You just can’t trust them - by them I mean those who recommend coffee shops to you when you are not sure if they care about coffee or not. I was travelling to Asheville for the day meeting a friend to catch up and have coffee and do some work in a coffee shop. I had done my research and heard about two shops that were supposed to be quite good – the Dripolator and the French Broad Chocolate lounge (no you do not buy chocolate for or from French women there as far as I can tell. My friend was visiting family in Asheville and her sister insisted we go to a different shop. She said the coffee was just as good there and it was local (as opposed to those other two massive national chains I just mentioned).
I will not tell you what the shop was because it was not good and I do not think reviews of shops that do not have good coffee belong here. There are millions of those shops in every town and they just are not interesting.
I will, however, gripe about the signs that told me I was in trouble from the time I walked in.
The first sign I saw was that my friends were drinking out of paper cups. Coffee does not taste as good out of a paper cup. If you care enough to run a high end coffee shop then you should care about how it tastes.
Even more concerning was a glance at the espresso machine. It was disgusting. Cleanliness was clearly not a priority – you know the signs – a messy counter, drips on the machine that had not been wiped down. Worse yet a steam wand that is white from a lazy barista who couldn’t be bothered to clean up after herself.
Sure enough from across the room I could see the espresso come out of the spouts into the pitcher from which it would be transferred into my cup (another objection) and there was nothing like tiger striping there only gushes of already blond coffee in a torrent.
On the bright side I had a great visit with my friend, which is what really matters, but as for coffee, I guess I’ll try again the next time I am in town.