In case you hadn't heard already, Analog Coffee is now open in Capitol Hill. Although minimally advertised, there was a very respectable buzz in the coffee community when the little shop finally officially opened its doors last week. After the third or fourth person asked me if I'd been yet, I decided I'd better pay it a visit and see what the fuss was about. So it happened that, four days after the cafe opened, there I was.
Analog's hi-tech sign.
Analog is still wrapped up in the act and art of becoming what it is going to be. An uncomplicated canvas of a space, it is filled with nostalgia by the reclaimed furniture, the music on vinyl, and the vintage collection of mugs. White walls and huge windows fill the room with light and air, making a simple bouquet of flowers on one side of the bar stand out vividly. Attention given to detail means a custom-painted espresso machine, and two beautiful standing bars where people can drink their espresso and chat, or read the paper, even if all other furniture is occupied.
Herkimer Coffee is on the menu, with espresso and pour-over being the single-brew methods of choice, and French press replacing the old standard "drip coffee." French press and espresso beverages come at fixed prices, but next to the pour-over option, the hanging menu simply states "market price." On the counter, a printed, framed paper menu lists current coffee offerings, tasting notes, and costs.
The coffee that makes it into the translucent little green mug in my hands is the Brazil, Fazenda Amerello Serrado. I chose it, in all honesty, because the tasting notes said "gingerbread." And I love gingerbread. The notes were no lie. Cherry, lemon, gingerbread . . . smooth, juicy, spicy, and consistent throughout the cooling process. Never too tart, just sweet enough, with beautifully rounded flavor.
Leaning back against a window, seated on a wooden pew, and watching as the two-man team of cafe owners/managers/baristas Danny Hanlon and Tim Hayden take time to introduce themselves to each person who walks in the door, shaking hands and easily striking up conversation, I confess that I am quite taken with this space--both anxious to see what it becomes, and hopeful that it won't hurry too much to grow up.
Meanwhile, wifi and the ability to accept credit cards are things still in the works, so for now, take cash and plan to read the paper or enjoy one of those funny old-fashioned things called books.