Monday, May 26, 2008

Coffee Domination Visits The Ugly Mug in Ypsilanti, MI

No, I'm not talking about a relative. I'm talking about the Ugly Mug coffeeshop in Ypsi (ip-see). This is a shop I've wanted to visit for some time now, since usually visiting relatives in Michigan is a coffee-deprived experience. Not so this time! On Saturday, May 24th, we rolled in to the Ugly Mug, and were greeted by Jim and Ethan, two great characters in coffee. Lucky for us, we managed to catch Jim on his last shift ever, before he opens his own shop in Ann Arbor.

We made brief talk about Coffee Domination, and SCAA Minn., and the Baratza Vario, then got down to business, drinking coffee. I started out with a double espresso, the usual, except this one was pulled triple ristretto on a beautiful Synesso, of the Ugly Mug's own in-house roasted espresso. My accessories to my visit (parents) had a latte and a cappuccino (both presented well, not too hot, and with the obligatory latte art). The Ugly Mug's espresso blend had the desired chocolate tones in milk, without too much pungency, probably attributable to the lighter roasted espresso waiting in the grinder.

After espresso, we pressed a coffee I had brought, a home-roasted Costa Rica Naranjo Peaberry, in Ethan's Ikea-sourced $5 press pot. It turned out fairly well, but the cup was a little chalky and sour, which Jim attibuted to the aging Bunn grinder. Overall, however, a fun experience. Jim sent me home with a sample of Ugly Mug's Ethiopian something-or-another (sorry to forget) that I pressed today: Excellent: highly floral with a muted acidity, somewhat strange for my usual Ethiopian expectations of bright and citrusy. Almost Guatemalan in profile. Alright, enough words for now, will post pictures later.

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