Saturday, January 11, 2014

Artifact Coffee Christmas

Looking at these photos makes me feel like I can relive the Christmas season finally. Even though the Wise Men three have already come and gone in our liturgical year, it's nice to look back. I had my foot surgery on 12/18 and truly feel like I missed all of the parties, all the church services, all the best hymns and all of the baking and calories. I feel gypped. So as I still heal, crutching through this rainy, bleak mid-winter, I have been listening to hymns on Pandora. I feel restored mentally. The physical repair is still brutal and hella painful but going back to reflect has been great. It is my favorite time of year. I did put up a tree so I would be able to rest in front of a fire, of which I did often during my recovery. I can barely remember Christmas day and don't think I got down the stairs until about 11:30 am that morning. I was in a full on drug fog during the day and could barely eat dinner. Eric said my eyes looked hilariously WIDE OPEN while hopped up. Woe is me, right? The worst part, none of my prizes arrived for my sweet husband. He showered me with stocking-stuffers. My favorite. (Give me a new pen and I'm the happiest girl in the world.) Because this I also had a terrible depression and feeling of guilt that lasted a few days after Christmas. Whew. So glad I have detoxed from the narcotics and not had a drop to drink in over a month. All of this to say, I'm glad I took my camera for another Ali and Matt adventure. Which leads, finally to Artifact Coffee.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that Charlie and I are big coffee shop folks. Coffee pilgrimage is our jam. (See #coffeepilgrimage on Instagram, of which most photos are ours.) We have been coming to Artifact since Artifact was housed at the Woodberry Kitchen bar in 2008. We love this unique shop with a vengeance. We saw the space when the floors were still dirt and the rafters fully exposed. Spike gave us behind the scene tours and we were there the first day it opened over a year ago. I've never posted about it because I was too sad that one of my favorite people in Baltimore, the one who taught me the most about what I know about coffee, barista extraordinaire, left her post at Artifact to move to the bustling big apple. Sigh. We've visited our Ali up in New York and read about her here just a few weeks ago. I've healed, so it's time to share the joy that is Artifact Coffee.

If you read no other words in this post, these are the most important: Saturdays and Sundays have freshly baked donuts. Isaiah was the head pastry chef when it originally opened, and still oversees a lot of the baking. Our Woodberry Kitchen family has expanded to include Artifact Coffee, Shoo-fly Diner and very soon a butcher shop opening in Remington called, we think, Parks and Labor. Spike and Amy have tried a few things at Artifact which we loved that sadly disappeared. The Kitchen Burger. The Kitchen Burger. The Kitchen Burger. I know it was a hard one to keep on the menu because it was difficult to cook properly each time. That burger is the last meal I want to have before I die. Where art thou oh Kitchen Burger? For a while, supper was a simple meal with a very limited menu. It was also BYOB! They tried supper with a few more options and the service always seemed a bit slow. But we didn't care. Now that Shoo-Fly is here the supper quietly drifted away.

Artifact excels at their morning breakfast and baked goods offerings. The sausage sandwich is made with home made English muffins, home ground sausage and of course the cheerleader of all local Maryland products, the fish pepper Snake Oil hot sauce, that was lauded and magnified in my favorite periodical, Garden & Gun.  It is made in the Woodberry Pantry now housed at Shoo-fly.

The food is consistently fresh, unique and savory. The coffee divine. But the ambiance of this space is unrivaled; tucked way in the Union Mill complex just under the JFX. From the vintage typewriter to the mid-century modern turn table, every detail has been carefully thought out. The fresh cut zinnias in the summer, to the burlap wrapped cedars in the winter with Little Women'esque bows welcome you warmly at the front steps. I simply could not love it any more if I tried. Some of my friends joke that Artifact is our church. Pretty close. When I was unemployed in 2012 I would play tennis about three times a week at the scratch of dawn and head straight to Artifact for a croissant and latte. Absolute joy to be welcomed by the baristas by name and slap the best damn Woodberry Pantry jam on my croissant to buck me up for my day of endless job searching. 

They sell handmade wares and unique small batch finds. Mast Brothers Chocolates is always sold at the front check out desk. Woodberry was a Martha Stewart American Made honoree in 2013 and Artifact hosted an event where local artisans sold their products as part of the American Made program.

They were packaging gifts for the holidays and E put the best damn jam in the land in my stocking. I gave him the mule cups.

They sell their tomato sauces, jams, and tons more. I think I even saw pickled okra.

The coffee options are still from their preferred roaster Counter Culture and E. tells me they have four different beans to choose from each day. I have not had coffee in over a month *gasp* and have become obsessed with the Intelligensia Mint tea which tastes like fairies plucked the mint out of a glen in County Wicklow. It's the mintiest, mint tea I've ever had in all my days.

Barista love.

Hey whoa their buddy with the flash, is what E is saying. 

Another feature not to be missed on your adventure in coffee pilgrimage to Artifact is a stop in the powder rooms. The sinks are made out of  recycled coffee bags.

Thank you Amy and Spike for your countless small touches, wonderful service, delicious food and excellent coffee. 

No comments: