49th Parallel Roasters: Changing The World With Coffee

‘Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love.’  To some, this describes the perfect man.  To others, like myself, it illustrates the perfect coffee served at 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters, located at 2152 West 4th Avenue.

The rich aroma of roasted java, best experienced by burying your nose deep inside a bag of beans, was lingering heavily at yesterday morning’s announcement that Vince Piccolo of 49th Parallel and Chip and Shannon Wilson, founders of lululemon and  imagine1day, have teamed up to raise money for Ethiopian school children by serving one of the world’s most rare and expensive coffees from that country: Sidamo Nekisse Micro Selection.

Vince Piccolo, coffee guru and owner of 49th Parallel, holding a cup of the Ethiopian brew
Chip and Shannon Wilson, founders of lululemon and imagine1day

The beans are grown in volcanic soil at an altitude of 1800 meters – clearly rendering them exceptionally scarce and worth the $30 that 49th Parallel charges for 12 oz.  The few cafes serving the pricey coffee by the cup are charging addicts $12 a hit.  Clearly, the brewing process, which looks more like a beautiful science experiment, is complicated:

The soft, buttery smell of croissants hit me upon entry to the packed coffee house…and I saw them sitting there.  I hoped the odor would linger on my clothes, as Chip and Shannon Wilson said it might.

Trays of fresh baked goods laying about completed the morning – they were even more heavenly than usual with a sip of the special coffee:

49th Parallel’s chocolate sour cherry torte is another of my baked favorites:

100% of the pricey coffee’s net proceeds will go to Ethiopian children – the perfect, guiltless excuse for you to splurge today.

You should follow me on twitter @erin_ireland and check my website erin-ireland.com.

Ciao for now.

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