Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kirkland Javaholics

Another new coffee shop just opened up over the weekend - Zoka Coffee. Kirklanders need their coffee fix in a bad way and luckily there are 5 coffee shops in a 2 block radius to serve them:

Caffe Ladro (on Central)
Zoka (Central & Lake St)
Starbucks (Lake St)
Kahili (Lake St)
Tulley's (Lake St)

Not surprisingly all the restaurants that are adjacent to the above coffee shops also sell specialty coffee drinks. What makes it even more surprising is that if you move the coffee measuring stick out just a few more blocks, you can easily add an equal number of coffee shops to the list. How do they all stay in business, that's what I'd like to know?
So you're probably curious which coffee shop is my favorite? Well, my favorite Starbucks is actually up the road a bit in Houghton. For some reason their coffee (mocha) is better than any other Starbucks that I've been to. As for the above joints, probably Caffe Ladro is the best with Zoka a very close second. Zoka gets a few points taken off just because their coffee shop is freezing cold. (doesn't anyone know how to adjust the thermostats at these places?)
BTW, the only reason I mention coffee is because I usually have a mocha with my cigar when I'm at the Tobacco Patch. Kind of nice to have something sweet to drink, especially if I'm smoking a kick-ass cigar.
So Friday and Saturday nights I smoked a couple of Oliva cigars (Serie O and G), which are in my opinion the finest cigars on the market, but on Sunday afternoon I smoked a Rocky Patel Connecticut. We had friends over for lunch, well I should probably clarify that and say that our friends brought lunch over for us. Nice friends, eh? We have it way too easy.
Anyway, after a BIG lunch my friend and I grabbed a couple of cigars and headed out to the deck. I had the RP Connecticut and my friend had the RP 1992 Maduro. I don't know why, but when I first picked this cigar out of the humidor I thought for sure it was an Oliva. Nice surprise.
Out on the deck the sun had broken through the clouds and it was starting to warm up, which was good because in the morning it looked like it was going to rain. Just to give you a visual, my house is built on a ravine and our property butts up to a greenbelt. When you're out on the back decks it kind of feels like you're out in the woods. It's pretty nice, especially since we're so close to downtown.

Anyway, I'm not going to go into great detail here, but I'm going to tell you that I highly recommend the RP Connecticut. I thought it was going to be a super mild smoke, like the Oliva Connecticut, but it turned out to be just right for me - not too strong, but definitely not too mild, plus a perfect draw. Now I wish I could tell you that I tasted cocoa or peppery flavors, but honestly my taste are just not that refined (yet?). I'll say that it was an extremely smooth cigar with no bite and the draw easily produces billows of full smoke, which is right up my alley. I totally enjoyed this cigar from beginning to end and I'm going to add it to my list of favorites, of course it was the perfect afternoon for lighting up - spectacular lunch, good friends, sunshine, great conversation, what more could I ask for?

My Rating: 9

PS - Anyone see the bike races on Sunday downtown? The Kirkland Criterium? Very impressive for Kirkland!
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