But on Saturday, I cheated. I wandered into the shiny new SteamDot coffee shop in the Sears mall and ordered an Americano (my new drink of choice esp. with honey and a dash of cream, mmmm).
South-side friends have long raved that SteamDot is awesome, and they were recently voted best coffee place in Alaska by Zagat. As a coffee lover, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about!
Here are my impressions from my visit and some other random bits of SteamDot trivia:
- The barista was helpful and friendly, and tried to explain the complicated coffee-steaming-gravity-compression-machine on the counter (I made those terms up – I have no idea how it works, what it does, or what it’s called…but it looked like something that would be found in an apothecary shop or an alchemist’s lair).
- Local lore has it that dogs are welcome in the south-side location. If this is true, it’s pretty cool.
- The interior of the coffee shop was warm looking and feeling – a cozy (yet modern) fireplace, reds and oranges on the walls, granite that looked like different shades of coffee swirled together, lots of comfy chairs. Definitely a good space to hang out and sip some joe.
- I saw a photo on Facebook of a coffee plant with berries on in growing in one of their shops. I’ve loved coffee plants ever since I was five and visited my great-aunt and uncle’s coffee farm in Hawaii. I had no idea that coffee beans came from berries (cherries?), or that the berries tasted good until that trip (and, I was five, so I wasn’t drinking coffee yet, just appreciating the lovely coffee smell from my dad’s cup) and eating coffee berries with my family is a memory I cherish.
Overall, a sweet operation. Plus, more competition for KBC means our coffee industry is healthy! No surprise, since as of 2011 we’re still keeping our #1 city for coffee shops per capita (2.8 shops per 10,000 people) ranking.
Despite the fun of my SteamDot fling, my dalliance was short-lived. Once a Kaladi’s girl, always a Kaladi’s girl. But it was fun to see what else was out there! And I’ll probably give their cold brew a try this summer.
What’s your favorite coffee spot in Anchorage?