Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dose Serves Up More Than Your Ordinary Morning Joe

Posted By on Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 5:56 AM

I don’t know how I lived a short walk from Dose for two years without visiting before last week. On an early Saturday morning Starbucks run, some friends and I veered off instead to Dose, just off West End near the I-440 intersection and marked by an understated sign. As the name indicates, Dose focuses on dos (as in “two”) things: coffee and tea. Besides having an apparent double meaning, the name hints at the hipness a small coffeehouse strives for. (Because we all know that there are two doses that alternative culture is addicted to: drugs and that legal medicinal, caffeine.)

I ordered a soy cappuccino which, I swear, tasted actually like it was made with the highest-quality actual milk. (Bravo!) Starbucks, which has only vanilla-flavored soy milk, always makes my coffee taste like tofu. One of my companions ordered an iced coffee that was beyond excellent, a strong concentrated beverage that wasn’t watered down with ice but had enough body to stand on its own as a well-crafted drink.

My other companion ordered what I have only seen offered in Florence, Italy, and have been searching for ever since: a Shakerato. Although a traditional caffe shakerato does not have dairy in it, as Dose’s version did, the full-bodied flavor of high-quality espresso shaken over ice was well-executed. I almost thought I was back in Firenze. The only thing missing was the martini glass it is usually served in.

Dose offers other things besides caffeinated beverages. In addition to a menu of breakfast and lunch sandwiches and small plates, they sport a small-yet-excellent selection of artisan chocolates, including brands like Askinosie and Mast Brothers. Askinosie was recently ranked among America’s best chocolates by Bon Appétit.

The fairly traded cocoa beans fund a social entrepreneurship education program for disenfranchised American children, and provide living wages to farmers who are usually not treated with dignity — women, for example.

There’s a story behind every item offered at Dose. Get yours.

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