CI intrudes on trendy atlanta quasi-hipsterism

March 18, 2007 – 1:25 pm

atlanta’s octane is the abercrombie & fitch of southeast coffee bars — where being ignored is part of the ambiance! (note: those people on their web site look downright preppy compared to the playas who mumbled in the general direction of this blog.

you may not address us. you wait for us to slouchily address you, as if you have interrupted our little game of Models-n-Dreadlocks for a cup of … whaaa? a macchiato? yeah, whatEVER. as soon as we get done fiddling with our grinders and making inside jokes to the non-coffee-drinking groupies lolling on the bar.

it’s one of those joints that’s so cool you don’t know WHERE to pay, you don’t know WHO is the barista and you don’t have ANY CLUE whether they act this way because they know soooo much about their coffee or because they’re covering up how very little they know about their coffee. i didn’t mind it so much; the heavily aftershaved cypriot, however, wondered if he was being punk’d.

it’s at the nexus of one of those developing urban centers where the seedy warehouses and low-slung, brick-and-glass new urbanist condos still coexist, albeit uneasily. the radiating metal grate above the bar, sloping up toward the bare rafters, is cool; the cubist black couches draped with indie band lookalikes and their ladies in pigtails still cooler.

saw some of the slowest shots of toscano known to man. this blog was tempted to dismiss the baristi (there were two of them doing some sort of bi-minute trade-off) as crutch-loving pretenders, then came back for a second look. it was their thing. looked like a 16-gram dose to me, ground very fine and under brew pressure probably 10 seconds before a drop of the good stuff appeared. it was, at least, consistent. and thick as toddler schnoz.

two maccs down the hatch, and we agreed they were the darkest and spiciest and longest-lingering versions of this spro we’d ever had, then out the door. not bad, in all. worth a stop … and now the closest option for respectable shottage this blog has in these hinterlands.

props to espressomap for the pointer.

UPDATE: octane impressions from people with actual, you know, access, right here. also: pics, which blog inexcusably failed to provide.

UPDATE: still more impressions today (3/25) from correspondents who say the place doesn’t normally ignore customers or shun enthusiast conversation. guess we’ll have to visit again … which, as noted, this blog planned to do anyway. bottom line for us is taste, and we were intrigued by the intense darkness of the toscano ristrettos. this blog welcomes any more reader-generated excuses to throw a few more down the hatch … e-mail’s to the right.