Travel Bite: Coffee, Art and Affogato (ice cream + espresso!) in the Berkshires

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You’ve already read about a few of my favorite stops in the Berkshires, but I’m back to share a coffee shop after my own heart, as well as an amazing recipe for affogato, an Italian dessert that “drowns” ice cream in espresso.

My love letter to coffee usually begins the same way: “I never felt truly awake until I met you…” Bad joke aside, my love for coffee is no laughing matter. I take it very seriously, and am always over-the-moon when I discover a coffee shop that shares my passion.

flavio

Located in a bright and beautiful historical train depot in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, No. 6 Depot is exactly what I look for in a beloved coffeehouse. It has its own on-site roaster, complex and flavorful cups of coffee and espresso, comfortable yet gorgeously-designed space, and a friendly and knowledgeable staff.

The man behind the beans, Flavio Lichtenthal, is adventurous and bold with his hand-roasting techniques. The flavors he is able to coax out of the beans is something akin to magic, and it’s hard to stifle a smile when you taste hints of fresh strawberries in your morning brew. Don’t believe me? Try the Bali Blue Moon Organic, and see for yourself. The Blue Velvet, with its rich malt and chocolate undertones, is eye-opening and a personal favorite.

There is, however, so much more to this incredible spot than a good cup of joe (though I wouldn’t judge if that’s all you came for). The café serves a delightful range of breakfast fare, paninis, soup, and sweets (including the affogato listed below) during the day, as well as an occasional dinner menu on Friday nights.

store

No. Six Depot also produces its own line of teas and salts, as well as a variety of local goods, available in the cafe. And then there’s the art gallery, which features rotating exhibits of local and international artists, and is used to host events, such as live music, dance performances, film screenings, and pop-up shops.

affogato

The sum of all of No. Six Depot’s many parts is community. Everyone is welcome and everyone belongs. This building that once served as the departure point for many has been transformed into a place you will never want to leave.

 

exterior

 

No. Six Affogato

Editor’s note: No. Six Depot uses house-made Belgian chocolate bark made with cardamom, sea salt, hazelnut, and crushed espresso beans. You can try your hand at making your own, or substitute a shard of your favorite chocolate instead.

Makes: 1 dessert

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • Ice cream, preferably vanilla or hazelnut
  • 2 shots espresso, or 1/4 cup strong-brewed coffee
  • Chocolate bark, preferably with cardamom, sea salt, hazelnuts and/or crushed espresso beans

Directions:

  1. Scoop the ice-cream into a small glass. Pull 2 shots of espresso right over the ice cream. Top with chocolate and serve. Enjoy!
All photos taken by Christopher Knapp, except photo of affogato courtesy of No. 6 Depot. My visit to the Berkshires was, in part, provided by Berkshire Farm & Table.

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista–shop girl, writer, author, and creative business coach. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is working to open her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food–as well as coaching women in food to reach life and business goals. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: 100 Recipes to Encourage a Healthy Relationship with Food, Nourish Your Beautiful Body, and Celebrate Real Wellness for Life, will be published by Roost Books on February 5, 2019. 

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