.
As London's pint- and tea-centric culture ever so slowly evolves into one dominated by Clover fanatics and espressionites, ST. ALi may prove to be a key player in said change. Jaunted recently had the opportunity to sit down for brunch and a hearty helping of caffeinated beverages at ST. ALi, in addition to interviewing its Director of Coffee, Tim Williams. Where exactly is London's coffee industry heading, and how can you brew the perfect cup at home? Read on for more, and for photos from our visit.
Copenhagen Field Trip / Copenhagen Travel / Denmark Travel / Coffee Travel / Coffee Shops / Starbucks Alternatives / → All Tags
Where the magic happens: the on-site roaster
This week, Jaunted contributor Heidi Atwal will guide you through a series of food and shopping-rich travels through Copenhagen, a quaint European city trafficked by many a bike and artsy hipster. Stay tuned for suggestions on where to eat, hang, drink, and what to see in the city.
My trip to Copenhagen was largely informed by the insider knowledge of a gracious host who literally pulled out a map of the city upon my arrival, then proceeded to circle and scrawl the names of his favorite food and shopping haunts upon it. This quintessentially cool, moustachioed local shared secrets that no run-of-the-mill guidebook would impart, his word as good as travel gold.
So, when he stated with complete conviction that Coffee Collective, a micro roastery located on Jægersborggade, served "easily Copenhagen's best coffee," my mission was clear: visit and adequately caffeinate at CC by trip's end. And caffeinate I did, stopping by for a black Amerikano on a brief break from trolling for fashion and art finds in Jægersborggade's many boutiques.
Jaunted Reporting Live / Starbucks Alternatives / London / London Travel / Food Travel / Coffee Travel / Coffee Shops / Festivals / Food Festivals / → All Tags
You had us at "Coffee Festival." When we heard that a three-day event dedicated to all things espresso, latte and so on was coming to London, we booked tickets immediately, anticipating an afternoon amongst the city's best artisanal purveyors and nerve-jittering samples galore.
What we didn't expect was to be met by a sea of high street stalls and a singer musically professing a deep-seated love for her morning cuppa (that's tea, not joe). In short, the London Coffee Festival, held at the Old Truman Brewery just off of Brick Lane from April 8-10, wasn't reflective of the cafe culture we know and love in the city. The imposing, though admittedly unavoidable, presence of Costa and Starbucks overshadowed the few independent purveyors we encountered. Beer and tea abound as well, as you might expect in a country often defined by pub culture and tea time. But what of the coffee we were promised?
Across London, especially in areas traversed by out-of-towners, Starbucks' twin-tailed siren calls to weary travellers in need of an energy boost. Not the best option for true coffee connoisseurs, but then again, neither are the city's other high street vendors (Caffè Nero, Pret a Manger, Costa). We could've sworn we saw instant packets being used at one of these establishments, much to the horror of our caffeine-starved tastebuds.
Any true coffee lover will have done their fair share of research before visiting Londontown, lest they be stuck with a cup of joe whose taste might be likened to battery acid.
Topless Travel / Coffee Shops / Nude Travel / Starbucks Alternatives / Maine Travel / Grand View Topless Coffee Shop / → All Tags
Maine's Grand View Topless Coffee Shop has had a dramatic year. After only opening up in the town of Vassalboro back in February, the place has been had it's moment in the media limelight, been burnt to the ground by an arsonist, and then reopened in a tent. Now it looks like it's back for good, as the owner has received the permit to reopen in a business trailer on the propertynot as great as the original, but it exists nonetheless.
According the Boston Herald, business so far has been slow, but it could also be because the arson fire from last June is still under investigation. But for those anxious to have a place where they can make "I like my women like I like my coffee" jokes, the Grand View is back in business.
Things get a little more NSFW after the jump
You never have to look far for a cup of coffee in NYC, but that doesn’t mean New Yorkers can’t make an obsession out of the search for the perfect cup—and we don’t mean the ubiquitous “best cup of coffee in the world” that Will Ferrell got so excited about in Elf.
Lately, NYC java is more about the super-serious independent coffee shops that have popped up throughout Brooklyn and lower Manhattan, attracting devoted followings by treating a cup of coffee as something akin to an art form. Beans are carefully sourced and locally roasted, baristas are trained on top-notch equipment with all the seriousness of a culinary institute, and customers not only know what country their favorite brew is from, but its town of origin and even the farm.
We’ve been covering the saga of Maine’s Topless Coffee Shop pretty religiously here on Jaunted, so we’re pleased (and a little perplexed) to report that the concept of barely-clothed baristas has now officially spread from coast to coast.
We don’t know how we missed this one up until now, but it turns out the birthplace of coffee shops itselfWashington State—is pioneering a new trend of so-called “sexpresso” stands like Lakewood’s Hot Hut and the mini-chain Moulin Brew, which has locations in Yakima and Tacoma. The stands all feature lattes served by female baristas who wear outfits that Starbucks most certainly would not approve of. No one is actually topless, but there’s an awful lot of duct tape and not much actual clothing. It's a bit like the thrill of watching scrambled adult cable channels.
Peet's Coffee is a revered West Coast coffee chain that keeps a humbler, lower profile compared to other java joints. We love their great roasts and powerful latte drinks, not to mention their refill policy (90 cent for a large coffee refill) and their two hours of free WiFi.
In our personal coffee rankings it's scores a solid second place standing ahead of Coffee Bean and Starbucks but behind Dunkin' Donuts and that's only because we live in Los Angeles where DD is forbidden.
While we pine for Dunkin' on the West Side, our East Coast friends do the same with Peet's. But they won't have to pine anymore if they are flying out of T4 at JFK. A small Peet's Coffee counter has opened right near the Virgin America gates. So anyone coming from the West Coast and already missing Peet's can have one last cup of joe. Similarly, westbound passengers can get a head start on acclimating by taking a latte on the flight.
Peet's is also available in NYC grocery stores but you know, it's much better when someone else makes it for you.
Starbucks Alternatives / Coffee Shops / Coffee / Bizarre / Crime / Maine Travel / Grand View Topless Coffee Shop / → All Tags
We've got good news for New England travelers who like their caffeine fix but hate it when their servers wear shirts. Turns out the nation's oddest Starbucks Alternative is down, but far from out.
The Grand View Coffee Shop, which was burned to the ground by a moral crusader last week, has already reopened. Owner Donald Crabtree erected a tent on the site of his destroyed cafe, and the topless waitresses have volunteered to work just for tips (to be fair, we'd bet they get better tips than your local Starbucks barista).
Topless Coffee one; moral crusaders zero.
· Arsonist Destroys Maine's Topless Coffee Shop [Jaunted]
· Maine Opens Topless Coffee Shop; Hopefully With Frost Bite Insurance [Jaunted]
· Burned topless coffee shop reopens in a tent [Jaunted]
Crimes / Starbucks Alternatives / Coffee Shops / Coffee Travel / Grand View Topless Coffee Shop / Maine Travel / → All Tags
Earlier this year we told you about what we thought was a pretty fantastic moment in the history of coffee shops. Grand View Topless Coffee Shop opened its doors in Vassalboro, Maine. As far as we know, Grand View was the only place in the country where you could order a cappuccino and crueller and have it served by a topless waiter or waitress.
An ingenious business plan if you ask us, but unfortunately, not all of Grand View's neighbors were so enamored. A fire destroyed the coffee shop early Wednesday morning, and police say it was set by an arsonist. The fire came just a few hours after the shop's owner, Donald Crabtree, had appeared before the local planning board to defend his operation, and followed several complaints about Grand View.
Undeterred, Crabtree vows to reopen his business, but for now, the nation has lost its most unique Starbucks alternative.
· Topless coffee shop destroyed in arson fire [Boston Globe]
· Maine Opens Topless Coffee Shop; Hopefully With Frost Bite Insurance [Jaunted]
· Maine travel coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo: Boston Globe/AP]
To fans of Star Wars, there’s no greater hero than George Lucas. Sure, he may have missed the mark with the most recent movies, but geeks everywhere hold him and his characters in high regard. That’s why we suggest trying to get a glimpse of the man and the myth at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco.
Starbucks Alternatives / Coffee Shops / Topless Travel / Grand View Topless Coffee Shop / → All Tags
America still clings to its Puritanical roots when it comes to individuals and their...um... birthday suits. While the French Riviera has their well-known topless beaches and Brazil loves the thong (on women and men), America can't really handle the sight of human flesh unless it's in the privacy of our own homes or in a place where money is exchanged like a strip joint. (Ah! Our the joys of our capitalist society!)
Now you can add "coffee shop" to the the list of places where Americans can witness topless action in action. Yes, where most of us are used to hearing the word "bottomless" when it comes to coffee promotions, a brand-new java joint is advertising "topless" and it's got nothing to do with coffee.