Coffee Talk

January 18, 2013 by Jessica

I like my coffee like I like my men friends…strong and up for the challenge. Bold. Reliable. Aggressive. Slightly offensive. Line crossers. Leave a taste in your mouth-ers. The powerful ones. The ones that make you wonder if they’ve either gone too far, or might be ruined for life. The kind of cup of coffee that slaps you in the face and makes you want to live a better life.  I have NO time for weak, meak, see through people coffee. That’s just me. And before you read any further, I’m fully aware that I am pretty ridiculous when it comes to coffee (and… things.) I think it all started when at the age of 3 I started refusing to drink milk that came from a plastic container. By 6 I could easily detect 2% from 1% and would politely refuse the latter. At 7 I could tell which chocolate milks were mostly corn syrup. And by 30, I get that I am hell.

Anyway. As you must know, I am in love with this neighborhood. But considering my affection for this place,  I’m sad to say that I am not overcome with unbridled joy re: cups of coffee. I have given everyone a try….many tries (I am very forgiving, if you must know.) Bad things happen to good people/coffee, so all of the below opinions have been formed over several college tries, not one possibly “off” experience.  I have found many to be good, some to be poor, and only a couple to be great.

And I hate top 10’s. Because I never can decide what makes a 7  a 7 or an 8 not a 9. I’m not great at order, either. However, coffee is pretty vital to keeping a little city revved up and properly stimulated, so I think it deserves attention.

Collar City Coffee. Part 1.

(In no particular order)

Placid Baker – The only coffee I have ever liked from a canister thing. (If there is a better word for this contraption, I don’t know it and don’t care to learn it.) They always have Battenkill cream AND whole milk in the silver things. I truly appreciate quality dairy products. Also on hand is raw sugar and agave nectar. Just perfect. I’ll admit, sometimes I walk in the Placid Baker just for the smell…and then feel weird and figure I should get something.  I thought I was strange for doing this, but Scarlett Kennedy confirmed that it IS 100% the best smelling place around. So whenever we walk by, we always pop in just for a smell…..anddddd to share a chocolate chip cookie, which calls for an always  satisfying cup of $2 Tres Mariposas coffee. I love this coffee. It’s a win.

Illium – Coffee is good. The ICED coffee is the standout, but..alas,  it’s winter. The espresso is great. The shots are huge. Lattes are very reasonably priced here and the small one has 2 shots and will get your motor runnin’. Ordering tea is also very fun here because they bring you a cute box of a million tea bags and your own giant pot of water. I would never personally do it, but just saying. They have simple syrup, which I like.

Spillin’ The Beans –  SIGH. I want to love you. I want this to work between us. But. WHAT is going on with the coffee here. It tastes just like my Grandma’s…one scoop Folgers plus 10 cups water. Depression coffee.  I love Spillin’ for some chicken salad sandwiches or chocolate chip pancakes…..but after one too many tries, I’ve given up on the coffee for good. I opt for a cappuccino here…..because I’m fancy/annoying. On another note, has anyone ever walked in STB and been outta there in less than 25 minutes? Make a note to NOT go here when in a rush.

Daily Grind–  I KNOW that people love the daily grind, and I like to be INSIDE the daily grind, but the coffee itself is not doing me any favors.  I’ve already admitted I have an obnoxious preference for motor oil type sludge, and I think this coffee is also too watery. Espresso- good. Cookies with pretzels and chocolate- amazing. Records for sale- I love you. Open mic night- let’s be friends. Also, they have booze.

Dante’s – Has espresso. It’s fine. But, WHOREALLYCARES Because Dante’s has froyo, cocoa, and a FREAKING CHIPWICH.  Extra points to Dante’s staff for not minding, or doing a good job pretending not to mind when 2 adults and 3 children take down an entire can of whipped cream.

Starting early.

Confectionery– I bet you wish I wouldn’t say it’s the best. I bet you wish this place sucked at something…..but guess what, so far…..Confectionery food and drink is like that perfect girl with the shiniest hair in the 10th grade (naturally shiny, not like she tried or anything) that you come to find out is fucking NICE too. The coffee and espresso are both the best. I know….it’s an obvious choice. I wish I could surprise you, but I can’t. It’s above and beyond. I mean, they have Blue Bottle Coffee and I’ll ADMIT, I don’t really know what this means, but it is fucking excellent.

The Pawn Shop- Sooo…when you stop in to sell your baby’s daddy’s ( don’t know how to correctly pluralize/conjugate/handle this phrase and want to) gold so you can post his bail, you get a free cup of coffee.  I mean….you’re gonna need it. Posting bail takes foreverrrrrrrrrr.

Dunkin’ Donuts– Do you hate yourself? If so, come here.  It’s not just that I don’t like Dunkin’ Donuts coffee…’s that it seems like no matter WHAT I do, something is always wrong. I mean, there are those times when you are NOT in Troy, you’re on the road, and you need coffee. This is what DD is for. They have one job, and they fuck it up for me every time. The only thing I can try to get here is a black coffee, no milk, no sugar. And they mess it up. I shit you not. This is not how I take my coffee. I dig a normal amount of whole milk (or maybe a small amount of cream) and the equivalent of 1 sugar. This is pretty normal, I think. Not at DD. If you say milk and sugar….you might or might not immediately slip into adult onset diabetes coma. The amount of milk/cream/sugar that these folks try to push on you is obscene. Not to be a bitch (!!), but all I am asking for is a pretty normal cup of coffee. Not one that makes my teeth hurt and my mouth covered in a filmy slime from whatever type of “low fat/fake/weird” cream they use. I don’t get it. AND, guess what? I don’t like your fake eggs either. Your donuts got NOTHING on Bella Napoli or Schuyler bakery. We are getting an additional Dunkin’ Donuts on Congress and Third in place of the old Crap Shack. Anything is better than the crap shack. But I don’t think anyone is particularly pumped.

I feel like Manory’s was gettting no love for a while…even from us. Up until recently, I always thought of Manory’s as having only wicked greasy standard diner breakfast…..but after a few emergencies (Hangover breakfast of 2013) I have really come to see them as more. They have some cool stuff. Coffee is completely unmemorable, but helped me not die, which means I didn’t spit it out, so I think it would be ok for most people.

Francesca’s– I have never been here, because it’s only open when I am at work and I am really sad about it.

Stewart’s–  Stewart’s coffee……is fully functional. It’s not a great achievement, but it’s consistent and I don’t dump it out on the ground. I don’t think twice before fixing myself a cup here, if I am already here. I mean I am not going out of my way for it, but if I am here, I’ll get it. I have a slight obsession with their iced coffee in the summer, but it’s not coffee, I know this, and accept it for who it truly is. Coffee corn syrup and milk, mixed together. It isn’t a replacement for a REAL coffee, but it is delicious in it’s own terrible horrible right. I’m a fan of Stewart’s in general. I like their milk, I like their ice cream, and I like that their ATM only charges me ONE fucking dollar to have my own money. Yeah….I’m looking at you downtown KEYBANK with your 4.00 fee. Too rich for my blood. Gah.



Lucy Joe’s Coffee Roastery– Now this was exciting. I discovered this coffee at the farmer’s market this weekend thanks to the guidance of a guy from the yogurt place. This coffee was SERIOUS, and they had good milk too. ( I know, I’m impossible.) It was 2 bucks, like a cup of coffee in a paper cup should be, and I am going to be getting it every farmers market from here on out.




The Flavour Cafe– WHYYYYY. I miss you so much. Please come back to me, my friend. You were my first love here in Troy, and my first blog post too. I love everything about you, and can’t wait for you to be back. Flavour has the BIGGEST and best espresso shots anywhere. And I saw CMAXBY get a peanut butter banana chocolate chip latte here once, which is so weird, but even THAT was good. I like one with a tiny bit of  salt and caramel, or plain. Anything you get, is a win. Please. Please. Pleasssseeeeeee.

If you’ve got another place that I should check out, or totally disagree with everything I said, or have also made a horrible face and dumped a cup of hot coffee right on the ground, or have clouds in your coffee (clouds in your coffee, yeahhh)…..we want to hear about it. Tell us!


POST BY Jessica
There was a void in her life. A spicy, meaty void . And the desire to fill that void led her across the river from Albany, to Troy, NY. It was there that she finally found it. Jamaican Beef Patty perfection. And lots of it. Late at night, I Love NY Jamaican Beef patties fueled her shenanigans. During the day, the premade frozen beef patties at the 3rd St bodegas kept her energy up for back to back yoga sessions. Like the Bee Girl from the Blind Melon video, she finally found a place with people like her. Except she’s a ginger. And not chubby. Slowly, it dawned on her. Troy, NY was meant for her and she made the purchase that would ensure she could remain, pockets filled with spiced meat encased in preservative laden dough: white curtains to put in her windows so as not to run afoul of the Troy Historic District’s guidelines. She could breathe easy. This was home. *****************************************************************************************************