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
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.
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.