under a bushel

May 21, 2007 – 10:09 am

yes, well, in today’s edition of “startling places greenville hides its coffee,” CI zooms in like a finely calibrated wire brush on one of those new, off-main-street shops with an idiosyncratic mix of ephemera that may well be ahead of its time. ephemera such as … well, we quote, “coffee, woolens, etc.”

which, of course, demands a few vitally urgent (also urgently vital) questions: what are woolens? and, do i want them in my coffee? (rest assured: this blog has determined that they are NOT, thank goodness, early prairie-era women’s garments of an itchy sort.) depending on how poorly you understand textiles, this tagline may also conjure images of steaming, flat-bottomed mugs in cutesy hand-knit mug cardigans, held in the hands of pigtailed girls in flat-bottomed canvas sneakers and hand-knit spring cardigans. this is not that kind of place, mind you. but the double-takes, they only mount from there, piling up like, well, hand-knit cardigans. there’s the name — brew-n-ewe — the two-group nuova simonelli amidst cottage decor, the fliers for this weekend’s knit-in(!) near the latest issue of fresh cup mag and counter culture’s espresso toscano

which was just too much. this blog sort of looked around, slack-jawed and dumb-ish, and wondered, “where are the droves of people, flocking to the only place within a day’s journey where the most popular espresso blend on the east coast can be had 48 hours out of the roaster?” alas, as has been thoroughly bemoaned, it’s a town of grit-fed ignoramuses. and this blog loves grits. the upside: we had the place to ourselves!

somewhat like this state’s other two spro joints of note, we understand the level of demitasse satisfaction highly depends on the person manning the handles ‘n steam wands (side note: the favored c-n-c, we must say, aspires to inter-barista sublimity like few others in these hinterlands). this blog’s double espresso came at the hands of a genial female with an obviously practiced tamp and an obscene toscano overdose (every toscano-slinging cafe this blog knows of heaps the stuff like a dang funeral pyre). anyway, ’twas good. a bit hot by way of brew temp, but well pulled and of cheery lipidic consistency!

the american barista school diploma on the wall? belonged to the owner. who, apparently, keeps his appearances rare. this blog, anyway, has yet to partake of the man’s skillz.

and there’s your cliffhanger: signs of promise, but the jury’s still out on brew-n-ewe. that chris owens, next time he blows through greenville he’ll have to hit the mall and the nondescript corner of river, broad and japanese dogwood lane