Nov 24, 2007

More bad coffee

John was over for an espresso this afternoon and now looking back we came up with a really bad idea... We decided to drive across town with the boys to check out a coffee shop we had heard was making an attempt to do good espresso. Mistake #1, never listen to your own bad ideas.

The place looked industrial cool inside and had a nice three-group Faema behind the counter, so far pretty interesting. They were pulling shots of a local roasters coffee, an SO shot from La Minita, not La Minita's premium offering but one of the second tier offerings (at least it was the second tier stuff when we were on La Minita's plantation picking beans on the side of their estate). The other shot was called Gunslinger blend. Mistake #2, try both.

Who's to say what went wrong. The temp, the roast, the whatever but it was bad. Both, very, very bad. John's was also bad, he also tried a cup of drip Ethiopian roasted to a Vienna roast (what the...), he likened it to a cup of Kingsford charcoal briquette. Mistake #3, refer back to mistake #1.

When we got outside I spit, a lot. I scraped my tongue with my teeth and spit some more, to no avail. Time to go find something to mask the nastiness, time to go find some decent Mexican food. And off we went...

More bad coffee
Originally uploaded by staylortravelling


John said...

So…(rant on)

It is all so bad everywhere you look...this town is lost on coffee...utterly lost and almost nobody seems to be the wiser. They suck up the wifi and Danish like it’s part of the coffee. They see interesting sounding words to describe the coffee from places afar and in a breath they know they should like this. They look at each other and just know this experience is supposed to be good (it’s so trendy cool and all) and so my guess is they force down that brown liquid and just keep saying it’s all good.

It’s all so bad that I feel angry.

I feel like all these patrons with either business suite and lap top or combat boots and metal studded face are simply feeding the machine….

They are spending their way towards the stability of swill.

The green giant came in hard and fast only to eventually bend to homogony and standardized corporate super auto over commercialized and over roasted robot coffee. The independent “tiny soldiers” that were supposed to come in and save the day have failed to deliver at every turn if you ask me. But again with every choco / caramel 20oz milk drink sold comes the reassurance that the market approves….so they march down the road back to where we came from….hell at this pace bring back the $1 coffee baking on the Bunn warmer plate for way too long I say…. at least it had a strong constitution to it. Tar and rubber to be sure but so effin what you never expected anything more did you? I think it was far more honest that specialty grade fair trade garbage at $3.

And if you read this and happen to live in a true third wave coffee town and they pull good shots, nice milk drinks, and solid drip at your local cafe’….don’t look at me today as I will give you a good smack and considering the state of things you are just gonna have to suck that up my coffee blessed brother.

My palate is full of resentment for what I have done to it this dreary day.


Did I mention I was aggravated? (rant off)

John F

Shaun Taylor said...


Anonymous said...

Try Catalina on Washington Ave near downtown. I've heard good things about Max, the owner, but have never been around while he's pulling. That being said, I've had a truly horrid decaf cap in the evening there, too.

Never been to Dave's Coffee in Katy off of Mason Rd, but supposedly passionate about good shots.

Sadly, the most consistent place for good is espresso is at home.


Shaun Taylor said...

Sadly the shot in my hand was pulled by Max. Though I can't blame his technique (one or two minor errors) or his equipment (assuming it was pulling to spec and clean, etc) I feel the problem is his beans - whether it is roast or actual bean is hard to say.

The S.O. El Conquistador from La Minita's estate doesn't pull very well in my opinion and there is something going on with the Gunslinger Blend that isn't working well as a shot either - maybe masked with milk it is ok???

While John and I were sitting at a table trying the espresso there was a young man who appeared to be considerate of espresso quality, his first sip of his espresso caused his lips to curl up with distaste. He quickly put his poker face back on but the truth was already out. 10mins later he was asking Max some knowledgeable questions about his espresso. Who knows if he will be back there again.

Unless Max changes his roaster I don't think I'll be back there again.

John and I also dropped by Dave's Coffee in Katy about a month ago. He is passionate about espresso and is willing to accept advice. Unfortunately I think he is weighed down with the same problem - not so good beans. It's too bad as I would love to see him do well but for now he is going to feel the pain because of a product line choice.


I'm off to pull an 85% Brazilian Poco Fundo / 15% Sulawesi Toraja into a little 4oz latte.