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Comments

LeboJohn

Take your pretentious attitude and move to the West Coast. I'll go to someone else who appreciates my desire for a plain old cup of coffee and isn't located where its impossible to find a place to park!

rich

See what we mean?

Dude, you're free to go anywhere you want. Potomac Bakery is about 20 steps away and they've got plain old coffee for a buck or something.

Not sure why you'd come in here at all, let alone come in here expecting cheap commodity coffee, then complain across the internet when we don't have that.

Feel free to go where you want. Meantime we'll feel free to pursue something better than that. It's the American Way.

Brad Fisher

Wow. There's nothing like putting a laser beam on the fine line between humbly serving quality product to people who appreciate it and catering to that nouveau-uppity-blogerati-this-is-how-they-do-it-in-portland thing that many Pittsburghers just won't tolerate. I love your store. I love how when the high school crew needed some catered coffee for a god-awful event on a windy Sunday in Moraine State Park, you got up at 5 am and delivered the goods. I trust your advice when I'm about to pay way more than I used to for a bag of beans I've never heard of before, and I've never been disappointed. And I love being able to walk to your store. With lots of choices in coffee shops, your coffee knowledge is the best part of what's different about Aldo's. I hope you solve this -- advertising? coffee education parties? coupons? -- Lebo needs Aldo's, if only to keep from sliding back into its caky, cranky, pruny, narrow-minded past.

Rich

Brad,
Thanks for your comment. Means a lot.
We try to do what we reasonably can for the community and support interesting activities like yours.
We know we can't do Portland (although Stumptown now outsells Intelligentsia here!) And we're not going to try to outgeek the really geeky shops in town.
Pretty much all we want to do is get across that there are differences in coffee and how its sourced (ethically and sustainably vs. not). How we draw attention to that is contentious, even among the staff.
Glad you appreciate where we're coming from.

John Piquet

Rich,

You will invariably find there will be 20% of people who will never be your customers. And that is fine. You can't, nor should you want to appeal to everyone.

As you have found out, serving a niche is really the best way to go for a shop with your size and focus. It's strange that quality coffee is a niche, because you would assume most coffee businesses would like to make good coffee, but that would be a false assumption.

Knowing the "whys" and "whats" of coffee excellence and conveying that to your customers will continue to set you apart. Your customers will care because YOU care. The others... there's always 7-11.

Keep educating by the cup.

And Steelers training camp is starting in less than a week. Good times.

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What's Goin' On

  • Hey there... if you're looking for our physical store, we closed as of November 15, 2011. The space is under new ownership as Orbis Caffe, still serving delicious coffee and food with great service. We hope you'll give them a try. For info on Melanie and Rich, follow @aldo_mel or @richwesterfield or visit accidentalroaster.com.
Aldo's Slideshow

Coffee How To's

Advancing the Coffee Culture

  • Coffee Kids
    A charity we support that improves the quality of life for children in coffee-growing regions around the world.
  • CoffeeGeek
    Reviews on gadgetry and techniques for the home brewing enthusiast.
  • Coffee Review
    Connosieur Ken David and friends review and rate various coffees, including offerings served at Aldo Coffee Company from Intelligentsia Cofee Roasters like the fabulous espresso blend Black Cat.
  • Coffee Research
    What do you want to know about coffee?
  • Portafilter.net
    The geekiest of coffee geeks aspire to extract the absolute perfect cup.
  • Tea Guide
    Directory of shops serving quality teas.
  • Espresso Map
    A map that pinpoints the best espresso joints in the US and Canada as determined by the site's author and professional peer reviews.
  • Barismo
    Jamie Van Schyndel and friends dissect anything and everything coffee and tea related from beans and leaves to technique and equipment in pursuit of perfection.
  • Pittsburgh Area Coffee Association
    Jake Liefer of Beaver Falls Coffee & Tea built a blog aggregator and community site for local baristas.
  • In Season Coffee
    No coffee served after its time.
  • Sweet Maria's
    The ultimate source for green coffee for home roasters. Tom's knowledge of coffee is encyclopaedic.
  • twitchy
    Liz Clayton's blog is the ET of coffee.
  • Intelligentsia LA
    Group blog from Intelligentsia's Silver Lake and Venice baristas and roasters.
  • Accidental Roaster
    Adventures of a barista/cafe owner on becoming a coffee roaster.
  • Bitter Press
    Jess from Intelligentsia uses science to explain things.

Heroes & Legends

  • Murky Coffee (NoVa)
    Retailer (non-roaster) who's one of the best indie shops on the East Coast. Features selection of top roasters and pulls only ristrettos. No drip - Americanos and press pots only.
  • Stumptown (Portland, OR)
    Along with Intelligentsia, probably the most acclaimed coffee roaster in the US. A certifiable Coffee Mecca that's turned Portland into the quality coffee capital of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Espresso Vivace (Seattle)
    David Schomer is widely acknowledged as a perfectionist. Espresso Vivace is home to his science and art.
  • Intelligentsia (Chicago)
    Our coffee source and one of the most highly acclaimed roasters in US. Taught us most everything we know (although we think they're still holding back some secrets).
  • Joe The Art of Coffee (NYC)
    Preposterous name, but consistently ranked among top espresso joints in New York, which has to mean something, no?
  • Caffe Vittoria (Boston)
    OK, maybe it's not the best espresso in Boston. But Vittoria is a great North End experience. A riot of noise, cappuccino, cannoli and sambuca. This is Rich's dream joint. Except with better coffee.
  • Blue Bottle (SF)
    Beans microroasted fresh daily and whatever doesn't sell today is tossed. Has raised the bar for every other joint in the Bay Area.
  • Peets (Berkeley/SF)
    Alfred Peet is often called "the grandfather of the specialty coffee industry". Started in 1966, Peets continues to have a loyal following, despite tons of regional competition.
  • George Howell's Terroir (Boston)
    George's Coffee Connection was specialty coffee in New England for years. Then he sold out to the dark empire. Now he's back with Terroir, identifying and promoting single source coffees. No stores yet, only whole bean sales.
  • The Roasterie (Kansas City)
    Reginal powerhouse coffee buyer, roaster, trainer and local retail chain in KC, Missouri.
  • Ninth St. Espresso (NYC)
    King of espresso on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
  • Gimme! Coffee (Ithaca/NYC)
    Gimme! was among the first Eastern shops to rival the best in the PNW. Born in Ithaca, they're now in Brooklyn, Chelsea Market and LES.
  • Simon's (Boston)
    Cambridge, MA, used to be home to Jaime VanSchyndel, barista provocateur. Not sure if they're still what they were when Jaime was on bar, but it's likely still the best cup in Boston.
  • Caffe Artigiano (Vancouver, BC)
    Two time Canadian Barista Champ Sammy Piccolo and his roaster brother Vince have put Artigiano in the heads of espresso geeks worldwide. They cornered the market on 2005 Brazil CoE Santa Ines to ensure their proper place on the quality map.
  • Ritual Coffee (SF)
    Ask for Gabe or Baca. Lines usually out the door. For good reason.
  • Cafe Grumpy (NYC)
    In the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and now with a Lower West Side storefront. Top equipment and beans from Ecco and Counter Culture.
  • Octane (Atlanta)
    Hotlanta's cool kids of coffee, led by M'lissa. Great skills, great training, great coffee.
  • Alterra (Milwaukee)
    One of our favorite macchiatos was served here. Scott and Justin rock. The espresso stands up to milk like few others.
  • Zoka (Seattle)
    One of the largest and best macroroasters in the Pacific Northwest. Numerous barista champions worked on bar for Zoka.

Muses

  • Chris Brogan
    Fun guy, busy guy, usually in Pgh for PodCamp. Chris is the best at distilling high-tech social media concepts for use in low-tech businesses.
  • Seth Godin
    There are a lot of big thinkers out there. Seth may not be the biggest, but he's the best at crystallizing big ideas into actionable agendas.
  • Hugh McLeod
    Been following Hugh since the early days of blogs. He called us one of his first global microbrands. We call him a revolutionary genius.