First impressions can be everything to those in search of a great local coffee spot. Most small towns feature at least one coffee roasters and or café. No surprise that The Coffee Pedaler in New Haven, Connecticut stood out to us as we were scrolling through the city via Google Maps in search of just the right place for a little rest and refueling.
Situated in a beautiful brick building, The Coffee Pedaler fits perfectly with the local neighborhood. Inside is even more impressive: a small yet comfortable and welcoming space that is sure to attract regulars and tourists alike.
Perhaps most surprising is how The Coffee Pedaler transforms into a wine bar on evenings. While we couldn’t stick around long enough to witness such a unique conversion, no doubt such a vibe offers a great opportunity to utilize this unique space both day and night. We would’ve been interested to see the pedal/bike theme pushed even further, but hey, gotta have room for those wine bottles too!
The food menu is certainly interesting — led by the one-of-a-kind appeal that only “wood fire bagels” can foster. Sadly, these off-premise-cooked eats were unavailable, although the supplemental pastries were a nice snack while enjoying our brews.
But What About the Coffee?
Interestingly, finding fresh coffee beans at a café can sometimes seem like a challenge — especially when a business sources their coffee from a roaster across state lines. Pay attention next time you stop by a new spot for a cup of Joe: you’re likely to find either older bags of beans or sometimes even open bags (which can quickly oxidize/essentially “spoil” their freshness). We’ve even encountered espresso beans sitting atop piping hot equipment (can’t be good!).
Somewhat surprisingly (and pleasantly so), despite The Coffee Pedaler using beans from an out-of-state roaster, the roast dates on the for-sale bags were indeed fresh. No doubt, the staff here takes pride in their drinks — and making sure that whether you order a fancy latte or a pour over that you’re getting a quality experience.
Arguably, a great latte is one where you can actually still taste the coffee, and such is the case with the drinks here. These baristas have been trained to pour a solid cup of brew, featuring milk of your choice. Not too frothy and plenty fresh, the latte here is balanced and refreshing — a pleasant choice to sit down for a while and enjoy a few book chapters or a snack.
Sometimes less is more. As is the case with pour over brewed coffee, you’re often much better off with an establishment offering a few, specifically selected options rather than a “pick a bean, any bean” policy. Such attention to detail shows that they know their beans — and how to brew them into a delicious drink! However, it’s therefore all the more impressive when you are given options and your choice still seems like a great one, as we experienced here at The Coffee Pedaler.
While we couldn’t engage the barista making the pour over as he worked on a small counter behind the other staff, the final product was quite impressive. Unlike your typical black drip sludge, a great pour over uses the open air process of methodically running water over the beans to produce a full bodied and flavorful final product. Our pour over here was exactly that. And for a café that sources its beans from pretty darn far away, one of the better ones!
Listen to our Full Thoughts (and Grade)!
So what else did we think about The Coffee Pedaler? Would we return? Try something different? Check out our podcast episode to hear our full review (and grade)!