Thursday, August 04, 2005

Blue Bottle in the Big Easy

In an attempt to remove the log-jam of posts, here's something that has taken waaay too long.

A couple of weeks ago, Boyman took advantage of a cheap plane ticket and made some last minute arrangements to travel down to LA (the state that is) to enjoy some really uncomfortable weather in the city of New Orleans.

And since his mind is fairly one-tracked, the opportunity to enjoy a rich cultural experience was sidestepped by the burning question: "Where should we get coffee?"

Now the all too simple answer, and the shop that even non-coffee people recommended, was Cafe Du Monde. We'll get there eventually.

It was however a customer, or a couple of customers rather, that came to the rescue. Dear friends Gabby (sp) and Charlie we very excited to hear of our visit as she had spent some time down there and was well equipped with information that suited our need. Gabby is also the one of those very skeptical people when it came to our New Orleans Style Iced coffee. But now, now she is hooked. Perhaps that's why she helped...

Upon arrival, the traveling party noticed that it was hot. Damn hot. But like all hot places that cater to tourists, every place had the air conditioning cranked. Hot cold hot cold hot cold. The weary party sought refreshment, and though that city has bars like Seattle has cafes, Boyman braved the question: "Where should we get coffee first?"

First Cup July 15, 2005

Surprisingly it worked. The first cafe sounded a little too close to home. The Royal Blend Coffee and Tea House, located just up the street from the hotel, was not very much of a house. Actually it was a room, dropped back from the street, with a very nice outdoor patio area located in front. The offerings were a little disturbing, but Boyman realized that when in New Orleans, do as the New Orleaners, Orleanese... right, so "dark roasted Kenya with Chicory it was."

Now hot coffee in hot places is not always a bad idea. You know, like hot peppers. But let's just say that dark roasted Kenya with Chicory was just slightly better than a sharp stick in the tongue. Everything that should have been good about a dark roast, Kenyas and even Chicory was gone. In it's place was a scalding hot concoction of soupy-yuckmouth.

The smarter members of the party ordered iced drinks. With burning tongue out Boyman asks "can I haf thum of yo ith? " Refreshment. Now it makes sense. This is why everybody drinks it with milk and sugar. This is why, after all, the BBCC uses milk and sugar. This iced coffee almost got Boyman killed by a big biker dude, but he'd rather not relive that episode.

We should take a little aside here.

First Cup July 31, 2005

Now a very popular Q&A from life at the kiosk:
Customer: "What's New Orleans-Style Iced Coffee?"
Charming Blue Bottle Barista: "That is a cold steeped coffee with chicory that we mix with sugar, ice and milk."
Customer: (blank stare) "What's Chicory"
Charming Blue Bottle Barista: Well according to Wikipedia, oh you don't know that one either? Well basically it is a root that is roasted and ground up and added to coffee to give it some pungency.
Customer: (confused look) "Oh."
Charming Blue Bottle Barista: Here, try some.
Customer: (face lights up) "That's good."
Blue Bottle Barista: Yes. Yes it is.

The other destinations within the Quarter faired only slightly better.

First Cup July 16, 2005
Cafe Beignet, just up the street from Royal Blend, served beignets of course along with a medium roast that was thankfully chicory-free. The real attraction here however was the food which was served hot and fast. The atmosphere was also very attractive with outdoor seating that looks out onto Royal Street while stray cats play at your feet.

A giant, wonderful Sunday Jazz brunch was disappointingly accompanied by more of the spicy hot root beverage at The Court of Two Sisters, yet again on Royal Street.

First Cup July 17, 2005
It took a 4 a.m. visit to the rather Lynch-ian experience of Cafe Du Monde to finally get Boyman to get it. See, milk helps. Sugar helps. Beignets help. Impetus of "let's get away from the scary server guy" helps. Really it was good. Not magical, but good.

So team, New Orleans is a place for long walks, jazz and coffee only if it has lots of SUGAR and lots of MILK and lots of ICE. But, I guess we already knew that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could eat beignets every day. Did you see the tap dancers with gigantic shoes? DuMonde and those boys are forever linked in my mind.

7:38 AM  
Blogger sugarlips said...

I love coffee...
I wish i am just near at your place...

2:19 AM  
Blogger UnBelEsprit said...

Can't beat Cafe Du Monde. It's very touristy, of course, but nothing is better than a beignet! Just watch out for the pigeons.

7:30 AM  
Blogger L'être de Mont Malin said...

Ca donne envie d'en boire !
We like coffee too. See you.

2:43 AM  
Blogger random said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:36 AM  
Blogger random said...

i wonder if the places are still going to open after the recent weather. such a shame to lose all that history and good food/coffee.

5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:03 AM  
Blogger ChuckyLuv said...

coffee=life. glad to know that i'm not the only one with proper priorities.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Kylie said...

Mmm, I could go for a cup of coffee right now:)
The leaf swirls in the cup were so pretty I'm not sure if I could drink it...I'm sure I could:)

8:11 PM  
Blogger damajuana said...

i don't speak english, sorry.
this pictures : fantastic!

6:36 AM  
Blogger pompeyas said...

rico cafe para una tarde de invieno ,

3:24 PM  
Blogger nat said...

beautiful pictures and info. see my blog for a free ebook on SEO (search engine optimization)

1:00 PM  
Blogger Snaggle Tooth said...

So Sad to think these things you saw may never be seen again, hope you got lots of pix of the Big Easy,
Your timing being there was apparently VERY LUCKY
Saw this blog on the dashboard, keep up the fun posts

I *sniff* quit drinking coffee two years ago, acause can't drink it without the ciggbutts I had to give up, those pix smell good! (in the memory chip in my noggin...)

10:37 AM  
Blogger Rev Deefa De'Mensha said...

Me to i loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeee a cuppa coffee weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee caffieeeeeeeeeeeeneeeeeeeeeeee ROCKS!!!!! hyper hyper (fantastic lookin blog by the way!) weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

4:51 PM  
Blogger THEonlyGOALIE said...

These pictures just make me sad, I used to live, work, go to college in New Orleans and I LOVE New Orleans coffee. Your pictures just trigger the memories of New Orleans that I have in my head, not the bad ones that I have to see on the news. I didn't expect it, but thanks for the good memories.

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...







11:53 PM  

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