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Coffee Culture: The Shop Cafe, Ithaca, New York

Coffee Culture: The Shop Cafe, Ithaca, New York

Bill Walsh passes through gorgeous Ithaca, New York and hits the stupendous coffeehouse called The Shop Cafe for a supreme cup of joe.
By Bill Walsh


Subject: The Shop Cafe
Location: Ithaca, NY
WiFi?: Yes
Rating: 6+ [see key] Part of the Fill in the Coffee Map Series


Back when central New York was a regular stomping ground, Ithaca was one of my favorite haunts. Its lovely small town shops, independent culture and its array of good coffeehouses always made for a nice little day trip.

Recently in passing through, I made my way over to a spot I had previously not known as a member of the Ithaca coffee scene, a shop called The Shop Cafe. Located on Seneca Street a block or so from the Commons, The Shop shares a stand-alone brick-faced building with a tattoo parlor. Walking over on the slightly deserted streets on a rainy morning, I found the interior buzzing with life.


The inside continues the yellow exterior onto the walls, balanced with a checkered tile floor. The bar hugs the left wall while seating exists at the front and back of the space. Coffee from various roasters adorns a front display, along with fresh pastries and other wares upon the counter.


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As for my coffee, I settled upon Gimme‘s Piccolo Mundo for my espresso and a pourover of Counter Culture‘s Ikawa Burundi. The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, conveyed lemon, raspberry, chocolate and a touch of basil, making for a delicious espresso, bright and velvety. The pourover sang of wildflower honey, rhubarb, pie crust, caramel, nougat and a touch of celery in a light body; all in all smooth, succulent and sweet.

Pleased with my offerings and the wonderful baristas in this gem of a shop, I will definitely make this a regular visit when I blow into town. When in Ithaca, set up shop at The Shop.

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