What's a Coffee Commentary?
Subject: Joe Coffee Bar
Location visited: Philadelphia, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 3+ [see key]
Car trouble has a whole lot of negatives but every now and then it has a noticeable silver lining. Recently, my faithful steed (car) decided to stall near Jefferson Hospital in Philly and instead of getting upset, I decided to park my car and take a walk. Lo and behold when I turn the corner onto Walnut, I glimpse one of the coffeehouses on my list to try; Joe Coffee Bar.
I remember first seeing it and initially pegging it as a cafe that served as a watering hole for those needing a quick cup of mediocre coffee. But then I had heard some positive things from people who worked in the area and ever since, had scribbled it onto my list. The interior has a very open feel and decent ambiance, complete with a nice array of local art adorning the walls and their very own ATM. Not to mention they have quite a unique niche (as advertised on the website) that you can rent out the store for 2 hours during their off-hours (wonder what the fee is given the location...).
My initial assumption of their product angle was a strong emphasis in fair trade and organic products, which was pretty well-confirmed by their coffee offerings from Equal Exchange and Torreo (both I've had experience with and neither wows me). The coffee sampled was a medium-roast Guatemalan that tasted decent yet left me feeling very one-dimensional. The espresso was pulled decently and had a nice crema, but at the same time was stiff and presented nothing grand. Didn't catch the tea.
In the complete experience, it seemed Joe Coffee Bar has a lot of the right stuff not very well utilized. Seems like they'd be sitting pretty if they tweaked a few things behind the counter, gave the shop a good spit shine, and spruced up the website. For now, yet another Philadelphia coffeehouse to add to the long list of average coffee establishments.