What's a Coffee Commentary?
Subject: Joe Muggs Coffee
Location visited: Wichita Falls, TX
Rating: 1+ [see key]
Despite my reservations of drinking coffee from the inside of a big-name bookstores (most coffee bars inside Barnes and Nobles and Borders usually = coffee that tastes like charcoal), I was on a trip with the family and hadn’t tasted a decent cup of coffee in nearly 36 hours and so, I decided to give it a whirl. The store: Books-a-million (I think) and the coffee bar: Joe Muggs Coffee.
Living in NJ all my life, I had never seen a Joe Muggs (never mind a Books-a-million) and so I felt my odds somewhat better. I stroll up to the counter and see a female barista with a NJ-themed shirt; a little more hope.
Now I have to choose a beverage. Since Texas has a lovely habit of rising to 100 F in April, I was in the mood for iced coffee. But upon inspection of the menu, the item did not exist. Puzzled, I asked the barista and she looks at me all cross and asks “You mean you want me to add ice to a regular cup of coffee?” All that I can think is “Oh no.” So I suggest adding two shots of espresso to the beverage to which she gives a “good idea” smile to and five minutes later, voila, my iced coffee. I don’t know if it was my dry taste buds, the Texas heat, or surprising quality but the iced coffee hit the spot.
Further inspection of the menu was typical coffee-chain items like the iced mocha latte, vanilla chai, etc. The equipment was basic, with two bland pump pots for the coffee and a simple espresso machine. Atmosphere was really basic (fluorescent lighting and gray walls) with tables and chairs neatly arranged all around.
Overall, for a chain I thought it good but nothing amazing. Though this experience was drastically limited (my folks are never patient when they're in the car), I think it rose above the stigma of Big bookstore = Bad coffee. If you have a better coffee house to frequent, then please do so. But if Joe Muggs is the only coffe establishment or if it's a choice between that and charcoal, go with Joe.