I recently had occasion to visit my old stomping grounds. Coffee grounds were involved.

Columbia recently opened a shiny new building, a futuristic affair whose silvery, futuristic aspect I suppose testifies to the forward-looking scientific studies regularly undertaken behind it.

On the second floor a venerable NYC coffee chain, Joe, recently opened an outpost. It's easily the best coffee in the immediate area.

Joe used to serve Barrington coffee, a respectable roaster out of Massachusetts, and now serves Ecco Caffe. Ecco is now controlled by Intelligentsia, easily the best of the so-called Big Three progressive American coffee roasters, but Ecco has maintained its distinctive style, much to my delight. Joe does that style justice.

First, they offer five Ecco selections as pourover. They use scales and Hario v60 cones and nice technique.

They also pull shots off a GB/5. My barista did not wear the standard hipster look that these days is curiously and somewhat hilariously a sign of quality in the progressive coffee industry. No waxed mustache, awkward vest, or anachronistic page-cap here. Just an average NYC dude, insofar as NYC dudes can approximate something as scientifically constricting as an average.

First shot was way too tight, so it was dumped. Second shot looked good but messy...also dumped. Goldilocks-style, the third looked just right and tasted good. Not as good as Stumptown's, but I was at least able to get some elegant brewed coffee here.

If I were still a student here, I'd be here daily, raising my mug to science. The science of good extraction. Onward and upward.

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