Wednesday, April 19, 2006

CC: Joe Muggs

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.


Ether said...

I went to a Joe Muggs last week, for the first time. I had no idea what to get, so the girl there guided me through my choices.
Hot or cold? I said cold
On ice or mixed with ice? I said mixed.
Then she listed a thousand flavors, and I said "I like both chocolate and caramel". Then she said "Then I can do both!.

Off she went and she mixed me up the tastiest thing I have ever had the pleasure to suck through a straw.

They sure do iced coffee, and they do it good ;)

Anonymous said...

Honestly, the firs esspresso I ever had was from a Joe Mugg's. I have yet to taste any other that I like. I am addicted! For caramel lovers, get the Carmel Macchiato Frappe. It's amazing. If your in the mood for an American classic, ask for a vanilla cream frappe w/ shots of apple and a bit of gingerbread. It's got all the comforting flavors of a hot apple pie in a cool milkshake consistancy. I'll say it agian, I'm addicted to Joe Mugg's. :)

Anonymous said...

I love their whole beans. After trying everything other offering in my area, I've found them to be by far the best.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I am relying on you folks who have been to Joe Muggs. Since our Borders store is closing (since they ALL are), my wife and I are desperately coffeehouse-hopping, having been very loyal Borders cafe (Seattle's Best) customers. We've never heard of Joe Muggs or Books a Million, who is looking at taking up where Borders left off, and being coffee freaks, we're very wary of this Joe Muggs. I've heard terms like Charcoal and lovely and everywhere in between. Is it a good place or not? Please, any of you who are rabid coffeedrinkers please speak up. Thanks, Brad

Anonymous said...

i dont know how old this blog is but i needed somewhere to vent. I am a coffee addict for some years know and in my neighborhood of fayetteville, nc i think there is maybe 5 coffee shops, two of them being Star Bucks. Eventhough they are a fine "chain" establishment maybe since its "lil ol' Fayetteville" these ones are not all we thought it was cracked up to be. So I am a Joe Muggs LOVER. They are the only coffee shop here that did a caramel mocha latte either hot or iced right and if i wanted a cookie with my drink they would heat it up too! But now along with Books a Million in this town it is gone. I am so pissed. I volunteer for our local animal rescue on weekends and before going there i would go to Joe's like a ritual or go between classes or before going to the movies accross the street. this place was convenient and good and the baristas always nice. like i said needed to vent I miss Joe muggs & my caramel mocha latte!

Anonymous said...

Hands down the best Iced Coffee I have ever had. Beats Starbucks easily. The blend they use is so good I just purchased a couple pounds for home use.

Anonymous said...

I love coffee so I have gone to as many coffee shops I can find. My first espresso beverage was a Starbucks but I much rather have a Joe Muggs. The mocha from Starbucks gave me a headache and the barista was wiping her nasty nose. I have a Joe Muggs at the mall and I love it! The mocha's are sweet, warm, and rich!

JoeSixpack said...

5/25/14 5:00 Port Richey Joe Muggs

Entered the cafe at around 5:300PM. Every table was filthy. There was trash on the floor. The cafe manager had left the place in a shambles. Had to track down a cafe person to get things cleaned up.

Against my better judgement, I ordered a cup of coffee. One sip left a terrible taste in my mouth. Another sip and an hour later I was sick to my stomach. The coffee was burning a hole in my esophagus. I had to leave because I was sick to my stomach.

Unknown said...

Question: Does anyone know why it is called Joe Muggs? For the longest time I called it Joe's Muggs. There must be a reason it's named Joe Muggs.

Victoria said...

It's called Joe Muggs after a character they created, the character's name being Joe Muggs. Joe is the first name, Muggs is the last name. He's an aviator and he travels the world with his dog Java, looking for great coffee and finding it.

I worked at a Joe Muggs for four years, and yes, they do have the best coffee. Much much better than Starbucks and it's not just good "for a cafe in a bookstore", it's great for anywhere. The Books A Million in which the Joe Muggs cafe I worked at changed to a 2nd and Charles four and a half years ago, and 2nd and Charles does not have a cafe. Ergo, there is no Joe Muggs in this town any longer. But that's okay, because Joe Muggs coffee is Seattle's Best Coffee. I know, I worked there. The coffee came in in Seattle's Best bags and then it was put into bins with Joe Muggs names. And you can buy Seattle's Best coffee in the grocery store. So I can still have it.

Unknown said...

I am a 80 % disabled veteran , I was Givin a bag of Joe Mugg Coffee . Thank you very much for the donation. The coffee is a very nice treat , I truly appreciate the gift. Thank you for remembering us vets.

Unknown said...

I am a 100% disabled veteran in Mississippi when I went to the VA hospital a young woman put a bag of Joe Muggs coffee in my hand sand I told sorry but I cant buy that,she replied it's free and that you for you service,I walked away with moisture swelling up in my eyes, because no one has ever given me anything for free to thank me for my service.