When I was looking for an apartment in Pittsburgh I focused in on an area near campus called Shadyside. I decided to stop by this café on a whim; it was grey and raining and cold and I was just looking for a place to get online and find some apartment to look at.
Long story short: two hours later I was still sitting on a comfortable leather couch at CTR, latte in hand, warm in front of their fireplace and thinking “this, I want to be next to this, I want to live here.” Sure enough I managed to find an apartment, slightly out of my price range I might add, under a five minute walk to this place.
It is just fantastic.
There are tons of smallish wooden tables, perfect for one person to sit and read or study without taking up an entire four person table. There are also leather couches and comfortable chairs by the fireplace, and best of all the study room: a glass-enclosed study area where cell phones are not allowed, and which you can reserve!
As far as the coffee: CTR would always have freshly roasted beans for me, and at reasonable prices. The baristas were better than average and they also had a pretty well fleshed out collection of coffee brewing gear. They had a few Baratza’s (just the Maestro and Maestro Plus, I think), a wide assortment of Bodum presses, a Bodum blade grinder (I think I may have bought a Bodum blade grinder there actually, I definitely bough at least one replacement French press, and a beaker for my larger press which I had broken), Chemexes and even and Aeropress!
Overall, this is exactly the sort of café that everyone should be exposed to. It made me appreciate café culture in Pittsburgh, which I found far more easy-going than in SF. I spent so much time in this place that the employees got to know me by name and I felt like I should have been paying them rent!
Oh, and my drink of choice there: Medium Americano. I know its just espresso and hot water but somehow at CTR it just tasted right.
Thanks for reading,