Showing posts with label Decatur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Decatur. Show all posts

Friday, May 16, 2008

CC: Java Monkey

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Subject: Java Monkey
Location visited: Decatur, GA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 3+ [see key]

In my experience in dealing with cafes named after animals, it's been hit or miss. I've had good fortune with a monkey in Ithaca but not so much luck with a cow in South Dakota. And there's no seemingly noticeable trend, as I've had great coffee with a goat in Decatur but poor coffee with a goat in Kingston.

So when I heard a few good things about a place called the Java Monkey in Decatur, I made sure to "swing in" while in Atlanta. Coming right out of the Decatur MARTA station, I was surprised to find it right outside of the station. The exterior was painted a lovely maroon shade complimented with some clever exterior decor and a fairly nice patio off to the left. Walking inside, the interior was a long coffeehouse with super cozy seating towards the front and the coffee and wine bars toward the back.

The coffee comes from Equal Exchange, an organic roaster that I have never had a good cup of coffee from. The Guatemalan served via drip (sadly) met the usual expectations with a fairly bitter and charred cup of coffee. The espresso was also not so hot, with a long pull and a heavily-oiled, harsh double shot. The tea is free leaf and while I did not have any, there was a fairly extensive wine and beer bar.

Sadly, this particular monkey was not as hopping as I had hoped but given a better coffee and stronger espresso training, this monkey could climb to the top. If you're looking for a cup of mediocre organic coffee or can't go far away from the MARTA train station, stop on by the Java Monkey.

Friday, April 18, 2008

CC: Dancing Goats Coffee Bar

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Dancing Goats Coffee Bar
Location visited: Decatur, GA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Georgia has definitely never been a state I had been dying to visit. I had passed through the Atlanta airport, my sole experience with the peachy state, and remember it being stuffy and huge (lots of walking). Plus I had never really heard of a compelling reason to go for recreational purposes.

But recently, I had to go to Atlanta for work and hence began scouting out what the area would be like. And the more I scouted, the more I wanted to get there quicker. The city not only has some beautiful neighborhoods (like Decatur and the Georgia Tech area) but some fairly interesting attractions (an aquarium with whale sharks).

But the coffee is what won my heart over. One place in particular that I had the luxury of hitting twice was Dancing Goats Coffee Bar in lovely Decatur. The establishment has a large blue awning under which sit ample chairs and tables to best aid in enjoying lovely Atlanta sunny days. The interior was even grander, with a huge open floor plan (some would argue too open) with a very eclectic variety of seating, the whole space bathed in calm colors such as tans and light greens.

The coffee is their own, though called Batdorf and Bronson (rolls right off tongue), which is roasted locally in Atlanta. They serve coffee via drip as well as on a Clover. Both visits I had coffees off the Clover, to which I must say that the coffees didn't really fully utilize the machine (or visa versa) but nonetheless, both brews still sampled tremendously well. The Kenya AA was described to me as having a dried fruit and Cabernet taste to it, but I only really got a hint of the fruit. The Java Estate also sampled smoothly but I couldn't really pick out too many distinct flavors, just that it was good.

The espresso was pulled very well and tasted spectacular. The doubleshot was really sweet with cocoa flavor and what seemed to be a nice floral bloom as it hit my tongue. The tea was Harney and Sons.

I must have idly said "boy do I wish there was a shop like this closer to home" at least four times during my visit to Dancing Goats. The place is definitely popular with the locals and is only a short distance from the Decatur MARTA stop, so there's little reason not to prance yourself over when you're in town.