Damn it!

Originally uploaded by Rob Wheatley.

It’s getting to be a habit, this profane exclamation. But I’m so frigging sick of the crappy coffee at Espresso Royale I’m regularly tempted to get coffee at Starbucks when I have a choice. Despite its hipster cred, I don’t find Cafe Ambrosia’s house blend to be very good, either. Starbucks’ and Sweetwaters’ are the only ones I’ve had that pass muster, and that is so sad. (Maybe Zingerman’s is better, which I’ve never had, but I’ve heard mixed reviews). I WANT to support local business, but I don’t even feel Cafe Verde’s brew, and that’s like buying coffee from yourself.

Fortunately, the coffee shop across the street from my place in Evanston has the goods — the coffee has BODY, ie it has multiple layers of taste, none of which are “burned.”

I first acquired my taste for coffee when I lived near Portland, OR, in 2001 and got a job at the Coffee Brake Co., in Aloha. The owner roasted his own beans even though he only had one retail location. The decor was terrible and the location not much better, but that was a great job and I enjoyed the hell out of making coffee drinks and learning about the commodity and preparation process from Ron, the owner.

Anyways, I wonder if there are “Starbucks offset credits” you can buy to make up for the corporate coffee you drink like Al Gore advocates for carbon in An Inconvenient Truth?

Maybe I’ll just have to play some more Great Lakes Myth Society and Chris Bathgate as a sort of local culture penance?

UPDATE: I had some Akire coffee today– the place on Packard near State — that was decent, though crazy expensive at 1.59 a cup.

UPDATE2: Tried Amer’s in the Union — sucked.

UPDATE3: Mujo French Roast at the Duderstadt Center: 5 out of 10. Not much more body than ERC’s house blend, but it doesn’t taste burned.

UPDATE4: Sweetwater’s Sumatra: 7 out of 10. Decent body, ok taste. I just found out you can roast your own with a few guides on the interweb. Frickin’ sweet.

UPDATE5: Zingerman’s house blend: 7.5 out of 10. Body was ok, and you could taste the beans.  I’ve still had way better, eg Caffe Artigiano in Vancouver. [Best. Coffee. Ever.  I want to go back nooowwwwww…]