Monday, February 23, 2015

Coffee Break: Green Line Cafe

Amy, a barista at Green Line Cafe´s location on Locust Street near 44th in West Philly, whips up a coffee. ( Vinny Vella / Daily News Staff)
Amy, a barista at Green Line Cafe's location on Locust Street near 44th in West Philly, whips up a coffee. ( Vinny Vella / Daily News Staff)

Where: 4239 Baltimore Ave., and 45th and Locust streets, in West Philly; 3649 Lancaster Ave., in Powelton Village; 15th and Moravian streets, in Center City; and inside Ryan Veterinary Hospital, 3900 Spruce St., in Spruce Hill.

The lowdown: A West Philly standby for just over a decade, Green Line proudly serves that area's hipsters, hip students and other coffee-lovin' characters.

Hours: Vary by location.

Backstory: This local chain started when co-owners Daniel Thut and Douglas Witmer converted a tumbledown Baltimore Avenue rowhouse into a hangout for students from Penn, Drexel and the University of the Sciences. Green Line is named for the trolley route that's across the street from the first cafe.

The beans: Green Line says it was the first coffeehouse in the city to roast beans from Equal Exchange, a Boston-based company that sponsors worker-owned co-ops and stresses fair-trade practices. The custom house roast is made from single-source Peruvian beans.

The machine: During the Daily News' recent visit to the Locust Street location, the baristas were marveling at their new Nuova Simonelli Appia Espresso Machine. The chrome beauty purrs like a well-tuned engine as it dispenses drinks.

Ambience: The place was filled with students typing on laptops and chatting over steaming mugs. Green Line is well-known as a patron of the arts, and the walls here were full of photos and paintings by local artists.

What's cookin'? Each location offers a variety of homemade sandwiches, including this reporter's personal favorite, the sweet-potato burrito. Other fare includes bagels, quiches and Le Bus muffins.

Prices: Coffee, espresso and tea: $1.75-$2; cappuccino: $2.75-$3.25; macchiato: $2.50-$3; latte: $3-$3.50; hot chocolate: $3-$3.50; sandwiches: $4.50-$6.

Social stuff: Twitter: @GreenLineCafe; Facebook: Green Line Cafe;


Nocturnal Daily News crime reporter Vinny Vella drinks coffee like it's going out of style. But it's not . . . right?

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