Posted by: Hil | June 23, 2008

Rant about independent coffee houses

Blog and pictures about today’s food are coming later, but I am very annoyed right now.  I want to like independent coffee houses.  They are friendly and cosy and have comfy chairs and don’t offer as many stupid sugary concoctions as the big chains do.  The only problem is that the coffee is often terrible!  I don’t think this just is a matter of bad service, because that can be a problem anywhere.  Ever since Starbucks exploded onto every single block, their service has been inconsistent at best.  But at my favorite Starbucks, I get my coffee made correctly every single time.  At independent places I’ve tried, it’s often very inconsistent.  Today, I paid way more than I should have at a local coffee house for a latte that turned out to be the absolute worst I have ever had in my life.  It tasted burnt and acidic and bitter all at the same time.  I truly could not drink it.  The barista may have been totally clueless, but I think part of the foul taste had to be the beans themselves.  So later that day I figured out the location of the nearest Starbucks and ordered a double espresso over ice.  Espresso is not a forgiving medium–if you’ve screwed up, this is immediately apparent.  But it tasted delicious.  I am somewhat embarrassed to be a fan of big chains like Starbucks and Peets over the warm and fuzzy little guys.  But I think that the big chains have more consistent access to good coffee.  And I am very picky about my coffee!  I want it rich, strong, dark, but not overly bitter.  When I make it myself, that is what I get.  So if I am paying through the nose to get my coffee elsewhere, I expect something at least in the ball park range as good as what I drink at home.

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