Caffeinate at Caffeine in Sono

Chocolates on display at Caffeine in South Norwalk
Chocolates on display at Caffeine in South Norwalk
There is a cafe on every corner in New England, but not every cafe is worth blogging about. Caffeine in South Norwalk will certainly hit the spot  - if you are looking for a lift or a space to kick back and relax. The espresso drinks here are the real thing - I'll explain in the description below. It is open late night on the weekends, it has a hipster character and shabby-chic charm. The decor is warm and inviting, the drinks live up to the their names, the service is appropriately chilly and aloof, and their bakery case is a fiendish tempter.

Washington St in SoNo is a two block old world revival. It is Norwalk's version of the Strøget - a pedestrian district. It is hardly extensive enough to truly mask the high speed hard gestalts of Southern Fairfield County where the congested I-95 looms large and casts its long shadow of filth and societal decay upon the sad people who jump out of the way of speeding BMW's because they dared, they dared! to step out of their cars. Surprisingly, about half of the cars traveling down Washington St. will stop to let pedestrians cross at a brick inlayed crosswalk midway down the street - but if you care about your life - you won't count on it. I digress.

Caffeine Coffee House Interior
Caffeine Coffee House Interior
Caffeine somehow fits perfectly into this absurd scene that pits the polished steel of modernity against rough hewn blocks and bricks of that yearn for the days past when Norwalk was a slow paced fisherman's port. Its door is open through the spring, summer, and fall. And, inside is a feeling of normalcy - or safety - or just a coffee bar if you please.

Let me brief you on the art of espresso making. Espresso is a beverage, a bean, a brew, and a grind. So, when you ask for espresso, you might be asking for a pound of French roast beans ground to an espresso grind. You could also use an espresso brew to extract a an espresso beverage from a light roast Costa Rican bean. The point is: There is a.lo.t that goes into crafting a good espresso drink. And, a good barista at a good coffee house will pull a unique espresso shot with each shot pulled. There is no way to mechanize the kind of artistry needed to get good espresso, and that is why Starbucks has
The Bakery Case at Caffeine in South Norwalk
The Bakery Case at Caffeine in South Norwalk
begun to replace their all-in-one espresso making machines with traditional espresso equipment.

Caffeine is to date the only cafe in Connecticut that I have been to whose baristas can competently draw out an authentic espresso shot day after day. Their shots are the Italian traditional 2oz. which will be twice the volume of a Starbucks single shot. Their shots take between 20-25 seconds to pull. There shots have a thick sweet crema - the caramelizing sugars extracted from a coffee bean in the espresso process. In short, if you are looking to experience a real Cappuccino, this is the place. If you are looking for a real Macchiato - this is the place. If you are looking for Carmel Frappaciono Machiato - well... they will certainly make it for you - just tell them that you are accustomed to Starbucks coffee and that they should probably cut you a half-caf  so that you head does not explode.

I'm not sure I can give a better review for a coffee shop. Don't miss it, rents on Washington Street are ambitious, most retailers only last a few months.



PHONE: (203) 857-4224

Monday: 7:30am-6pm
Tuesday: 7:30am-6pm
Wednesday: 7:30am-6pm
Thursday: 7:30am-6pm
Friday: 7:30am-11pm
Sunday: 8:30am-6pm

-Typical Cafe Coffee & Tea
-Small hot sandwiches made to order
-Cake, pie, deserts

SONO Caffeine Coffee & Chocolate Lounge on Urbanspoon


Address: 133 Washington StreetNorwalk, CT 06854 | N41.099011, W073.416728

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