I like my coffee to have many of the same attributes as my chocolate: Rich, Smooth, Full-bodied.
This post was inspired by a trip to what was, long long ago when it first opened, a brilliant diner with reasonably priced, well-made, tasty food. Today it has gone gourmet with rich, over-sweet and over-priced food in moderate to 'really?' portions. And a cup of coffee was $2.50. $2.50? That's Starbuck's prices! And the coffee was too strong - not the too strong that comes from an unblended roast, but from over-roasting to the point of burnt. Burnt, high-acid coffee gives me a tummy ache and I wake up the next morning feeling pregnant, hung over, or both.
I may not go into the source of this disappointing culinary experience, but I will digress to share with you my favourite coffee. It happens to be from a brilliant Baltimore coffee roaster, and no fear, my midwestern friends - they deliver!
UPDATE: Click the comments on this post for a complimentary cuppa from BC&T - including blended drinks!
There are three shops and a fourth on the way. Personally, I go to the one in Timonium, which is right next to a Light Rail stop and a short hop from Belle Cose. Not only does the shop have a wide selection of brewed coffee (8 choices - half regular, half decaf) every day, but they also roast on site in lovely curved pans that keep the ends of the beans from burning, so you get the joys of smelling real roast coffee.
They also make fresh sandwiches to order, and have a fresh case full of salads, gourmet muffins, croissants and gelato and custom grind your coffee at the time of purchase. My favourite every day coffee is the Fancy Bourbon Santos - smooth, low acid, and flavourful. When I serve it to guests they always ask what it is and I wind up pulling a BC&T card from my cupboard and telling them to go buy some.
In fact, it is so close to the light rail that I'll be going there today on my way to Privateer Day.
There's also a shop in Frederick for Dotty!
And one in Annapolis, which is the closest they've come to Ned, so far!
And soon there will be one in Columbia, which will give Leslie the option to choose between there and Annapolis!
And it's not just coffee - it's also home to some incredible teas - available loose or bagged from such venerable names as The Eastern Shore Tea Company, Bewley's, and Twinings, as well as hip newcomers to the world of tea like Stash. All the loose teas come with a reusable muslin bag and there are an incredible number of accessories in my local shop - from tea balls to china tea pots to goofy mugs.
Oh, yes, and did I mention that the Timonium shop is right in the same block as Glarus? Coffee and Truffles, oh my.