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Please Don’t Call It a Cup of Joe

photo.JPGTodd Olmstead Some of the selection at Van Daag.

For many coffee drinkers, the morning brew is a ritual, an essential start to the day whether consumed at home, work, or somewhere in between. But for coffee geeks, the experience is so much more than adding fuel. It’s a precise, scientific process in which beans cultivated with care on small farms in far away countries are ground specifically for that single, perfect cup. Many are coming to drink coffee with the same attention as fine wine.

Joining the movement is Van Daag, with a new coffee menu featuring beans from two renowned Scandinavian micro-roasters.

“Van Daag wanted a coffee program that would be something different, something that New York hadn’t seen yet,” David Latourell of Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea told me. He helped assemble Coffee Collective of Copenhagen and Tim Wendelboe of Oslo along with Ecco Caffe, a small California roastery that Intelligentsia owns.

One patron described the former World Barista Champion as “godlike,” but Mr. Wendelboe, who is tall and has boyish features, doesn’t carry himself like a star. This event felt more like a gathering of old friends – though they were also happy to dispense their considerable coffee wisdom to anyone eager to slurp the brown nectar.
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