Ninth Street Espresso may have stopped using Stumptown beans, but it still makes a GQ list of the country’s best coffee. Stumptown, of course, is also included, as is Blue Bottle Coffee of San Francisco; Intelligentsia of Chicago and Los Angeles; Ritual Coffee Roasters of San Francisco and Napa; and Verve Coffee Roasters of Santa Cruz. Somewhat schizophrenically, the list ends with this little rant: “Certainly, let’s demand quality. But talking — and talking and talking — about coffee? Seriously? You’re really going to compare milk foams? Name-drop beans? There are still places you can get your ass kicked just for saying the word espresso. Drink fancy coffee, enjoy it, get all amped up on it, but get a grip. It’s coffee.” Tell that to the first restaurant that opens with a “coffee sommelier.” It’s only a matter of time.
“Expreso” served at Castillo de Madison in New York. Photo: Daniel Maurer