Opening in Nov. 2006, this space is aptly named “Coffee Lounge”. It has dark brown walls, spot lighting, large gallery art, lounge-like music, and it attracts more of an upscale, edgy crowd for the neighborhood. A mix of unique seating options spread throughout the long space. They serve some croissants and bakery items, but it’s largely about coffee here.

The owner, Jill Rosenthal, wrote CoffeeRatings.com to say that they used the site to sample the competition and ultimately decide upon a custom house roast — buying beans from the top-rated cafés and sampling them. They worked with Rick at ABC, of all roasters, to develop a custom blend (“organic house blend #5″) after side-by-side tastings — it’s an organic blend of dark Brazilian and dark & light Nicaraguan. And while some of that attention to detail shows, they still have some kinks to work out — not surprising for a newer place, however.

Entrance to Sugarlump Inside Sugarlump

Using a two-group Nuova Simonelli Premier, they pull shots with a thinner body and a thinner layer of a mottled, medium brown crema. They staff deliberately pre-heat cups and take the time to do it right — they just need more practice. Flavorwise, it has a slightly burnt/bitter edge a la Martha & Bros: strong tobacco and some ash. Their heart is in the right place, but they need to work on the execution. My own personal tastes, but I might start by upgrading the ABC beans. (Which isn’t to say that ABC makes bad beans, but most of the places that carry them often have poor espresso.)

Read the review of Sugarlump Coffee Lounge.

The Sugarlump espresso More coffee lounging