I am a frequent traveler to New Orleans and like many visitors my travels there tend to focus on the French Quarter and all of the debauchery that Bourbon Street has to offer. As a self-proclaimed coffee aficionado I was always quite unimpressed with the coffee the city had to offer. Sorry Café du Monde – your beignets are fantastic, but your coffee, not so much.
During a recent trip to the Big Easy, I was walking down Saint Peter, not far from famous Jackson Square. I was drawn to a sea of bubbles emanating from the top balcony of a typical three story ‘nawlins French Quarter building. The bubbles distracted me just enough – but not too much to marvel at what I almost walked by.
There before me was what I hoped would be the answer to all of my secular coffee prayers – a relatively new espresso bar – Spitfire Coffee. As I walked in I instantly felt at home, as if I was in a small café in Greenwich Village or in London’s Soho district.
A small cappuccino is my morning drink of choice, and I was quite satisfied with it – crafted to perfection. I have heard that the Mole Cortado is a fan favorite, however, apparently bringing is elements of chocolate into a macchiato [mole bitters, cane syrup, espresso and milk], but alas I did not try that. Next time. In addition, they have teas [lemongrass included], all of the standard espresso drinks, hot and cold and a “mad scientist” looking contraption to make Japanese drip coffee. They also offer something called the Hellfire Mocha, perhaps a spicy take on the folks who come to Bourbon Street and damn the “sinners” to Hellfire and Brimstone?
The ambiance is perfect for their product, and the intimate space is frequented by locals. The few times I stopped by I met a regular customer – one whom they refer to as “shorty” – a coffee lover at least a foot shorter than I am [and I am by no means a giant].
In any case, should you be walking around the French Quarter you should be sure to visit Spitfire Coffee.