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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Coffee Education Series Debuts at Onyx Tonics

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 12:56 PM

  • Provided by Onyx Tonics
  • Coffee on snow

Last year, Jason Gonzalez of Burlington's Onyx Tonics Specialty Coffee offered a one-time coffee tasting, with the goal of sharing information about the differences between beans from different parts of the world. The class was a hit, and this year, he's offering a whole series. The sessions will occur on the second Tuesday of each month.

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Nomad Coffee's Pop-Update in Essex Junction

Posted By on Tue, Jan 2, 2018 at 3:12 PM

Nomad Coffee in Essex Junction - PROVIDED BY NOMAD COFFEE
  • Provided by Nomad Coffee
  • Nomad Coffee in Essex Junction
In November, Seven Days reported that Nomad Coffee — which, since August 2016, had been popping up caravan style near Five Corners in Essex Junction — would be moving to Sugarbush Resort for the winter.

At the time, owners Andrew Sepic and Nicole Grinstead were seeking an indoor Essex location to inhabit for the winter but hadn't yet found one. Now, they have.  Their new temporary spot is in "literally the closest building to our old location," Sepic said.

The "big, white building" at 9 Main Street, as Sepic described it, used to house a law office. Now, the second floor holds artists' studios and Nomad's brewing equipment. There, visitors can get all of the usual Nomad espresso drinks and Sweet Simone's pastries. The only difference, Sepic explained, is that they don't serve smoothies.

Asked to describe the new locale, he chuckled. "It comes with a modern, minimalist setting right now," he said. "There are plastic folding chairs around a table made of old doors. There are mandalas painted on the carpet to warm the space up a bit."

Photos on Nomad's Instagram show a clean, spare space decorated with tree branches and Christmas lights.

How are things going at the mountain? Sepic noted that the cold weather made for a quiet holiday weekend, but said that, overall, the response to the coffee pop-up has been positive.

"It hasn't been an onslaught, but we've had some really good business days," he said. "Overall, I'm pretty optimistic that it will work out well."

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hunkering Down at Montpelier's North Branch Café

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 2:12 PM

North Branch Café in Montpelier - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • North Branch Café in Montpelier
There's something incredibly comforting about the taste of cinnamon. It's like opening presents, eating pumpkin pie and sniffing potpourri, all rolled into one. That's why, even though I love all kinds of elegant loose-leaf teas, whenever I visit the North Branch Café in Montpelier I get a pot of decaffeinated cinnamon spice tea. Whether I'm working on deadline or writing poetry, it's always a good choice.

A handful of places in the capital city allow visitors to bust out laptops and get down to business, and each one has its own vibe. Capitol Grounds is fast paced and busy, and internet access is doled out in 90-minute chunks, which, theoretically, prevents visitors from overstaying. La Brioche has inexpensive tea and pastries and lots of tables. Both are on my regular rotation.

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Drink Up: Scout & Company in Winooski

Posted By on Sat, Nov 12, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Cappuccino at Scout & Co. in Winooski - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • Cappuccino at Scout & Co. in Winooski
When you order the smoked-maple latte at Scout & Co., the barista torches a marshmallow in your cup. The nearby coffee begins to simmer as the flame turns the confection brown and bubbly. It's at once a decadent treat and a bit of performance art.

Most days, the sweetness of that drink is too much for me and I stick with a more traditional cappuccino, laced with just enough of that smoked-maple syrup to emulate a whiff of wood fires in the wintertime. A ham and cheese croissant from the Williston Coffee Shop, or one of Miss Weinerz sourdough doughnuts, makes it almost a meal.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Drink Up: Stone Leaf Teahouse

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Ginger tea and raw honey at Stone Leaf Teahouse - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Ginger tea and raw honey at Stone Leaf Teahouse
Though the basil is still bolting in my garden bed, it’s official: This Thursday is the first day of fall. Taupe-colored butternut and Crookneck squashes are arriving at the grocery store, along with fresh-picked apples and pressed ciders. Leaves are turning along Route 7. Pint-sippers are starting to switch from pale ales to pumpkin brews and stouts. Mornings come with a crisp reminder: I should have closed more windows in the house.

It’s the time of year for a hot cup of tea. We’ve heard before that Vermont is quietly becoming a coffee superpower, from big hitter Keurig Green Mountain to small-scale artisan roasters like Brio Coffeeworks. I love a good cup of dark roast, but as we head toward chillier days, my Irish heritage creeps in and I find myself craving Barry’s Gold Blend and honey. Of course, most of my Irish relatives are devout Bostonians with a preference for Dunkin Donuts. The voices of my County Cork friends ring clearest on the matter.

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Drink Up: Cappuccino and Bites at Moon Dog Café

Posted By on Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 4:21 PM

Moon Dog Café in Chester - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Moon Dog Café in Chester
It was cold for August; one of those dim mornings that threatened rain but settled for dank fog, which had me craving socks for the first time since May. I puttered along Route 103 from Grafton, heading to my porch in Middlebury to spend an evening rereading An Everlasting Meal: Cooking With Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler and drinking the Hill Farmstead Nordic Saison I scored at Willey’s Store in Greensboro a week prior.

But first, coffee. I drove into Chester, scouring Main Street for signs of a pit stop. Moon Dog Café soon came into view, an off-green Victorian with a small stoop, some wrought-iron patio chairs and a striped “Open” flag urging locals inside. “Cappuccino and Juice Bar,” read the blue-and-red sign outside. “Natural Food Market,” read another.

Inside, Moon Dog Café is as welcoming as a friend’s bohemian apartment from the late ’70s: deep red walls, hanging portraits of the feminine Buddha, crates of vegetables from nearby farms, organic peaches, a cooler of local milk and cheese, air plants, aromatherapy bottles, shelves full of tea, hanging lamps and lanterns, wooden tables with mismatched chairs and an enormous stuffed mermaid draped in purple tulle and blue sparkles.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Beans By the Border Brings Java to Newport

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 12:58 PM

Espresso machine at Beans By the Border - COURTESY OF BEANS BY THE BORDER
  • Courtesy of Beans By the Border
  • Espresso machine at Beans By the Border
Last month, Beans By the Border opened inside Newport’s Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center. According to barista Jakob “Royce” Rupp, the new spot offers espresso, cold brew and loose-leaf teas, all made with direct-trade, often organic beans and leaves from A&E Coffee Roastery in Amherst, N.H. Sweets and baked snacks come from Jocelyn & Cinta’s Bake Shop, which is located toward the back of the building.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Brio Coffeeworks, an Unexpected Enterprise

Posted By on Tue, May 10, 2016 at 4:54 PM

Magdelena Van Dusen with green coffee bags - COURTESY OF BRIO COFFEEWORKS
  • Courtesy of Brio Coffeeworks
  • Magdelena Van Dusen with green coffee bags
Several years before they left Washington, D.C., Magda and Nate Van Dusen decided to explore the possibility of coffee entrepreneurship. They were in the process of planning a move to Vermont — Nate grew up here, and the landscape reminds Magda of her native Poland — and they wanted to bring their skills working in international development to bear in a new business venture.

They settled on buying and roasting small batches of specialty coffee, which draws on both parties’ prior work experience. “The idea just percolated up,” says Magda. Followed by a facepalm and a groan at her pun.

The couple founded Brio Coffeeworks in Burlington in 2014. The business is primarily a wholesale roastery, sourcing beans from small farms and selling mainly to cafés, restaurants, specialty markets and co-ops. At any given time, Brio has 10 to 20 varieties for sale.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blank Page Coffee Shop Pops Up at Bread & Butter Farm

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 9:00 AM

A coffee drink at Blank Page Cafe - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • A coffee drink at Blank Page Cafe

Walk into the farm store at Bread & Butter Farm in Shelburne between Wednesday and Saturday, and you’ll see more than a spread of fresh veggies, pastured meats and handcrafted local products. On those days, the counter is bedecked with baked goods. Behind it, on a burlap-covered table, is a stainless steel brewing apparatus. This is the temporary home of pop-up coffee shop Blank Page Cafe, and it’s the brainchild of Michael Proia, who operates with help from his partner, Katie Horner.

The beans come from Brio Coffeeworks in Burlington, and Blank Page’s basic cup is brewed in a Technivorm Moccamaster, handmade in the Netherlands to create “superior quality drip coffee,” explains Proia. If you prefer, for a bit more scratch, you can get a pour-over, or have yours made with an AeroPress.

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