Elixr got its start seven years ago, when third wave coffee just started gaining momentum in Philadelphia. They started roasting out of Fishtown and opened a tiny, minimalist cafe smack in the middle of Center City (that building is now a Cheesecake Factory). In 2012, they found a new home for their coffee shop, this one tucked behind a Chipotle. And despite it being located practically down an side alley, hidden from plain sight, away from any sort of real foot traffic, the cafe became one of busiest in the entire city. In fact, the shop is so busy, owner Evan Inatome decided it was time for a second.
Breakfast, 9:30 a.m. // Like Garfield and 10,000 novelty t-shirts, I don’t do mornings. Particularly not ones that haven’t snuck up on me accidentally—the sun rising while I’m still out doing whatever it is that insomniac food editors do—and caught me still in last night’s clothes.
One of the reasons I became a writer was so I’d never have to get up before noon. Sadly, somewhere in my youth I missed an important distinction. Some writers get to sleep the mornings away, sure. They’re generally the ones who own more than zero berets and have strong opinions about pencils. And then there are the ones who actually have to make a living.
Michael Schulson’s Double Knot is set to open Tuesday, February 2nd next to his Sampan on 13th Street. The two-floored space is a gorgeous coffee focused cafe and bar upstairs, with a sexy izakaya and sushi bar downstairs. The cafe will open at 7 a.m. daily serving coffee under the guidance of Elixr’s Evan Inatome. Schulson has loved Elixr’s coffee since its original location on Sansom Street. So when it was time to get coffee help at the cafe, Schulson sought Inatome out to do the coffee at Double Knot. Inatome has installed a Modbar coffee system with bar top espresso, steam and pour over coffee stations. It is only one of ten such installations in the country. In addition to the Modbar system, one of the beer taps behind the bar will offer cold brewed draft coffee on nitro.
The cafe has seating for 35 along a comfortable banquette, leather armchairs and along a drink rail in the back. In addition to exposed brick, distressed mirrors and exposed tiles and reclaimed wood lath (the strips of wood found behind plaster walls). The front of the cafe includes floor to ceiling walls of knick-knacks and newspaper racks.
Marc Vetri went to Elixr Coffee yesterday. While there, he saw a bunch of people there staring at their phones or working on their laptops rather than engaging in lively and spirited dialog with their fellow man. He snapped a picture. He put it up on Instagram. And in keeping with his new part-time gig as a full-on Method acting Grandpa Simpson impersonator, these were his thoughts…
It was back in the sweltering summer days of 2013 when the first Affogato Days simultaneously caffeinated us and cooled us. The pop-up partnership between Little Baby’s Ice Cream and Elixr Coffee was a natural fit. Perfectly-pulled shots of single origin espresso poured over scoops of ice cream from Philly’s most playful jockeys of the deep freeze. Now, some of the Elixir kids have decamped to start W/N W/N Coffee Bar, but this year, just like Wet Hot American Summer, the gang is getting back together. The menu is the same, ice cream drowned in coffee once again, only this time the team is hitting the road.
And on the 8th day, there were affogatos.
What is an affogato you ask? It’s basically the divine marriage of hot, caffeinated espresso with frosty, creamy ice cream. When translated, the Italian drink literally means “drowned” referring to the dollop ice cream swimming in espresso. Yum– said every caffeine junkie and ice cream enthusiast everywhere.
The good people at Elixr Coffee want all of Philadelphia to experience this mouth-watering treat featuring Little Baby’s Ice Cream. The collaborators will choose two seasonal ice creams skillfully paired with two unique espressos for the affogato days special. Other great news? There will be both a dairy and vegan option available so everyone can bask in affogato greatness.
Elixr Coffee [Foobooz]
This so beats a Frappucino. Starting today, Honeygrow is slinging its brand new seasonal concoction: a Mocha Cherry Elixr Smoothie. Warning: The following description will cause you to drool uncontrollably. The vegan smoothie is made with coffee brewed by Rittenhouse’s Elixr Coffee, blended with dark chocolate chips, dried cherries, banana and vanilla. Drooling yet? I thought so.
On Thursday, November 21st, Elixr Coffee is hosting coffee and cocktail competitions featuring bars and coffee shops around the city.
On this special night, a latte art throwdown featuring top baristas from sixteen coffee bars in Philadelphia will compete. That will be followed by a coffee-centric cocktail competition featuring bartenders from cocktail bars and restaurants (Vedge, The Corner, 1 Tippling Place, Farmers’ Cabinet and more) around town. It all goes down at Elixr Coffee, 207 Sydenham Street (between 15th and 16th Streets) at 6:30 p.m. As Elixr says, “Come to Taste the Magic. Come, and we All Win.”
We announced the first one, we sipped one of each at the second one, and now that we’ve heard that Little Baby’s Ice Cream and Elixr Coffee are teaming up for a third and final Affogato Day for 2013, we’re strongly temped to do it again. Despite the terrible caffeine shakes, it would be difficult for anybody to choose between the two delicious options. Foobooz got the inside scoop (see what we did there?) after the pairings were decided upon last night.
Option one will be a non-dairy Speculoos ice cream with Elixr House Espresso Blend, and the second will be Rose Pistachio ice cream with the same Single Origin Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Espresso that they paired with Lime and Toasted Coconut last time around.
So make your plans now for this Saturday, the 21st, 7am until 8pm, at Elixr: 207 South Sydenham Street.
It’s fitting that a rainy day like this–when it’s impossible to go anywhere in Center City and not arrive feeling like a drowned rat–just happens to be the second (and final) Affogato Day at Elixr Coffee.
Elixr and Little Baby’s Ice Cream have teamed up to put forth this ideal mid-afternoon treat: a healthy scoop of ice cream affogato’d (“drowned” in Italian) in a perfectly pulled shot of espresso.
The folks at Elixr chose two espressos first, and then picked Little Baby’s ice creams to suit them, for a choice of two flavor combinations. The first is the crowd pleaser– Little Baby’s top selling Birch Beer and Vanilla Bean ice cream with Elixir’s house blended espresso. It’s big, round, and rich. Option two, Lime and Toasted Coconut ice cream (which also happens to be vegan) with a single origin Yirgacheffe coffee is a little more exotic. The espresso itself is light with pronounced citrus and floral notes further accentuated by the citrus in the ice cream, and balanced out by its richness.
The caffeinated confection will run you $4.50 and they’ll be pulling shots and drowning scoops at Elixr until 8:00 tonight.
Elixr Coffee [Official]
Little Baby’s Ice Cream [Official]