Catalina Coffee is an excellent place to relax, sip on your choice drink and nibble on a pastry. The calming environment of hipster baristas throwing together lattes, espressos and cappuccinos like it is second nature makes your visits to Catalina on Washington worthwhile. While the folks behind the counter know how to make a killer latte decked out with beautiful artistic designs with the milk, they also know how to serve up an incredible single-cup brew, the Gold Cup.
Last year, the slow bar French Press was a personal favorite, but the Gold Cup brew has taken its place. Catalina has only had this machine for about three or four months.
Sarah Van Hoeven, a barista at Catalina, explains that the Gold Cup is similar to a hand-brewing process; if you're familiar with the V60 or Chemex coffee makers, Van Hoeven says the Gold Cup is a synonymous brewing machine.
"The way we start is we first make a recipe for the coffees," she says. "We taste all of the coffees, use different grind settings, different doses for the coffees, and then figure out what works best for that particular coffee."
During a recent visit, Catalina offered two types of beans, El Salvador Los Suenos and Costa Rica Hacienda Sonora, the first being the stronger of the two. It takes approximately four minutes for the barista to make your single-cup brew if there isn't a long line of customers.
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Catalina's Gold Cup machine uses a shower head system. The water disperses slowly from the "shower head" and evenly covers the coffee beans, then the coffee drips into the carafe.
Unlike other one-cup brewing machines, the Gold Cup leaves little to no room for human error. It's simple to make a mistake while brewing with a V60 or Chemex, but with the Gold Cup, baristas are able to create a clean, crisp and rich cup of coffee every time.
The Gold Cup brew at Catalina doesn't need milk, cream or sugar; each sip is bursting with the natural flavors from the beans. Coffee should be comforting; it should be enjoyable; and it should make you sigh with content after the first sip. Catalina's hand-brewing machine is one every coffee aficionado should try.