The Dirty Portafilter

My corner of the Internet, mostly espresso related but occasionally life will interfere.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Aldo Coffee Co. Revisited

Melanie (owner of Aldo Coffee) sent me an email after reading my blog. Belle, my first visit Barista, is actually their newest barista. Given that fact, it makes her performance even more impressive. Keep practicing and you will be pulling shots with the best of them.

Melanie recommended I stop by in the morning. Andi, their training barista, works mornings. So I set my wakeup call to 6am so I would have plenty of time of get over there and then make it to class.

A little side note here, Andi is from Budapest and has a very enjoyable accent. I am from Ohio, the only accent I get to listen to is from Kentucky, ya-all (nothing against southern accents, I have a bit of one). She has had training at intelligentsia, a tidbit not in her Barista Bio

I finally arrived (made a wrong turn and spent a half hour finding my way back) and ordered up a medium cappuccino. Very good. I enjoyed a bit of conversation with Andi between customers. A good drink is, well, good. But conversation is what the Café experience is all about.

I believe that is the biggest difference between a European café and a US café. Now before I rant too much, I have never been to Europe, I am working from what I have read about overseas café’s. Everyone is in to big of a hurry in the US, everything has to be in a takeaway cup. Overseas it is a cultural experience, a meeting place where people gather to enjoy a good espresso and converse. Most of the café’s I have visited in the US, the patrons are in, order and run out the door. The ones that do stay to enjoy their drink have their face stuck in a laptop.
>/unmount soapbox

Back to Andi. Good cappuccino, thick and velvety microfoam, as I said, very good. Andi mentioned that her specialty was latté’s so after I finished my cappa I ordered up a latte. One of the best I have had with a nice little rosetta in the center. Good flavor, velvet foam, outstanding drink, good to the last sip.

I finally had the pleasure to meet Melanie. Enjoyed a bit of conversation while I finished my latte. Once again an enjoyable experience.

My only regret, I do not have much time left so I doubt I will be able to meet Rich, Melanie’s husband and Mr. Panini. I would love to give one of your panini’s a try, the cannoli’s sound good as well.

Would I recommend them to a coffee geek, yup. Good drinks, nice place. I am sure Melanie’s drive for consistency and perfection will bring good thing to the business and hone all of her barista’s skills. If I am ever back in Pittsburgh I will stop by.

They get my happy cappuccino rating.


  • At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Rich Westerfield said…

    A belated thanks for making the trip out here and posting about it.
    We hope to see you again soon - your comments have made our baristi float on air for the past week.
    Hopefully by next time we'll have a second grinder so we can do ristretto and naked shots.

  • At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Rich Westerfield said…

    As a followup, wanted to let you know that we just got back from the Mid-Atlantic Barista Championships in DC. Belle finished a strong fourth, being edged out by couple of points from placing. We think we'll be sending her to Charlotte for the nationals. It's encouragement like yours that got her competitive fire going.

    Also, Andi made the finals of the Latte Art competition and finished eighth. So we're getting there regarding skills and consistency.

    Hope to see you in the shop again sometime.

  • At 10:54 AM, Blogger cannonfodder said…

    That is no small achievement. Congratulations. Please pass on my congratulations to Belle and Andi.


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