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Real coffeehouses.


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Hey eGullet,

Are there real coffeeshops in your city? To start things off, I humbly submit Coffee Exchange, in Providence. They roast their own beans. They have ibriks (Turkish coffeepots) for sale, hanging hanging from the rafters. They are hard-core. What news?

By the way, a few guidelines; ignore them happily.

Please no "Starbucks; I love their Frappucinos." What I'm talking about is a totally different animal. A serious, independant coffeeshop run by artisan-level roasters and baristas, or those who aspire to be on that level. Purists. It really helps if they roast their own beans, but this is not necessary. They also might pull a single-origin shot once in a while, grind their espresso by the shot, to order, and maybe keep some French presses around. And they will never, never, say the word "expresso." Two nominees that I have never been to are Peet's in California, and Intellegensia Coffee Roasters in Chicago.

Thanks, much.

Frau Farbissma: "It's a television commercial! With this cartoon leprechaun! And all of these children are trying to chase him...Hey leprechaun! Leprechaun! We want to get your lucky charms! Haha! Oh, and there's all these little tiny bits of marshmallow just stuck right in the cereal so that when the kids eat them, they think, 'Oh this is candy! I'm having fun!'"
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Peet's is (now) hard to differentiate from Starbucks to be honest. It's sad.

In response to the question... yes.

Portland, OR - Stumptown, Albina Press, Crema, Fresh Pot


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Although Peet's is a chain I differ from Malachi in my opinion of them. I've tried 12 oz quad shot latte's from Peet's on a few occasions recently when traveling. In their airport kiosk at San Francisco they were using a Schaerer super-auto that delivered okay shots. Not excellent but both the bean quality and hte shot flavor profiel were so far superior to Starbucks that I consider them to be in a different league. Last week I tried a Peet's location in Walnut Creek CA. They're using a Faema E71, grinding and tamping with tradtional methods and turned out a very respectable drink.

I'm not a supporter of chains and will always seek out and support a quality driven independent when they're available but in the absence of a good independent I'll take Peet's over Starbucks anytime.

Here in Syracuse NY I'm the roaster for Freedom of Espresso. We use and roast very good quality beans and I'll humbly submit that our drip coffee measures up to anyone's. But with three locations and no real manager on duty there are some shortcomings in barista training and consistency. We use Swift grinders at all three shops - a strike against us for shot quality but with barista inconsistency it does at least improve the overall quality of drinks. Our espresso drinks are head and shoulders far superior to those of anyone else in the area but we could use improvement (I have no control over the situation so must accept it as it is).

Near to us is Gimme Coffee with two locations in Ithaca NY, one in Trumansburg and one much further away in NYC. I had a couple of machiatto's there weekend before last that were among the top five espresso drinks I've ever had the privilege of tasting.

Among the other local independents I've tried who are producing true quality drinks....

- Jay's Shave Ice and Coffee in Timonium MD

- Murky Coffee in Washington DC and Arlington VA

- Java Passage in Charlotte NC

- Stumptown in Portland (goes without saying!)

- in Seattle the list is much longer but I'll put Victrola, Vivace and Lighthouse high on my Seattle list

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