Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thinking "Stumptown Coffee"

As some may know, you could never predict Boston weather. Unfortunately, the weather's wheel of fortune landed on a rainy note. A chilly, wet day could only result in a warm cup of coffee. My next cafe adventure takes me to one of Boston's historical spots: the Commons. Alongside is the Loew's Theatre and several places to grub, one of which is the Thinking Cup just a few steps away. I learned that it is Boston's first cafe that brews "Stumptown Coffee". Stumptown, tracing its roots back to Portland Oregon, was named "Best Coffee in the World" by notable media outlets. I must admit: there was a distinct taste to the coffee there. Not only that, but the atmosphere itself was noticeably different the second you step through those doors.
The cafe wasn't exactly traditional; it was reminiscent of the past. The room was dimly lit; in some spots, it looked like light emitting from a fireplace. The wooden furniture and brick walls gave the room a warm tone. Basically, it almost felt like I was in a cabin (especially when I looked outside, and all I saw was a rainy jungle of a city). Each table had an old newspaper article pressed on top with a glass covering. I thought it was pretty cool! And addition to all that, you had the usual chalkboard menus and pastry presentations. When it came to the beverages, they had the classics: hot coffee, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and lattes. There were two things on the menu that caught my eye though. One was the Affogato, which is normally a scoop of vanilla gelato/ice cream and "drowned" in a hot espresso. The other was Hazelnut Latte and that was what I decided to order, only because hazelnut is my favorite nutty flavor. The pastries here were what impressed me. They had your usual pastries and baked goods, but they also had cannolis, mini-cupcakes, brioche, and even cheesecakes and mousse cakes. From just looking at the way they were garnished, decorated, and presented, I was already salivating. So I decided to go simple and order a mini-cupcake. When the barista asked me what flavor I wanted, I just said "Surprise me!" to keep me on my toes. From what I could taste, it was your simple vanilla cupcake. Needless to say, I fell in love with the coffee art. I must say, props to the guy who made the near-perfect shaped heart on my latte!
So my best friend, just as much of a lover of cafes, accompanied me on my mini travel. She ordered a cappuccino, but as a side she got a Mousse Cake. Words will never justify how creamy and chocolatey this dessert was. Not only was it delicious, but it was full of surprises. I think it put me in a state of sweet delirium. Presentation wise, the cake was naturally brown and adorned with shiny gold. This small cake looked like it belonged in a gourmet 5-star restaurant. Each bite around the edges of the round goodie was better than the last. And each piece taken out revealed a column of golden cream. My friend then dug her fork to savor her next bite and then probably the best thing happened on my side of the cake. A small waterfall of caramel oozes out, trickles down the cake, and slowly osmoses throughout the plate. Pure chocolate ganache over chocolate mousse, golden goodness, and good old caramel: I was one happy camper! I vow to return to The Thinking Cup Cafe probably after I complete this post. I already know what I'm going to order: affogato and brioche.

No comments:

Post a Comment