I first tasted Nitro Cold Brew (NCB) on a coffee crawl through New York’s East Village with a friend of mine as my guide. That friend also happened to be a lead barista at Third Rail Coffee, a popular indie coffee shop in New York City’s Greenwich Village. I had my first taste of NCB at one of ours stops and I was utterly confused and captivated. I immediately explained to my friend that this was like no coffee I’d ever had. Instead, with its thick mouthfeel and foamy (yet creamy) head, it tasted similar to Guinness…yes, the beer. It took a few years, but NCB has really started to become a trend in indie coffee shops throughout the main island of Oahu. Let’s sample some of the options, but do keep in mind that they were all ordered black (as coffee should be).
There’s a lot going on in Waikiki, and to experience it all, you’ll need fuel..and I can’t think of anything better than a nice hot (or ice cold) cup of coffee. Turns out, there’s no shortage of coffee shops in Waikiki.
We might not have a Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Hawaii, but we do have a Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar. The Waikiki cafe on Seaside Avenue is the first in Hawaii to offer the company’s small-lot Reserve coffees in the premium Reserve Bar setting.
Whenever I visit Japan, I make it a point to visit as many different coffee shops as possible. The Japanese take their coffee seriously, and like most other things in Japanese culture, coffee brewing has become a meticulously studied form of art. So every morning that I spend at a different coffee shop is a different experience for me. I learn a little about the coffee that is served, but I also take some time to chat with the coffee artisan behind the counter to find out why they chose to devote their lives to coffee. The conversations in my broken Japanese is always memorable. Like with my other Five To Try posts: this is by no means a Top 5 list of any kind, just a selection of five interesting spots that I think are worth checking out.
If you plan to enjoy breakfast at Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe in Manoa on a sleepy Saturday morning, then be sure to get there early. Even then, lines begin to form shortly after their first drop of coffee is served. It’s a popular spot amongst locals and Japanese tourists. Thing is, the Japanese no longer have to fly very far to get their Morning Glass Coffee fix since there is now a location in Osaka. Of course, I had to fly from Hawaii to check it out.
When it comes to Java in the US, coffee connoisseurs tend to rave about Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City as being home to elite coffee shops. I think Hawaii needs to be added to the list. With more people gravitating to the cultural jaugenaut that is Starbucks, I’ve tried to, in the last few years, sample coffees from a variety of locally owned shops. There are many more to add to this list, but, let’s start with the first five. Like with my other Five To Try posts: this is by no means a Top 5 list of any kind, just a selection of five interesting spots that I think are worth checking out.
All-you-can-eat bread & pastry, good coffee, lovely ambience, and notoriously long wait times. These were all things that I had either heard or read about before I stepped into Cafe Lani, one of the restaurant offerings in Ala Moana Center’s new Ewa Wing. But what would my actual experience be like?