thoughts on food, culture, and community

Archive for the month “July, 2013”

Kyoto drip, Bank Square Coffeehouse; Beacon, New York

koyto drip

Bank Square Coffeehouse. July 2013

Okay. I cannot say that I actually tasted this coffee when I stopped at this gem of a coffeehouse in Beacon, New York — but the sheer appearance of the brewing apparatus of Kyoto drip coffee certainly caught my attention. At Bank Square Coffeehouse, founded in 2009, this Kyoto drip steeps coffee through a thick bed of grounds at one drip per second.

Since they were out of Kyoto drip when I was there (although they were brewing more, IV-style), I turn to In the article “Some Like It Cold (Brewed),” writers call the process of Kyoto drip “breathtaking,” “mad-scientist-style,” and a “spiraling one-drop-at-a-time” method of cold brewing.

Of the taste of the Kyoto drip at Blue Bottle Coffee (Oakland, San Francisco, Brooklyn), they wrote: “Kyoto’s brew is an intense, flattish-tasting brew that has that guilty pleasure flavor of canned iced coffee. The cup we tried was a bit ice-cube flavored, but the sturdy, almost woody quality to the brew suggests it might get better and better as that melty ice goes on.”

Road trip to New York, anyone? (Coffee’s on me.)

Bank Square Coffeehouse
129 Main Street
Beacon, NY 12508

Sunday-Thursday, 5:30am-9:00pm (6:30am on Sunday)
Friday-Saturday, 5:30am-10:00pm (6:30am on Saturday)

An introvert’s guide to settling in

When I was younger, I was unable attend anything that included an overnight stay without major bouts of tears and anxiety. In comparison to the familiarity of home, I never found summer camp exciting, wasn’t particularly interested in sleeping over at friends’ homes, and for the most part abstained from dabbling in anything unfamiliar, well into college. Even now, most trips I take away from home are considerably draining. I’m excellent at planning new visits and then finding myself extremely annoyed by them in the moment when I realize that I’ve put myself, yet again, in the place where I am most uncomfortable — somewhere new.

I just completed a month at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where I lived in a dorm and studied French culture and gastronomy with 17 other students from across the country. When I arrived to Dartmouth in mid-June and said my first hello to the stranger across the hallway, I was surprised to realize that it’s been eight years since my study abroad experience in Avignon, France, during which I first spent four terrified and enriching months away from my comfort zone.

When our Dartmouth group parted tearfully on Tuesday, I was equally surprised to note that, since Avignon, I’ve learned a thing or two about finding home in a new space.

1) Explore your surroundings. When I arrived in France in 2007 for eight months of teaching, the first thing that I forced myself to do was to go for a long walk around my new town. During the process, I located the grocery store, the train station, and a bakery — and discovered that the quickest way to get comfortable in a new area is to understand where you are. Go for walks. Deliberately get lost. Usually, your first days in a new place grace you with more free time than you’re used to, and use this to your advantage.

2) Be deliberate in conversations. Familiarity and a sense of home do not grow only out of objects and areas; most authentically it blossoms from people. Invest in everyone around you, including the neighbors, the garbage man, the daily dog walker. Ask people questions about themselves (polite ones, of course) — about their job, their life, and your surroundings. For me, this meant that in Talange, the chocolatier was the first person to welcome me back from a Christmas trip to the US; in Pittsburgh, the first stranger who knew my name in town was my barista. These people may not become friends whose shoulder you cry on, but these people can become the framework of your new home.

3) Volunteer. For anything. I find that the most tiring part of travel is the constant need to make small talk, so when words fail, I offer actions. Give rides to the grocery store to people who need them. Hold the door open for those behind you. Swing a hammer. Be sincere. People remember. After all, actions speak louder than words.

4) Find the small things that make you comfortable. Over the years, I’ve developed a list of tried-and-true new-place items: a water bottle, granola bars, my journal, earplugs (for nap-taking near unexpected noises), Jolly Ranchers (for flights), flip flops (for communal showers), and instantly finding a good café in which I can unwind. Knowing these details about yourself allows you to better present yourself to the people who will eventually become your friends — the people who will eventually transform newness into warm familiarity.

Friday Photo: Morano Gelato, Hanover, New Hampshire


These whipped cloud-like mounds of gelato display the dessert’s luxuriousness. July 2013.

Being the daughter of a dairy farmer, I have an incredible weakness for dairy products, especially ice cream. However, even I admit that once you taste gelato, like that of Morano Gelato in Hanover, New Hampshire, there’s no turning back.

According to the Morano website, gelato differs from American ice cream in three main ways: gelato has a lower butterfat content (4-9% verses 14-25%), is less dense than traditional ice cream (20-30% air verses 50%), and is served at 10-15 degrees warmer than traditional ice cream is. These qualities allow gelato to pack an incredibly rich, creamy mouthfeel, so decadent that only a few spoonfuls are endlessly satisfying. No triple-decker cone is needed here.

Called “the best gelato in America” by Forbes magazine, the gelato at Morano is made fresh daily and sells out every evening. Come early to try out flavors like Almond, English Custard, or Dark Chocolate — which was too rich for even me — or to sample classic Italian espressos and sandwiches amid the boutique’s chic décor and outdoor seating.

57 South Main Street
Hanover, New Hampshire

Friday-Saturday, 11:00am-10pm
Tuesday-Thursday & Sunday, 11:00am-9:30pm

Hours change seasonally.

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