Latte Art - Popcitymedia photo.In the wake of the Starbucks’ public makeover, and with the SCAA show rapidly approaching, there’s a bevy of coffee-centric ink (‘lectronic and otherwise) flowing at the moment. Lots of publications are taking a look at their local coffee scene, trying to figure out who the players are — and discovering that the coffee shop just ain’t what it used to be. (Hoorah.)

Here’s a take on the Pittsburgh coffee scene (featuring the fine folks at Aldo Coffee, among others.)

“Our goal,” offers Rich Westerfield, genial co-owner with wife Melanie Westerfield, of Aldo Coffee on Mt. Lebanon’s Washington Road, “is to raise the level of conversation and appreciation of what coffee can be.”

You go, Rich!

Locally, upper-end coffee shops “have become a central place,” Westerfield says, for many the magical Third Place – after home and work. Priming the French press, Aldo, for example, brings in ska bands and steel drums. One church actually meets there monthly. “Coffee houses bring people together,” he says. “They’re oases of community in a city.”

Ska, steel drums and church groups. Nice.

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