Hi Chowhound! I joined up this morning so that I could holler about this place, and ended up posting on a bunch of stuff in my neighborhood before getting around to this. Must have been the coffee! Went straight to my head.
Ok, so this place on the corner of Warren and Smith just re-opened. Might be new owners, I don't know. Regardless, this is a completely different vibe than Ecopolis, in a good way!
They are calling the place Roogia, and they have a beautiful espresso machine and use Intelligensia coffee. The crown jewel of this place though is their Steampunk brand coffee brewing machine, which behaves like a responsive and emotionally intelligent coffee robot. I do not know exactly how the mechanics work, but the coffee is freaking great. Had iced coffee there this weekend, hot coffee there just now. The brewed coffee, as opposed to the espresso, only comes in one size (right now) at $3.00 per cup, and I thought the price was justified. Some of the best coffee I've had in the city, and I am a long time customer of Joe, Blue Bottle, Pedlar, and many others... Caffeine freak I guess. The coffee takes a short minute, faster than a pour over place, and the results are superior, in my opinion. I love it when hot coffee can taste refreshing. That's what this did. Had macchiato there this weekend, and it was solid. The real move here though is the Steampunk brewed cup of coffee. Have never seen this machine before, and am happy it's in my hood. Completely different than Pedlar, Starbucks, Mocha Bagel, which are are all basically within a block of each other, so happy they made a strong statement.
Talked to the guy at the counter (Fernando?) for a minute, asking if they had done a morning rush yet. He said not really, they opened for three hours only on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, and they definitely had some busy time this weekend, but this morning was the first morning they were really open for a weekday rush type situation. Did not see the hours or prices posted anywhere, but everyone behind the counter has been friendly, so just speak up! I went in at 7am today and they were open. Can't speak to earlier.
Relieved that boring old, burnt coffee Ecopolis is gone. Was no benefit to them over Mocha Bagel. I would be happy to miss a train for Roogia. Going to be my regular place, I think.
Happy caffeinated summer to all of you!
EDIT: this place has seating for about 8 people total. This is more seating than Ecopolis had, but still is set up to get people in and out, more like Joe less like Pedlar.
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