Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The PGH Coffee Pot Weighs in on the CP's Picks for the Best Burgh Coffee Shops

The Pittsburgh City Paper's, CP Magazines: 2009 City Guide features a list of 19 of the city's best coffeehouses. (Bean Counter, p. 16). As a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur I felt it would be fitting to offer my insight on the places included on the list.

21st Street Coffee and Tea/ Strip District & Downtown
I love 21st Street Coffee and I normally have nothing bad to say about this coffee shop. The coffee has never disappointed with it's pure and fresh taste, however I feel like this place is becoming slightly over-rated. It always tops every list for the best coffee in Pittsburgh and I just feel like "tell me something I don't already know".

61C Cafe/ Squirrel Hill
This place is great! Definitely under-rated. I love the location, the coffee, the desserts. It's a great place for conversation, awesome atmosphere. It's a classic coffee shop with an old Pittsburgh air.

Beehive Coffeehouse and Dessertery/ South Side
This is my least favorite place to get coffee. I think this is the most over-rated, unoriginal and worn out coffee shop around. Every time I have ordered coffee at the Beehive it has disappointed, the atmosphere is clique-ish, the decor is cliche, the service is not customer friendly and the inside of the shop could use and good scrubbing down. For years the Beehive has been hailed as the ultimate haven for the unique and off-beat and the mecca for coffee in Pittsburgh and I feel that its time someone pointed out that the Beehive isn't all its made out to be. Don't waste your time.

Coffee Tree Roasters/ Various Locations
This is a chain coffee shop that doesn't feel like a chain coffee shop. Its definitely one of my favorite shops that I don't get to as much I would like to. Coffee Tree Roasters, is a coffee shop you can go to and forget your in Pittsburgh in.

Crazy Mocha/ Various Locations
I love Crazy Mocha because I love the atmosphere, I love their desserts and lunch items but I'm not a big fan of the coffee. The only drinks I ever order are chai teas or their espresso milkshake. There other coffee based drinks honestly don't do much for me. However, Crazy Mocha is very Pittsburgh, as we speak new locations are opening up everywhere in the city.

Jitters/ Shady Side
This used to be one of my favorite coffee places, but recently it has been disappointing me. I feel like Jitters is trying to be chic because of its location, but I think they're overdoing it. In my opinion Jitters is narrowing its clientele to the Shady Side elite and alienating others. That may be what they want and that's okay, but it's not the shop for me.

Kiva Han/ Oakland
The ultimate college coffee crowd location. Whenever I go to Kiva Han I spend hours there. Great drinks, great food, great location. I highly encourage you to stop by Kiva Han, especially the one of South Craig Street, any time you are visiting Oakland. The only downfall of Kiva Han is that it is always crowded and nearly impossible to find an empty seat, but if your lucky I suggest sticking around for awhile.

Morning Glory Coffeehouse/ Morningside
This coffee shop is less than ten minutes from me and I don't visit it nearly as much as I should. I regret to admit I've only been here once when they first opened. I ordered lunch, which was great and a regular coffee, which could have been a bit better. But, I am giving the shop the benefit of the doubt because it had just opened. I am eagerly looking forward to some free time so I can stop by there again and give them a second try. Since, the first time I went they have grew in popularity and expanded the keep an eye out for a review of my second experience at Morning Glory Coffeehouse here on the Pittsburgh Coffee Pot!

Te Cafe/ Squirrel Hill
This may be my absolute favorite place on the list. It's cozy and unique. Definitely a place for the intellectual crowd and the experimental. However, I think this is more for the tea lovers in the Burgh, but if their coffee is anywhere near their tea, then it is excellent. Te Cafe, is a place you can't go wrong at.

Unfortunately I can only drink so much coffee at a time and the following places were included on the CP's list, but I have yet to visit them so I could not offer my opinion of them at this time.

*Amani International Coffee House/ North Side
*Arefa's Espresso/ Squirrel Hill
*Big Dog Coffee/ South Side
*Enrico's Tazza D'Oro/ Highland Park
*Espresso on Fourth/ Downtown
*Hoi Polloi/ North Side
*La Prima Espresso/ Strip District
*Make Your Mark Artspace and Coffeehouse/ Point Breeze
*Perk Me Up/ Lawrenceville
*Voluto/ Garfield

Share your opinions on the coffee shops listed in this post and leave a comment!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

McDonald's Mocha Madness

Beginning on Monday, July 13, and continuing every Monday through August 1, customers can enjoy a free hot or iced mocha during McDonald's Mocha Mondays.

August 1st is the last Monday for customers to stop into McDonald's for a free sample. McDonald's is giving out either 8oz. hot mochas or 7oz. iced mochas (while supplies last) between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (at participating locations).
I have, of course, already enjoyed this special offer. I have sampled both the hot and the iced mocha and I think they are the perfect sized coffee fix to help Mondays go a little bit smoother. The small sizes are perfect to settle that coffee or chocolate craving on the way to the office or if you are dragging in the afternoon.

Share your McDonald's Mocha Monday experience with The Pittsburgh Coffee Pot and tell us what you thought of this limited time offer!