Monday, January 26, 2015

Coffee Break: Square One Coffee

Baristas Ammi Cabrera and Linda Wolfe at Square One Coffee.
Baristas Ammi Cabrera and Linda Wolfe at Square One Coffee.

Where: 249 S. 13th St.

The lowdown: Lancaster-based Square One Coffee came to Philly a month ago on the ground floor of the new John C. Anderson Apartments.

Hours: 6 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays; 7 a.m.-8 p.m. weekends.

Backstory: Husband and wife co-owners Joshua and Jessica Steffy have run Square One since 2007. They roast their own beans and wholesale 'em, too. Of prime importance to the couple is the role farmers play in the specialty-coffee industry. They have traveled to Kenya, Costa Rica and other countries to better understand farmers' lives, barista Linda Wolfe said.

The beans: Are imported from a variety of places, including Ethiopia, Guatemala and Kenya. Barista Ammi Cabrera offered up a single-cup pour-over of some smooth, chocolaty Colombian on a recent visit. The Philly shop has a cupping lab where baristas learn the ins and outs of serving Square One coffee just so.

The machine: As soon as you walk in, your eyes will gravitate toward the mustard-yellow La Marzocco espresso machine at the front counter. Go ahead. Have some espresso.

Ambience: While many independent coffee shops that have sprouted up around the city in recent years are in cramped spaces, Square One is open, airy and relaxed. Bring a friend - or, heck, bring 10 - and chat up the friendly, enthusiastic employees who love talking about coffee.

Beyond beans: cupcakes from Philly Cupcake and croissants and bagels from West Philly's Four Worlds Bakery. Plus, juices from Reading Terminal Market.

Prices: Quick cup, $1.75-$2.75; espresso, $2.50; loose-leaf tea, $2.50; cappuccino, $3.25; latte, $3.75 or $4.25; mocha and cafe caramel, $4.25 and $5; hot chocolate, $2.75-$3.75; cold brew in a custom bottle, $5.

Social stuff: Twitter: @squareonecoffee. Facebook: Square One Coffee.


According to scientific data, Daily News staff writer David Gambacorta consumes enough coffee daily to live another 200 years.

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