Comet Coffee: Art and Affogato
Even in a town saturated with coffee shops, Jim Saborio’s Comet Coffee stands out with an exceptional brew. Open since March, Comet Coffee remains mostly geared to take-away cups. But recently they set out a pair of tiny bistro tables in front of the shop in Nickels Arcade, a place to sit and drink in the architecture. The coffee is a good match for Nickels’ dramatic setting.
Saborio takes coffee seriously. The menu features a rotating selection of five coffees, mostly from 49th Parallel roasters in Vancouver, BC, and prepared using drip pour, French press, and vacuum pot methods, as well as in espresso riffs. Air-pots are forbidden; every cup of coffee is made fresh to order with precision grinding and exact water temperature. Prices range from about $2 to $7. A few sleek pastries are available, made by Vinology’s pastry chef; and they carry the wonderful locally-made Maitelates alfajores.
I took my brokenhearted friend for a cup here, and watched her face as the cappuccino edged out sadness. “Oooh, it’s almost like hot chocolate,” she said. Or maybe love in a cup--rich, but bitter and energizing. I stopped by with my husband and we got a couple of shots of espresso in tiny paper cups. Beneath the crema, it was the color of dark mahogany and thick, almost syrupy. As we sipped and wandered around the block past Stucchi’s, we both got the same idea. We went in, each ordered a single scoop of vanilla ice cream, and then poured the espresso over the top. Purists may wince at this as a desecration of coffee, but it was the ultimate affogato and it won't be my last one this summer.