Wednesday, January 10, 2007
CC: FireTower Coffee House and Roasters
What's a Coffee Commentary?
Subject: FireTower Coffee House and Roasters
Location visited: Helena, MT
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]
I recently noticed that a road trip length holds a bit of a dependency to where you're living. For example, when you live in NJ, a trip from Philadelphia to NYC is about a 2 hour excursion and seems to take forever yet when you live in a state like Montana where substantial towns exist about an hour apart, a 2 hour trip feels like a quick grocery run.
Hence when I went from Bozeman to Helena, the trip went by comparably quickly (especially since I still had four more hours to go) and allowed for a small chunk of time to hunt down some decent coffee. After romping all around the quite unsightly uptown (I mean c'mon people, this is the capital?!), my fellow passengers and I found the (mostly) better kept downtown and (fortunately) found a decent coffee joint on the first run through.
We parked in a very small yet convenient parking spot and ran (it was precipitating) to shelter within the newly located coffee establishment, FireTower Coffee House and Roasters. Located right in an old Main St-ish storefront, the place had nice big windows on either side of the door and a handsome exterior. The inside came across throroughly warm and comfortable yet also somewhat rag tag (needing a bit of an interior design update as well as a powerwash).
I slowly approached the counter, studying the menu as much as I could before I ordered. I asked to try the coffee, which they kept in airpots parallel to the counter (behind me, for you visual folk). With the title "roaster" in their name, I'm praying they know what they're doing and to my elation, the coffee came across smooth and tasty (and not stale, which seems to be a problem with people who use airpots).
The espresso on the other hand wasn't anything to "yippee kai-yay"(sp?) about. Their barista skills were mostly good and but I do remember staring at oily beans in the grinder and grimacing because of the horror those beans had gone through (and how that horror made its way to my cup). In other words, the espresso tasted so so.
Their tea was a Adagio, a new brand to my peepers that looked fairly decent. Sadly, we were in a rush and I didn't get to sample.
Straight up, if you're in the town of Helena it's a great place to pop in and grab some coffee (and maybe espresso). I didn't get a chance to scout anymore of the town, so it may also stand as the only place to grab decent java in town. And if that's the case and you don't like FireTower, you'll have to head to Butte, Bozeman, or Missoula. Fortunately, road trips don't seem to take that long in MT.