Monday, April 17, 2006

Coffee Commentary Prelude

So what is a CC?
To start off, CC is short for Coffee Commentary. A CC-titled post is a calculated look into a coffeehouse’s quality and each CC results from a personal visit to its location. I try to take it broadly, taking into account foremost menu integrity (the quality of the coffee and espresso, barista ability, etc) and then atmosphere/location, social practices (organic, fair trade, direct trade etc) and customer service.

Rating Scale

While the 1-6 rating scale for coffeehouses has changed a tad over the years, it still rings true. A 1+ or 2+ establishment is one with poor/sub-par coffee all around and is not really worth the time. A 6+ establishment holds both great non-espresso coffee (drip, pourover, french press, etc) and espresso, as well as good-great customer service and decent-amazing ambiance. Here's the short version:

pretty bad marks
1+ = poor (avoid)
2+ = ok (not really worth your time)

fair to decent rating
3+ = average (worth a go)
4+ = good (a pleasant experience)

high accolades
5+ = really good (a fine specimen)
6+ = amazing (worth the trip)


For those who have stopped by these places and have something (useful) to share, I’d love to hear what you think (I appreciate a healthy dose of objectivity).

For those who own or work at the establishments I comment on, please don't take it personal. I want (practically) nothing more then for good coffee and espresso to be available everywhere, so look at any criticism as constructive feedback to consider.

On the flip side, I always welcome feedback as long as it's honest and polite (please no rude or abusive responses). If you would like to contact me personally, email me at .

Please note that I pay out of pocket for ALL coffee commentary posts.

Updated 1/28/13


AJohansen said...


I am about to open a coffeeeshop in NYC specialized in brazilian special grains. I would appreciate to get some information about what americans think of brazilian coffee or what are the most important things you should consider when opening a coffeeshop in America. Thanks!!!

Bill said...


I think most Americans know Brazilian coffee just as they know of Colombian coffee; it's a familiar kind of coffee that most associate with a good cup of coffee. The question is more of the nature of your operation (are you a roaster or just a coffee vendor looking for a company that roasts Brazilian coffees?) and depending on the answer where are you getting your coffee (if you're not going to go for high quality, it isn't worth it).

As far as what to consider when opening a coffeehouse in NYC, you need to consider whether you can afford the rent and whether you have something the people in/visiting Manhattan really want. There are many places to get a cup of coffee in Manhattan; I can tell you that just the fact that you have a Brazilian product will not bring in patronage. You need to have a passion and striving for quality to keep yourself alive as well as good business sense to keep your operation afloat.

If you'd like to discuss more, please email me at

joe said...

Do ever look at online coffee providers like Honey Bean Coffee

JavaCarl said...

Well Said....

Bucket List Coffee said...

Hey there!

I really like what you do with Coffee Commentary Prelude. I'm just wondering if you have heard about Kopi Luwak? It's a coffee bean processed from a civet cat. Maybe you can comment about this coffee bean also?

Bryan said...

I followed the link on one of your other posts for "what does CC mean?" as I just had to know... I imagined a few things, but I didn't think of this. Nice term. Makes sense.

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