Tuesday, September 29, 2009

National Coffee Day!!

So in honor of National Coffee Day, we here at 13th Street have decided to put together a list of LITTLE KNOWN COFFEE FACTS! Useful, no?? Now, before sating your daily fix, you can defend your addiction with fun trivia and lore rather than instinctively reaching out and smacking the nearest naysayer. Enjoy! (P.S., have I mentioned how amazing our cappuccinos are? They're sexaccinos...)

1. The first recorded mention of coffee dates back to the ninth century! No wonder we can't get by without it!

2. The word "coffee" was once used in reference to wine, and occasionally replaced it during religious ceremonies because it kept those involved awake during night-long vigils.

3. The discovery of the beverage is unclear, though there are several legends, one of which is the "Legend of the Dancing Goats"

4. The first European coffee house opened in Venice in 1645, often banning women from visiting.

5. Caffeine is a prohibited substance for the International Olympics Committee! An athlete is liable to be banned from competition if they are found to have consumed more than five cups of coffee prior to a drug screening.

6. Luigi Bezzera created the espresso machine in Italy in 1904. Espresso, incidentally, contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee by about half.

7. Coffee beans are not beans at all! They're actually pits found in the coffee berry.

8. Voltaire is rumored to have consumed over FORTY cups of coffee a day!! I know, right?? No wonder Candide's such a whirlwind.

9. Coffee shops have been named a critical factor in the conceptual stages and eventual publication of Newton's Theory of Gravity, as Newton and a group of his cohorts gathered in a shop called Tillyard's to plot and discuss.

10. Coffee is the second most traded item in the world, outranked only by petroleum. I would start a war for my morning espresso, no?

So, just some of the reasons why coffee and coffee culture have become near and dear to so many of us, especially our baristi here at Capogiro. I swear, try one of our sexaccinos....you'll be better off for it. Happy Coffee Day!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Debunking the Myths at CapoPenn

We've been open in West Philly for almost four months now and, frankly, the amount of mis, and dis-information that has accumulated via local blogs, society pages, back-alley murmurings and various forms of espionage is staggering. To add to the confusion, some of this misinformation is absolutely true. So, in the interest of transparency and goodwill, I have decided to address certain of these claims today.

Our morning barista is an Elf

I address this first because it is the single most discussed topic I overhear when I am out in public. This rumor is, in fact, a demi-truth because the barista referred to here is a Half Elf/Half Human, and a Magic User.

Our go-to morning man Ted is, by all accounts, the swellest guy you're likely to meet. He's also a snappy dresser, has great tattoos, and is the first recipient of a Craigslist "Missed Connection" at CapoPenn (by a poor lass confessing an unrequieted crush). He will remember your name, how you like your latte, and will be gracious and polite no matter how grumpy you are. But, beneath his genteel demeanor simmer the powers of the Underworld waiting to be unleashed. Look closely into his eyes, and you will see, beyond the innocent sparkle, dark magic with the potential to control the undead.

We have a gelato-eating octopus in an underground aquarium

Patently false. This rumor began when an interloper overheard a discussion during a manager meeting. We were considering aquiring an octopus from a biologist in Mauritius who had rescued it from a fisherman. This particular octopus showed above average intelligence, was a prodigious size, and was able to communicate telepathically. We were all in favor of purchasing this amazing cephalopod and had even begun construction on a below-ground tank, when our lawyer intervened and forbade us to proceed any further, due to a stipulation in our lease.

As luck would have it, soon afterwards one of our baristi discovered Sandwich Cat: a quasi-imaginary cat who has become our unofficial mascot. She has developed a strong following, and some even believe that she has curative powers (there have been multiple attempts to kidnap Sandwich Cat, which is why she is safely hidden away in a secret bunker).

Emmy is a pony

I have to accept the blame for getting this one started. I had eaten some tainted falafel from a food truck and was hallucinating pretty badly. In my psychotropic state, I believed that an animal spirit had come to me to reveal that Emmy is a pony from the Secret Realm who was changed into a human as punishment for some misdeed. I felt that it was my duty to "tell the world the truth". Who knows how many local news agencies I phoned before my staff wrestled me to the floor and administered a tranquilizer.

The truth is even stranger: Emmy is actually an ace fighter pilot from WWII (how she managed to fool the RAF into allowing a woman to enlist and become a pilot is a story unto itself) who, during the Battle of Britain, experienced a rift in time and space just as she was about to shoot down a Messerschmitt. Stunned, she emerged over some woods near Meckesville, PA, flying at a dangerously low altitude. With nerves of steel honed in aerial combat, and in absolute command of her aircraft, she managed to crash-land in a small lake. As her trusty Spitfire sank, she swam to shore.

I won't chronicle the rest of her strange adventures here, or explain exactly how she made her way to Philadelphia, because it would take too much space. We are glad to have her here in the 21st Century, but are doing everything we can to find a way to transport her back to her proper time period. However, Ted informs us that reversing time/space shifts successfully is seldom accomplished.

Their stories are waiting to be told...

I could go on and on: Maura is a ninja, Red is the illegitimate son of Fidel Castro, Christian has a genie in a bottle that he's afraid to unleash, etc, etc. What you should do instead, dear reader, is come in and get to know these people firsthand. Sit at the bar and order a beer (maybe a pint of the outrageously delicious Brooklyn Pennant Ale). If you're lucky, when Jessica turns around to get you a bowl of popcorn, you may catch a glimpse of her monkey-like tail...

Capoyunk Movie Mondays

We're feeling French again this Monday for our weekly movie night. We had an awesome turnout last Monday with the screwball comedy antics of Divorzio all'italiana that we wanted to keep the same goofball laughs coming. So Monday, at 7pm, come out and check out barista Skye's pick Mon Oncle.

Here's a little something something she had to say about the movie:
"Mon Oncle is a quirky, Chaplinesque film set in Paris. Jacques Tati relies on sound and sight gags rather than dialogue to move the plot along. This satirical film follows one eccentric family’s relationship with their over-technologized home at a peak of the French infatuation with all things Modern. Released in 1958 during a similar time of economic downturn, it's a must see for anyone who has been pondering the economic societal values during this recession."

Not sure about most of it, but you had me at "Chaplinsque" and "sight gags". See you there!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Need an excuse for more chocolate in your life?

Not that anyone should, though I have heard rumors about people feeling the need to limit their indulgences to few and far between. If you're reading this, chances are you're not one of those people (thank God). To that end, we here at Capo have found yet another caveat to add to the list of reasons why we can't fit into skinny jeans.
Not so long ago, a jovial young man approached us about carrying his product - B.T. Brownies, he said. Brownies, you say? Interesting...
Oh no, my friends. These bitties are THE brownie. The penultimate, be all end all, chocolate dream thing that is only topped by our Cioccolato Scuro (but seriously, some things just can't be beat...) We're now touting them with the love and affection we only break out for Stuff We Really Like - we've got em in triplicate: the traditional cookie brownie, the 70% dark chocolate "regular" brownie, and my personal favorite, the peanut butter brownie.
If all that goodness isn't enough for you, it just gets better. You all know what big fans we are of the local ingredients, sans preservatives and all that badness? These guys do it right - supporting Lancaster farms (just like us!) and doing everything in their loving arms to create the best product they can. And it's a husband and wife, how cute is that?
So as the nights get chillier, come hang out with us at 13th Street Capo and try one of these bad boys. I'm telling you, with a dark chocolate brownie in one hand and some gelato in the other, you definitely won't be thinking about what gets you down during the course of the day.
And really, isn't that what it's all about??

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Flavor Profile - Hibiscus Tea

It's called Agua de Flor de Jamaica in the Central and South American countries it's popular in, but when we use it to make sorbetto, we'll let you just call it delicious. Hibiscus tea is made by steeping the dried calyces (no idea how to say that, but they're the leaves that hold the petals together in a hibiscus bud, also called sepals) in hot water, and sweetening it up with a little sugar and that's pretty much how we translated it to a tasty end of summer sorbetto.

It may derive from a beautiful flower, but this ain't no perfumey floral flavor it has going on. Think more of a tart cranberry-like flavor with mild bitterness and a touch of tannin from the tea side.

We're super excited about autumn's arrival, with all of its apples and pears and long neck pumpkins (oh my!) on their way, but gosh darn it we're gonna milk what's left of summer until every last drop of sweet sunshine is in our bellies. That's just how we roll.

I wasn't able to get a real answer from our kitchen aficionados concerning how long this flavor will be around for, but it's here today, and definitely tomorrow, and with any luck some more after that. Pair it up with some fico nero or pesca giallo sorbetti and nom nom nom it up before you go breaking out your sweaters from storage.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Would You Kill Your Wife?

First off, thanks to all who've been coming out to the Yunk for our movie nights. We love seeing your faces, so drop by anytime! We had a great turn out last week for Ladri di biciclette, and its melancholy made us all wonder if there's any humor left in the world. Well, there is, and we're releasing it this Monday night.

Marcello Mastroianni stars as a man who plots to kill his wife after he falls in love with his cousin in Divorzio all'italiana. Trouble is, divorce is super illegal at that time, and he'll only get away with it if it's a crime of passion and a matter of honor! If that doesn't sound ridiculous enough a plot, wait 'til you see the route he takes as he tries to get the job done.

As always, showing will start at 7PM and is free for anyone who stops by. Popcorn is, as well, with our compliments. Hope to see you, and your neighbor, and your cousin, and maybe your goldfish there!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ORGANIC MILK v. OUR MILK...the showdown

So, we are sitting at our computers watching the farmer deliver the milk. He works for the Amish farmer and he can drive. He is a Mennonite and always brings 2 of his 12 kids as helpers. Busy right? For y'all who don't know what the difference between Mennonite and Amish, I cannot really help you with the space we have, but the Mennonites drive, have better haircuts and wear jeans. In case you're interested.

I am often asked if our milk is organic. Simple answer - "Nope." The complex answer (sit down, this is gonna take some time) - our milk comes from a single herd owned by one Amish family who has been milking cows for generations. These cows are fed a delicious mix of grass that is not treated with pesticides or chemicals, alfalfa and hay (supplemental grain in the winter, NOT corn). They graze OUTSIDE and get to watch the Amish children walk to school each morning. Not kidding. Said cows are never given antibiotics or hormones to increase milk production.

FACT - there is no such thing as "hormone free milk". All living things have hormones. The difference is that our milk is from cows that are not given added hormones. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Agriculture is extremely strict regarding the labeling of milk or any type of dairy product. If you make a claim about your dairy product, you must have the proof to back up that claim.

Our milk will probably never be labeled "organic" even though it is better than organic. Our farmer prides himself on his craft and laughs a hearty HA HA HA when you ask him if he will fill out these forms in triplicate and pay WHAT?!? to get that "organic" label. Don't be fooled, the Amish are shrewd and smart business people. He scares me sometimes. I cannot even imagine what he would charge for "organic" milk. Capo pays more for a gallon of non-organic Lancaster Amish cow milk wholesale, than you can buy a gallon of organic milk retail. Savvy?

Each Spring our farmer, let's call him Mr. Stolfutz, calls (they use cell phones. I know, makes zero sense with the "no electricity rule" in place) and he says, "Stefnee, better smell 'n taste thu milk before ya make yer ice cream. (shhhh...Mr. Stolfutz thinks I make ice cream) Thu unyun grass is up. Thu gurls luv thu unyun grass." Twice in 7 years I have only slightly smelled the onion grass in the milk. Even then, not so sure it wasn't in my mind. I really want to smell it. The spring milk is a beautiful slightly yellow color. Summer arrives and our milk is bright yellow and smells like grass. No joke. As Fall moves in, the milk starts to lose it's yellow hue and moves to what I call "creamy". So original I am. Deep Winter brings white milk.

I know my farmers, I have visited and pet the cows. These farmers have been doing what they do for 100s of years. Who am I to insist on some "organic" label. I taste the difference. And so can our fans.

So, that is why we don't need no stinkin organic milk! ;P

Monday, September 14, 2009

CapoYunk Movie Night!

From the desk of Lydia:

...I would really love to show "Ladri di biciclette"/ THE BICYCLE THIEVES!


This is an old-e. And a good-e. It's only an hour and a half, and it's about what a man would do for his bike (I think we all are familiar with this scenario.)

This movie selection is dedicated to Jason because he wants this one shown and I hope his recovery is a speedy one(-:

I really hope you guys are still telling yr friends about this! I can only do so much as one person with a gazillion flyers.

Movie night is really turning into couples night- this past monday that's exactly what it was- plus jeanette and rj sitting next to each other (?!?!?!) haha jk...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Birthday John Reitano!

To our favorite hard-working gelati-mafia boss. Thanks for all you do and may you have another year of kickin' anise and takin' names.

The kids @ Capogiro

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Ah yeah, good coffee. La Colombe to be exact. Strong, dark and life giving coffee. I was a student once (a hundred years ago.) I had my favorite spot to grab my morning addiction. I would order a coffee that was housed in an awesome cup - as shown here. It was a breakfast truck coffee. I loved it. It was coffee dressed in brown with lots of sugar and cream. I was a student, don't look at me that way! Students need coffee like they need air. The baristi at Capo understand this and more importantly, they LOVE coffee. Chris at Capopenn makes a mean cappuccino (we call it the sexaccino.) So, to show our love to the students and honor their love of caffeine, Cheap Coffee Week is in full force! FiddyCent La Colombe coffee this week at our University City location at the Radian Building to ease you into that morning class. Offer ends at 11am. We don't have those uber cool coffee cups, but we do have amazing pastries, yogurt and steel cut oatmeal.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CapoPenn is ready!!

So, today we worked at our University City location and ironed out some kinks before the students officially arrive. This location sits on Penn's campus, but is in close vicinity to Drexel. Today, U-Hauls and parents were EVERYWHERE! You could see the "Maaaaammmmmuuuh, you are soooo embarrassing me....sigh..." look on many faces. The athletes are settled in. I cannot count how many large, slightly sweaty, flipflopped young men wandering about post workout. They drink a lot of lattes. My kindof peeps.

We are so excited to welcome the students back. We have a great healthy breakfast menu awaitn'. Breakfasts includes a yogurt bar with local Pequea Valley yogurt, housemade granola and fresh seasonal fruit, Big Toast, NUTELLA (yes, I yelled that), Au Fournil pastries and breakfast panini (eggs and bacon!) To welcome everyone back, Capo is going to have "BACK TO SCHOOL CHEAP COFFEE WEEK!" Yes, the first day of school is Tuesday, Sept 8th and to help everyone get fully caffeinated, $.50 cups of La Colombe coffee will be available for everyone through Friday, Sept. 11, from 7a.m. to 11a.m. Your teachers will thank us for how alert and happy you are! Prego Professori!