What's a Coffee Commentary?
Subject: Octane Coffee Bar and Lounge
Location visited: Atlanta, GA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]
While I love unearthing shops unheard of, it's always delightful to visit places that have already attracted a good bit of credible attention. The promise of good coffee comes as a welcome change when traveling to far distant lands (such as Georgia).
The promise of good coffee also makes a 2 mile walk a little easier to rationalize in one's head, which happened to be the distance between my hotel and the exposed gem of Octane Coffee. The small operation has received a great deal of hype (such as this lovely write-up here) and made for a suitable finish line during two different outings with some of my colleagues.
The exterior of the building is a low brick structure to the west of the Georgia Tech campus. There's a nice array of outside seating and what appears to be a club house on the roof (I don't know if it's theirs or even functional but it looks nifty). The interior of the place was quite large with concrete floors, a seemingly large amount of seating (most of the seats were taken on my second visit), and lots of local art.
The coffee hails from Counter Culture, almost always a great cup of coffee in my experience. I had the La Trinidad as it was their french press on tap (they brew large quanities and put it into a pump pot, a strategy I've only seen in Crescent Moon in NJ) which turned out to be very smooth and sweet, though a bit underwhelming/tad watery. To sum up the espresso, it embodied a pleasant euphoria; good pull by the barista resulting in a beautifully sweet taste and full lucious body. I recall the tea being free leaf but not much else. Might I add they also have an extensive beer selection complete with several on tap.
While I definitely earned a blister in the 4+ miles of walking to and fro, I really felt it worth it. Octane seems to have a great following and a qualified staff. I'm convinced by what I've read and witnessed firsthand that this is a coffee company that could go places. When in Atlanta, definitely give them a visit.