(Annoyingly, you have to sit through their slideshow of the 32 runners-up before getting to the Ultimo feature. So, in my opinion, you’re better off clicking the Philly.com article.)
Anyway, people that know me know that I’m kind of a coffee snob, and I can honestly say that I really do love Ultimo Coffee. I even giddily posted on this blog when I knew their second location, conveniently located across the street from my house, was about to open.
It’s an amazing shop with amazing people, atmosphere, and of course, coffee. I’m proud to be on a first name basis with most of the baristas and the owner (as well as secretly being the Foursquare mayor of that location). It’s certainly my favorite shop in the country. It’s great to see them rightfully being recognized.
If you live in Philly, I can’t encourage you enough to go to one of their two locations. If you’ve never had it before, I’d be more than happy to buy you your first cup. I’ve had the honor of doing so for many friends.
This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Happy“. The prompt they have offered us is to make a collage of those things that make us happy. So…here’s mine. Click on any of the pictures to bring up the full-size gallery.
Over four years ago Elizabeth and Aaron Ultimo were laying plans to move from their beloved community in Arlington VA/Washington DC back to Philadelphia PA where Aaron had gone to college years before. It was a move that was inspired by the idea of helping lead the coffee revival in that city. As they poured over the different neighborhoods that inspired their curiosity they settled on a few that sounded like they would be perfect for their plans. One was the quickly growing neighborhood of Fishtown. The other was equally rapidly developing Graduate Hospital. After weighing the two very different neighborhoods and visiting both they fell in love with the charm and beauty of the latter. However, upon moving to Philadelphia opportunity took them to a different neighborhood to which they became very attached. Ultimo Coffee Newbold was born. It was their baby, their firstborn and it flourished beyond expectations. They settled in, worked hard, developed a culture and a staff that shared their vision and passion for coffee. Time passed and the desire for another shop was kindled. As if on cue, a few years after opening their first coffee bar opportunity struck again and this time the opportunity was right where they had imagined.
It is with great pleasure that we officially announce that within days Ultimo Coffee will occupy our second location in the heart of the lovely Graduate Hospital neighborhood. Many of you may have heard the rumors. They’re true. Our newest location will be opening at 22nd and Catherine streets on one of the more excitingly developing commercial strips in the city. We will be near such institutions as the Sidecar, as well as the newly opened SoWe. We will also be blocks away from Resurrection Ale House, Grace Tavern, Betty’s Speakeasy, the rumored to open Honey’s Sit and Eat and myriad other fine Philadelphia businesses. It goes without saying that we are extremely excited for this new chapter in our growth and can’t wait to get to know this neighborhood more.
This is an original fiction piece written for StoryADay September. Read more & follow here. ________________________________
The plates shift in the sink, startling her out of her daydream. Her thoughts had lingered away into thoughts of autumns gone by. She resumes her circular repetition, her hands enjoying the warmth of the water as a cold body enjoys the comfort of bed. The suds feel like velvet across her skin, and as she scratches an itch on her face, it leaves a little tuft of bubbles on her cheek. She feels the pops and tingles, causing her to leave them there for a moment longer than she normally would.
The tomato sauce wipes cleanly from the plate, making this an act of leisure and not a chore. The morning stresses of dressing kids follow the tomato sauce down the drain, leaving only a porcelain plate in porcelain hands. She imagines her heart as porcelain as well.
Friends know that I’m a coffee snob. Real coffee snobs know I’m only a wanna-be coffee snob. I myself know that the latter group is probably more right, but nevertheless, this doesn’t prevent from trying to edge ever closer to my dream of being a real coffee connoisseur.
To that end, I recently invested in the above materials, and I wanted to share them with you on this Casual Friday.
I love hand grinding the coffee beans each morning, and this particular cold brew method creates some of my favorite iced coffee around. Being able to weigh the beans has made a big difference as well. The only things missing? Well, a proper kettle like this one. Currently, I’m using our regular ol’ tea pot, which isn’t able to offer as much control as I’d like.
But maybe, someday, I can earn my coffee snob badge.
I’m sitting in this coffee shop, and across the room there’s this college-aged girl walking one of her friends (apparently from another country) through the story of the Bible and the gospel.
She seems like a pro. She’s teaching her friend the structure of the Bible, answering her questions, and having her read the Scripture. She’s talking about who wrote the different books and each of their stories. They’re even hanging out in the Old Testament a bunch.
She’s not over-anxious or pushy; she’s just hanging out. The friend seems engaged and they keep laughing, sharing stories, and engaging the Scriptures.
I can’t help but feel I’m watching the Kingdom of God breaking all the more into this world–the future flooding the present. Continue reading →
I’m sitting in this coffee-shop, Lovers & Madmen (pictured above, on a previous day), doing paperwork. Here’s the scene:
There are these five college-aged girls that have walked in separately, all of whom know each other. They have come to study/write a paper for the same class, it seems. Their faces are currently buried in their respective laptops.
They have each taken up a table by themselves (one has taken residence at a four-person table). Two have have purchased nothing, one has brought in their own lunch (the shop tries to be very strict about their no outside food policy).
This week’s weekly must-reads are focused on the pressing political matters of the day: Obama, Osama, the budget “crisis”, etc. I’ve thrown in some fun articles on writing at the end. And for my more “theologically-inclined” friends: don’t worry, I’ll throw you some stuff next week. But in the meantime, check these things out and let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.
As we hit the federal debt-ceiling this week, I wanted to send this article everyone’s way. It is such an enlightening read on how our economic surplus became our deficit–and it’s a reasoned, insightful, factual, calm, and immensely helpful article. (SPOILER ALERT: it was BOTH Bush and Obama’s faults, but mostly Bush’s).
This year has been an interesting year for my personal convictions. Over winter break I read the amazinglyhelpful book Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices by Julie Clawson. It goes through seven major and “mundane” parts of our lives and shows how there are major global inequities, amoralities, and injustices being perpetrated behind the scenes of all these spheres of living. She explains, with both nuance and care, these issues and then offers super-practical, nitty-gritty suggestions for living life more justly in light of these things.
My New Year’s Resolution was to take one of her seven issues each month and try to incorporate a more just way of living into that. The issues (in chapter order): Coffee, Chocolate, Cars/Oil consumption, Food, Clothing, Waste/Pollution, Global Debt.
January for me was officially Just Coffee Month. Other than an Irish coffee I picked up at an Irish pub (which I couldn’t confirm its trade method), I have not spent one cent on coffee that has not been ethically traded and certified as such. Special thanks to my friends at Elixr Coffee (on Yelp), the new best coffee-shop in Philly, for offering amazing Direct Trade coffee choices (which is far more ethical than “Fair” Trade Coffee). Continue reading →