Thursday, November 4, 2010


Man-o-man, I love coffee. This publication (risky word choice?) was originally started as a means to document awesomeness encountered on the tours with HT and to encourage others to get as excited as I was about these things. Something that was a major roadblock in making musicoffeetc the tour blog I wanted it to be was my lack of a means for reliable picture capturing. It didn’t make sense to create a blog about documenting these finds if I couldn’t really document them in different ways. Thus, the idea lied dormant for a while, unfortunately missing out on some great finds found along the way.

Having a really sweet girlfriend that has multiple older digital cameras, all of which work better than my old-ass digital camera/lithium-battery-eater, suddenly made it possible for me to take and transmit pictures easier than ever.


When Sara and I were packing up for Oly, I was developing a time-line for getting back to Philadelphia. HT had a show coming up in the next month with our Pal-a-rinas/rinos, LittleTeeth (Absolutely Kosher Records) from San Francisco and I HAD to be around for that, as they are totally awesome. (I had just seen them a few weeksprior in Portland at Berbati’s Pan and they were awesome then!)…(and we just put out an awesome split tape that they’re on with local awesomely upset dude Dan Timlin, aka Motorcycle Maus, who is very different from the gals and Sean of Lil Teeth, thus creating a wonderfully varied sonic presentation)…(yeah). ( ….)

Anyway, had to be there for that. That left a week and a half for rehearsing. And while that’s awesome, everyone in the band has work and social schedules. That left a lot of time open. Thus, it was also a week and a half to also spend money. As we all know, idle hands make for a typical late 90’s teen-oriented movie and maybe that can be expensive. When life hands you lemons, you make awesome bikes.


Philadelphia’s coffee scene has grown a lot since the beginning of 2010. January through September found me everywhere except for the Delaware Valley and unable to check out any of the recently opened shops. Two such shops were Townhall Coffee in the Mainline and Bodhi Coffee in Head House Square, near Old City. It dawned on me that it would be really awesome to check out two new shops that served two different types of coffee, on different types of equipment, to two DRASTICALLY different types of communities, while balancing said coffee time with MusicMusicMusic (not a blog?) in Philadelphia. AND that that would be a perfect start to the blog. MUSIC, COFFEE, ETC personified, right? I wrote Tim (Townhall) and Tom (Bodhi) up immediately to see if anyone needed some shifts covered. Turns out I chose the right week to come home because many Philly folks were heading up to Providence, Rhode Island to check out the MidAtlantic NorthEast Artisan Coffee Conference (MANEacc). Thus, there were a unusually large number of shifts that needed to be covered. Perfect!

The Shops

(I Mod'd this cup out for Tim while doing some dishes)

Townhall, located at 358 Montgomery Avenue in the Bala Cynwood area of the Main Line, Townhall Coffee is the brainchild of Tim Noble. “Third Wave” coffee is a new thing in mostparts of the country. Only in the last five years have shops concerned with serving freshly and carefully roasted Direct Trade coffee opened up in NE cities like Philadelphia. As such, finding a good cup of coffee in the Main Line was basically impossible. Noting this, Tim, a Bala resident, decided it was time to open up Townhall. I met Tim two years ago via the Barista Exchange and I’m very happy to see this shop up and running. I often play orchestra gigs out in the Main Line and it’s a relief to know I can stop by his shop and grab a shot when I’m in the area.

(The Bad Boys, and Girl, of Townhall)

When I arrived at Townhall, they were serving the Rustico Espresso Blend by Counter Culture on their refurbished three-group La Marzocco GS2 that has been decked out with paddles. The GS2 is experiencing a bit of revival these days. When repaired and cleaned up, these machines can be beautiful little workhorses (TZ to the EP with the help of a DR… or TZ-->EP+DR). Besides some other wonderful coffees from Counter Culture, Townhall was also serving some sweet drip coffee from Gimme and Novo off Hario V60s, another popular trend. I know this is a weird one to talk about, but one coffee from Novo caught my attention. It was a blend of decaffeinated Ethiopian coffees and it was kind of awesome. I imagine this coffee could give other “regular” coffees a run for their money when it’s fresh. Weird, huh? But seriously, even at something like 6 days out, this coffee still had wonderful fragrances of blueberry, lime, and lemon grass. Not too shabby for a decaf. While Iwas there, I was privy to some major samplings of chocolate chip cookies and pie (oh my). And let me tell you, that right there: that was a good time. I love chocolate chip cookies. Ilove them big. I love them small. When you’re at Townhall, get yeeself a pastry. Most of them baked on the premises. Yeah.

Bodhi, Bodhi, Bodhi, can’t you see? Blah blah blah, they blah blah-blah me. When I got back from the last HT tour, a few new shops had opened their doors. Who’d’a’thunk it? ‘Hit the road for 5 straight months and something new opens up. Weird. I happened to be in the area, visiting a friend in my one week back in town before skidaddaling for Portland, and noticed a Synesso through a shop’s window. While there’s no shortage of Synessos in NYC, Philly’s 3rd Wave had previously been a Marzocco only situation. I was immediately intrigued! Upon walking inside, I saw that it was Philly’s first bona fide Stumptown account. They are now showcasing some of the goods found at Green Aisle Grocery, as well.

Tom Henneman and Bobby Logue are the dudes in charge and they are psyched. In fact, the whole staff is psyched. While there I worked with Johnathon Amos, Grey Fisher, and Tom; each psyched in unique and beautiful ways. Jonathon was psyched for impromptu Gaja Ache Spro’ing. Grey was all psyched for TNT’ing. Tom may have been the most pysched, though, perhaps stepping it up to the next level: “totally stoked,” as he was psyched for paper filters, Chemex-brewing-techniques, and Power Animal, the awesome band from NE Philly. That’s a grand total of 5 psychisms between the actual staff members available, making for a mean of 1.5 psychisms per person, and a median of 2.5 psychisms. My being psyched to be back in Philly, touching awesome espresso machines with my fingers, repping HT while tamping, drinking great coffee, seeing my folks +1 brother, friends, hanging with Lil’ Teeth and others, almost brought the situation to unhealthy level of fun outlook-age, except that I was unpsyched to have just left a wonderful GF in a town I have come to love, which dropped my personal total of psychisms down 10 psychisms. Oh well.

(Florida Coffee Twins? Grey and Jonathan)
(Tommy H-man, Below)

Anywhoooo, I had a great time getting nuts with coffee and music all over this great city. I highly suggest that you check out these shops, as they offer great coffee. I AM psyched to check these shops out, as they continue to grow and learn more in an ever-changing coffee climate.

*Now people like me will love this blogfor allthe geocities-style colorful fan photos!

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