Sunday, December 17, 2006

CC: Cream & Sugar Cafe

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Subject: Cream & Sugar Cafe
[ NOT a branch of Brew Ha Ha!
Location visited: West Chester, PA
Free WiFi ? : i think so

Rating: 3+ [see key]

ust the past Monday, my girlfriend and I made our way to Longwood Gardens to behold their lovely Christmas display, a time-honored tradition in my life for the past ten years or so (though LG went a-wall this year and really spiked their admission and cafe prices so the night was a whole lot more wallet-crippling then usual). But as we were traveling to LG from the King of Prussia mall (we decided to make a day of distant PA activities), we decided to stop in West Chester to kill some time and see if we could find anything interesting to hold our interests until dark.

After a couple blocks of taking in the quaint little town, I found something that caught my eye on lovely Gay St, a place dubbed the Cream and Sugar Cafe. Having only once meandered the streets of West Chester, I was surprised I hadn't bumped into this cafe sooner (I think last time I may have too quickly pegged it a wanna-be coffeehouse and walked on).

The place was typical, with big store windows and a decent amount of seating. It looked a tad run down with nothing aesthetically that really grabbed my attention. I realize now that some of the neglect may result from being part of a somewhat large chain (Brew Ha Ha!), where their multiple stores may all demand more upkeep then they generate in revenue.
*To also oddly note, I would have never made the connection of C & S cafe to Brew Ha Ha! had I not tried to find the website. Unless I overlooked a Brew Ha Ha! sign or something, why in the world would they cover it up?

Cream and Sugar as well as all Brew Ha Ha! cafes serve La Colombe, a predictable choice for a near Philly establishment though also a disappointing one. The coffee ended up as expected; very dark and not too tasty at all.

The espresso, which didn't seem to be affected by the barista's skills, held the typical La Colombe bite but I must admit it wasn't as bad as my many other La Colombe experiences (maybe a different espresso blend?).

The tea was Republic of Tea, an always welcome and quality addition to an establishment. I didn't get a chance to find or try the chai.

To put it simply, I really wasn't impressed with the C & S cafe. They "seem" dedicated to quality and yet, I am not convinced. Fortunately for the cafe, it's in a thriving college town and even though the coffee culture keeps reaching younger and younger, it seems most collegiates remain oblivious to good coffee. I wonder what the West Chester-ians think...

*Update 8/16/07
Turns out this was an independent operation at the time of my visit (and still is to this day) and hence any association with Brew Ha Ha! was but a matter of confusion.

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