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November 18, 2012 / bikesbytesbites

Coffeeneuring Challenge #2 – Part 2

Alas, I have failed the Coffeeneuring Challenge this year.  One ride, I forgot to document.  And the last weekend was a total washout, biking-wise.  I have a great excuse … but first…

Saturday, October 27: Panera Bread, Silver Spring, MD

Another ride up to Silver Spring for another film noir. I brought my insulated mug from home (the better to get coffee into the theatre without spilling it), so you’ll have to take on faith that the coffee is from Panera.  And that the bicycle is parked in its usual bike rack in the parking lot just behind where I was standing when I took to picture.  Silver Spring is identifiable by the Art Deco clock on the Lee building.

Panera Bread, Silver Spring

Panera Bread, Silver Spring

Sunday, October 28: Northside Social, Arlington, VA

The day before super-storm Sandy was supposed to hit, I was lucky to get myself out of the house and onto a bike.  Therefore, the coffee run was to a local place, Northside Social, in Clarendon.  They have great bicycle parking and good coffee.

Northside Social

Northside Social

Saturday, November 3: Eventide Restaurant, Clarendon VA

It should count when the coffee (an excellent French press) is the final course of an excellent meal.  However, it doesn’t count because I was in a rush to get to a movie (Pitch Perfect, just right), and forgot to snap the picture.  The food was ok (a little frou-frou for my tastes) but the decor and atmosphere are to die for.

Sunday, November 4: Starbucks, Dulles Airport

Sunday was a gorgeous day for a bike ride. Some friends were doing a long (100-mile) ride, starting from Marshall, having lunch in Lovettsville.  I decided to do the intermodal version of that ride — take the 5A metro bus from Rosslyn out to Dulles airport and ride from there. The coffee was at the Starbucks on the arrival level in Dulles, waiting for the bus to get home.  I know that Starbucks fairly well, but it was my first time taking the 5A home.  Usually, when I do this intermodal trip, I ride an extra 20 miles back to Vienna and take the metro.  But it was November and getting late, hence the Starbucks on the bus.

Starbucks, Dulles

Starbucks, the arrivals level, Dulles Airport

Saturday, November 10: NH001, IAD-NRT

It’s hard to do a coffeeneuring run when you spend the day in a plane.  It’s fourteen hours non-stop from Dulles to Tokyo. The airline dinner (courtesy of ANA) was just about the prettiest and tastiest airline food I’ve ever had.  I documented the trip by taking a picture of the toilet.  I’m sure someone has written a sociological monograph on what toilets say about the culture in which they’re found.  It seems that Japanese toilets in public places (like this airplane and, as I discovered a few days later, modern office buildings), have a button to make flushing sounds when you’re not actually flushing.

Japanese toilet

Japanese toilet

Sunday, November 11: Cafe Excelsior, Tokyo

I really did try to rent a bicycle today.  But all the bicycle rental places I could find were way on the outskirts of town, and my hotel is in town (near Roppongi).   So, instead, I took a taxi to the Museum of Modern Art of Tokyo and walked back to the hotel.  Evidently, streets are closed to cars on Sundays around the Imperial Palace and Gardens, and seeing all the runners and bicyclists made me very jealous.  To pay homage to coffeeneuring, I stopped in Excelsior Caffe for lunch.  The latte was quite acceptable.  But it’s going to be impossible to get decaff coffee in this country.

Excelsior Caffe, Tokyo

Excelsior Caffe, Tokyo

Follow-Up: Coffee in Tokyo

The bad news:

  • As expected, decaff coffee is virtually impossible to find.  Starbucks has it, but drip only, no espresso.
  • What good is a gold Starbucks card if the Starbucks throughout Tokyo won’t accept it?

The good news:

They take their coffee seriously here, and it is uniformly excellent.  Even the Starbucks, although I’ve switched to drinking matcha (green) tea chai during the day.

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