Coffee Culture with Jeff Newton

Please proceed to this post with your favorite brew, a nice warm fancy mug, and your undivided attention to a special guest here on Coffee Drinker’s Blog, Jeff Newton of Americano Monday’s! Jeff is a devoted coffee culturalist (in my most humble of opinions) and has a keen eye for telling stories through the lens of his camera (see the photos below). It’s what makes Jeff’s Americano Monday’s so special.

I recently reached out to Jeff after seeing one of his posts on Deus Ex Machina USA’s Facebook Page. I thought that what Jeff was doing was beyond cool, not to mention what an awesome name, Americano Monday’s. So I contacted Jeff, asked him a bit of questions, and, well, here are his answers!

What is your favorite song to listen to while drinking an Americano and why? 
I wouldn’t say that I have a favorite song, it’s more about adjusting my music selection to my mood and time of day. In the morning I’ll  make an Americano or French Press and listen to music along the lines of Sufjan Stevens, Local Natives or the Civil Wars. But later in the afternoon when I’m ready for my 2nd Americano and need to push through the day I’ll rock some Common Market, Jack White or The Black Keys. Very freakin’ loud. For me, it’s more about setting the tone for that particular moment of my day.
Jeff Newton: American Mondays

Jeff Newton: American Mondays

What grabs your attention when you first walk into a coffee shop? 
The music that the shop is playing. I’ve noticed that some cafe’s have forgotten that they are coffee shops and blast the music like a bar. That’s an automatic turn off. Especially when I’ve left my laptop at home and am just wanting to journal. Let’s just say there’s a problem when you can’t even hear your own thoughts.
On a happier note, I love it when I walk into an upscale coffee shop and the baristas – owners are all nice. That goes a long way in my decision to return.
Do you have a rating system of your own when judging coffee and the local shop your at?
I don’t have a rating system but I do choose certain coffee shops for specific reasons.
If I am hoping to put in some very focused work on my laptop then I will choose a coffee shop that has a good table selection and isn’t rockin’ the music too loud.
On the other hand, there are cafe’s that I love but they just don’t have the right ‘mobile office’ enviornment. And i’m glad those coffee shops still exists because it forces us to pull ourselves away from our too often, closed off world. There’s one very close to our home that I ride my bike to on a regular basis. I bring a book and a journal and chill…it’s a good feeling.
Jeff Newton: American Mondays

Jeff Newton: American Mondays

What’s the best conversation you’ve had most recently in a coffee shop? 
My wife and I discussing our future together.
Coffee Ice cream?
Yes and yes.
Why is coffee so special to you? 
Coffee culture became an important part of my life in my teenage years. I would stay up all night drinking coffee and writing in my journal. Then, as I got older I felt a connection with the community of people I would meet at coffee shops. Coffee to me is more about what’s in my cup – but it better taste good – and more about the experiences and life lessons I have gained through conversations held over a cup of coffee.
AND
What are you currently brewing at home?
I am currently brewing Intelligentsia Black Cat espresso beans in our espresso machine. And a friend of mine recently gave me a pound of Stumptown Hair Bender beans that I use for French Press. 
Peace & Love,
TheCoffeeMan™

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Cold Brew

This was my first experimentation into the cold brew world and, it was awesome. It’s not for everyone, but this coffee packs a punch full of smooth balanced flavors from beginning to end. This past weekend Shelby and I traveled to our beloved Whole Foods to grab a quick bite to eat. I was rummaging through trying to find something to drink (finally picked a Joe’s Half & Half which is refreshing as well), but it wasn’t until I was on my way towards the register that I noticed Stumptown’s Cold Brew. I hesitated, I wasn’t sure if I should try it, but being a coffee lover I decided I would.

Cold Brew

Cold Brew

I wasn’t expecting what I got. I first thought it was going to be more like those double-shot-espresso-mass-produced-cans that Starbuck’s puts on local grocery shelves everywhere. BUT! It was so much more complex, tasty, so satisfying, and my GOD it had the perfect aroma of chocolate. My mouth is salivating just talking about it again. The uniquely, or I should say very similar appearance to a Red Stripe bottle made for some interesting conversations. Shelby and I had gone to the local mall and I was asked a few times what I was drinking, only to answer with, “Why this is Stumptown’s awesome Cold Brew coffee!” I just wanted people to stop what they were doing so they could try, I was almost even willing to share…but not really.

Overall, it’s worth a try. It’s not for everyone, but it is enjoyable from beginning to end if you are willing to give it a go. Trust me. But, if you need a little persuasion just think of this;

Slowly open the top and put your nose up to it, and take a deep breath in. You’ll smell your mom’s famous chocolate chip cookies baking in extra chocolate chips with a fresh pot of coffee brewing right beside it.

Peace & Love,

TheCoffeeMan™

Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee

Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee
10 Downing Street
New York, NY 10014

 

Jack's Stir Brew

Jack’s Stir Brew

“Organic Fairtrade Shadegrown Coffee,” a perfect example of exactly how coffee should be. Jack’s Stir Brew is in one word (which is completely made up but…) BREWTASTIC! The espresso was undeniably creamy and balanced perfectly with local Hudson Valley Fresh Milk! There’s something so refreshing and exciting when all the ingredients being used in your meals and drinks are all right from your own backyard. Because guess what? It tastes 100% better than all those genetically enhanced ingredients you’d get at let’s say, your local Starbucks.

OH YES, yes I did just go out on a limb and state that Jack’s Stir Brew is in fact better than Starbucks. Now, for the most part many mom and pop enthusiasts who support the  local route will say, “Duh of course it’s better.” But, you have to understand Starbucks has  created what mom and pop cafe’s could only dream of; mass production with emphasis on customer loyalty. Unfortunately, what most mom and pop cafes lack is the number one golden rule, The Customer is ALWAYS Right. This rule is so often overlooked that the customer loyalty is not sustained.

Walking Towards Jack's!

Walking Towards Jack’s!

Jack’s is a true gem and right out it scores a  rating from TheCoffeeMan™ Pure euphoria when the espresso hits your lips. Have you ever been so caffeinated your brain just can’t handle it but it feels fantastic? That’s exactly how it is when drinking Jack’s A+++ grade espresso. My walk over after work this past Friday was nothing short of a perfect summer evening in New York City. The temperature was just right and you could smell the climax of summer as we slowly descend into my favorite time of the year, Fall. I approached the 10 Downing Street location (there’s 5 Jack’s across the city) and I was welcomed generously into the shop.

Local Favorites Menu

Local Favorites Menu

Immediately upon entering I smiled as big as ever. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, the baristas were genuinely excited to serve, and although there was small amounts of seating Jack’s felt huge. I ordered a local favorite, the Teddy Boy. The espresso was pulled just right, the amount of ice was enough to add a refreshing chill to the drink, and it was balanced well with the perfect amount of cream. I can see why it was such a local favorite. I most certainly will be back to continue to pick apart the local favorites menu, but to also enjoy some of the award winning coffee! It was a pleasure enjoying Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee. Overall ! It’s a fantastic spot to enjoy a local vibe, great coffee & espresso, and to have a good conversation. Remember to tell em’ the Coffee Drinker’s Blog sent ya!

Peace & Love,

TheCoffeeMan™