New Orleans holds a special place in my heart. After spending four years here slamming out a degree that I now have little use for, I’m thankful for the experiences I’ve had in NOLA.
The food/restaurant culture (especially as of late) is a fierce contender on the national level (and will be worth of future posts from yours truly). In the meantime, check out the newly re-launched Edible NOLA to get a wonderfully curated lowdown on what’s going on in the big easy.
This post isn’t about food, though, it’s about coffee. My time in New Orleans preceded my metamorphosis into insufferable coffee snob. Coming back here through a more caffeinated, aero-pressed lens sheds new light on this unique and wonderful city. Unfortunately, I have to admit that I’ve been largely disappointed by the coffee scene in New Orleans. PJ’s, CC’s, and Rue de la Course rule the local roost of coffee chains, and they’re ultimately disappointing. These coffee shops are vestiges of 90’s-era shops that didn’t give a damn about the provenance of the coffee or how it was made. The rise of the specialty coffee accentuates that fact more than ever.
I had almost lost all hope in finding decent coffee in this city rife with personality and culture. Fortunately, I just found a few promising spots, but would like to focus on my current favorite of the lot: HiVolt Coffee.
Sporting a full line of Counter Culture beans, a great aesthetic sensibility, and a creative, wide-ranging light menu, it’s an oasis of great coffee on Magazine street.
As for the cortado? aside from being photogenic, it’s tasty. Counter Culture’s Rustico espresso blends is dutifully constructed into a nutty, smooth cortado with just a hint of tanginess. Pair it with one of their dense, surprisingly delicious Mexican chocolate donuts (that I later learned were vegan and gluten free) and you’ve got a nice pairing. I’m a fan.
I think it’s important to have a go-to coffee shop in cities you tend to visit often. Whenever you need some time to yourself and your thoughts, just sit back, order a cortado, tip the barista, and chill while some great shop tunes play.