Get ready to amp up 2006 and speed your way through the rest of winter. Our primer on the latest in all things coffee will have you raring to go. By Jenna Schnuer
For a unique spot to get your morning fix when on the road, here are four of our favorite independents around the U.S.
Bonté, 130 South 17th Street, Philadelphia (215) 557-8510
At the original location (above) and now at its brand-new café at 922 Walnut Street (215-238-7407), Bonté serves up coffee from one of Philly's favorite roasters, La Colombe, to complement its food specialty - Belgian sugar waffles called gofras.
The Coffee Girls, 310 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri, (816) 221-2326
Lattes have never been this much fun. The Coffee Girls offer up board games and Ms. Pac-Man to go along with their bevy of tasty beverages and sweet treats.
The Java Room, 14 Littleton Road, Chelmsford, Massachusetts, (978) 256-0001
Doing business - or wandering the wintry world - outside of Boston? The Java Room is a serious coffee place that offers up free - yes, free - wireless Internet access. Meeting clients? Put the Java Room's private conference room to work.
Joe, 9 East 13th Street, New York City (212) 924-7400
A favorite from the moment it opened the doors to its original corner café (141 Waverly Place), Joe recently added this second location. And, according to one connoisseur, the baristas won't let a bad cup of espresso make it into your hands.
Give your coffeemaker - and your morning - an international boost with the new trend of "choosing coffee like you do wine - from a single origin or single region," says Kenneth Davids, editor of the Coffee Review (www.coffeereview.com). So instead of a cup of your favorite French roast from wherever, brew up a pot that will send you on a flavor trip to Ethiopia, Peru, or beyond. Another movement we love: the emergence of more Fair Trade coffees. ("Fair Trade" signifies that the farmers are paid a living wage.) These five bring both trends together beautifully:
From Uganda: Mirembe Kawomera Dark
With "hints of pecan sweetness and a malty finish," this Vienna roast is the perfect complement to a lazy Sunday morning. $10 for 12 ounces.
Buy: Thanksgiving Coffee Company, www.thanksgivingcoffee.com
From Ethiopia: Yirgacheffe
Fend off dark winter mornings with Yirgacheffe's "suggestion of citrus." $10 per pound
Buy: Peace Coffee, www.peacecoffee.com