It's nice to be recognized by professionals who's job is to look for the different and the excellent. We think our staff deserves the honor and we've been delighted that our customers agree and have congratulated our staff repeatedly this week.
Congrats also to our Washington Road neighbors Planet Art Gallery (Best Out-of-This-World Art Gallery) and Enotera at Il Pizzaiolo (Best Wine Bar) as well as the French Tart Bakery (Best Fruit Tarts) on Cochran. Mt. Lebanon represents baby!
That our staff was recognized for their talents is extra special to us. Training is the thing we take most seriously. We could change roasters, we could change locations, but we will always strive to have the best trained staff, both technically and service-wise. Until the day comes when a machine can make perfect microfoam and adjust grind/dose/tamp to any of the countless variables baristas encounter, the hand of a well-trained barista is what makes the difference between a great traditional cappuccino and a bowl of coffee-flavored bubbles.
There are many polls for "best coffee" and "best coffeehouse". People's tastes differ. But coffee remains universal. That's why there are 105 new Dunkin' Donuts locations and 30 Cuppy's drive-thrus coming to an area that's supposed to be in decline, not to mention more Caribous and Starbucks and Crazy Mochas on the way. Nobody is ever going to compare those coffees to Intelligentsia for quality (although Caribou has some nice ones). And we don't (and won't) have any comfy chairs, so we'll never get votes from people who think those are important.
After the AOL
voting debacle this spring which had technical holes you could drive an Ice Road Trucker through, we basically gave up soliciting votes for
online polls. That's why you heard nothing from us encouraging your
votes for either the Post-Gazette readers poll (we finsihed #2 anyway,
thanks to those of you who found it on your own and those of you
directed to the poll by other coffeehouses who voted for us instead!)
and Pittsburgh Magazine's reader's poll. We didn't even vote
ourselves. We might link to online polls in the future, but we're not
going to go out of our way to solicit votes.
Until someone creates a poll that can't be spoofed and requires people to actually have tried the place and only vote once, we're out. (Not chasing votes) Doesn't seem to hurt LaPrima, you know? And editors have to judge from many, many shops, so being selected top of that heap with more than 100 indie coffeehouses in the area really means something.