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NYT picks Philly's top coffee shops

Oliver Strand names six Philly coffee spots he loves as much as our sports, art and culture, according to the New York Times.

Philadelphia has plenty going for it: the best four-man rotation in baseball, art worth fighting over, a ruin so elegant and haunting it feels like Berlin. It also has superb coffee. Recently, I went on a coffee crawl that took me to a handful of shops where the baristas aren't just tremendously skilled, they're disarmingly sweet-natured. I found an energetic scene thriving outside the gravitational pull of the hometown giant La Colombe Torrefaction.

I was in Philadelphia to check out the local Thursday Night Throwdown --TNT to insiders -- a monthly cappuccino-off where 32 baristas compete for glory (the winner gets his or her initials embroidered on a strip of denim) and a decent-sized kitty (from the entrance fees). The evening was three hours of steaming milk in front of a crowd plied with pizza and beer. A news crew taped the throw-down, maybe because one of the judges was Winston Justice, offensive tackle for the Eagles and co-owner of Elixr Coffee, the host of the contest. Later, a good number of the competitors and spectators adjourned to a dive bar with a drag show -- the $7 cover included a can of beer and a shot of Jim Beam. Fun town.

Source: The New York Times
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