I’ll admit it. I’m a coffee nut. So I emailed my neighborhood coffee roaster to see what was going to be available this week. The answer: the usual great selection, plus a Kenya Chania Estate organic. This one is roasted to a full city roast, which works well in my antique vacuum pot. The label on the bag tells me what’s inside. The aroma: lemon, berry. Taste: papaya, spice. Body: medium. Aftertaste: milk chocolate.
Am I so experienced that I was able to actually pick up on all that? Not by a long shot. But I do know that when I taste this coffee and I don’t have to put cream in it, it’s because it’s smooth and bursting with flavors that are too interesting to cover up.
In case you haven’t been reading this blog for awhile, you may have missed the fact that Eastwood boasts one of the best coffee roasters in the Northeast. At one end of our James Street business district, in the Eastwood Plaza, is Cafe Kubal. While the cafe itself is small (okay, it’s tiny!), the taste of the coffees being roasted before your eyes in the 1904 roaster is huge. Matt and Rachel Godard go out of their way to find the best beans, to form business relationships with the growers themselves, and to bring the beans to Syracuse where Matt roasts them expertly.
In the cafe, you always have a choice of light or dark roasts for your cup o’ joe, as well as the usual variety of ways to prepare it. These folks pull a mean shot, equal to the best to be found in cities like New York, Philadelphia, Ithaca. Even if you’re not likely to do it often, try their espresso drinks once in awhile. You’ll never go back to Charbucks.
But if you just want a great cup of coffee at home, pick up a bag of beans. They’ll grind them for you or you can buy them whole for grinding at home. (If you want really great coffee taste, you’ll invest in a grinder and grind seconds before brewing.) Either way, you’ll know the date when the beans were roasted so you can be sure to use them within about ten days, when they’re at their peak of flavor.
Don’t want coffee? Try one of their many teas! In the mood for something to eat? They have an array of cookies, muffins, bagels, desserts – including Purity Ice Cream from Ithaca – as well as soups and other savory items.
Do you live out of town? That’s okay. Cafe Kubal’s internet business is even older than the cafe, and Matt ships his coffee all over this country and internationally. So if you’re originally from Eastwood and want to support a local business, give his coffee a try!
One of the best things about Cafe Kubal, of course, is that it’s located in a “20-minute city” – that is, everyone who lives in Eastwood (formerly a village, now a neighborhood), is within a 20-minute walk of the cafe. A daily walk of about 20 minutes is considered by some to be the minimum amount of exercise for maintaining health. How sweet it is, to combine a walk along Eastwood’s sidewalk-lined streets with a top-notch coffee experience.