Showing posts with label idaho. Show all posts
Showing posts with label idaho. Show all posts

Monday, March 01, 2021

Vault Coffee

Subject: Vault Coffee
Location: Coeur d'Alene, ID
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

One day I will make it to Coeur d'Alene in the summertime, but for now I will glory in its winter. Even amidst a dreary winter day, the city remains resplendent, with its majestic vistas and mostly walkable town. On one such afternoon, I found myself downtown and in need of some coffee, so I made my way to a shop called Vault Coffee. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Union Roasters

Subject: Union Roasters
Location visited: 4th St, Coeur d'Alene, ID 
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Growing up, no one told me about the shocking beauty of northern Idaho. Movies and travel guides rave about Montana and Colorado, but Idaho never was mentioned in the same conversation, never mind the same sentence.   

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Evans Brothers Coffee

Subject: Evans Brothers Coffee
Location Visited: Coeur d'Alene, ID
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

My first trip through Idaho's northern landscape found jaw-dropping vistas and alluring small towns, especially the fair city of Coeur d'Alene. Situated on a huge lake, the city of Coeur d'Alene stared at me from the highway as I passed through, but sadly I had to refuse its siren call due to a tight time table that had no room for detours. Nonetheless, that day I determined that the next time I was in the area, I would give myself plenty of time to look around Coeur d'Alene.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mugged: Ethiopian [Doma Coffee]

Subject:Doma Coffee Roasting Company
Mugged: Ethiopia Organic
Rating: 5+ [see key]

On the east coast, it's not often you hear about Idaho. And having traversed most of the state on several occasions, the hype certainly doesn't mirror the reality. For starters, Boise and Coeur d'Alene are nifty cities, plus you have tons of natural sites all over the place that make it a truly unique part of the west. 

As far as coffee roasters that call Idaho home, Doma is probably the one that has reached many ears across the globe. It might be because of the press received but I think good coffee, like cream, rises to the top. 

I had the delightful opportunity to recently sample Doma's Ethiopian Organic, a light-roasted coffee that from first waft had promise of being excellent. I sampled the coffee via drip, french press and siphon.

The drip delivered notes of blueberry, milk cocoa, little grass, apple strudel and a tinge of maple syrup and cinnamon. A light and bright coffee with lots of flavor.

The french press was consistent in taste, with resolute blueberry, milk chocolate, apple strudel, nutmeg, a little grass, a smidgen of maple syrup and caramel. Also light and fruity with a light body.

The siphon finished off the infusions with a cup heavier with milk chocolate and less blueberry, but with similar notes of grass, apple strudel and maple syrup. A chocolatey and juicy coffee. 

While Ethiopians tend to be delicious, not every roaster can capture a great coffee and roast it well. Give Doma a try whether you're looking for a good African coffee or something a little different.

note: coffee was not provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback. 

Friday, June 22, 2007

CC: Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasters

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasters
Location visited:
Boise, ID

[Capital location]
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 1+ [see key]

Boise has to be one of the more surprising towns in Idaho. While Coeur D'Alene was my favorite, Boise comes in a close second (Coeur D'Alene's built on the side of a beautiful mountain with a gorgeous lake right below). But what made Boise such a surprise was the ambient downtown area with a nice selection of good places to grab lunch on an outside patio. They also "seemed" to have a decent selection of coffee in the downtown.

But oh, how I wasted my coffee stop on Thomas Hammer Coffee, a chain out of Spokane, Washington that looks more like something Target shot out in its spare time. The place looked good enough on the corner right across from the Capital area with a snazzy, corporate look on the inside but the appearances were so deceiving.

The coffee is roasted up in Spokane and from the look and taste, they're fans of over-roasting (when your website has to advertise which coffees are "smooth", it's a bad sign in my estimation). The coffee I sampled wasn't horrific, but it definitely lacked tasted and quality.

The espresso on the other was horrific, as the barista seemed to be fresh off the assembly line with not a real clue on how to pull a decent shot (really, really overpulled). On the note of the barista on duty, one should not work alone if one does not know how to make everything on the menu (especially one of your signature drinks!).

Succinctly said, don't waste your time with Thomas Hammer.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

CC: Java

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Location visited: Twin Falls, ID
(228 Blue Lakes Blvd)
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]

One of the better feelings in life is stumbling on something pleasant, especially on a long car trip, and even more especially after driving northeast through Nevada into Idaho. I had just put around 360 miles behind me since 5 AM that morning and I knew definitively of no decent coffee stops until Idaho Falls (another 4 hours). Accordingly, my entourage and I had just planned on pushing through a long trip without really hunting for good coffee, but I was praying that we'd see something in Twin Falls that look promising...

Thank God that prayers are answered. While cutting through town, we saw a place that looked reputable, a little shop called Java. I asked for permission (we're a democratic entourage) and with a weak approval, I pulled in to check it out.

The shop from the outside looked rather atypical of a strip mall outfit though the inside displayed a colorfully warm, semi-circular space complete with bustling staff and a line of eager customers. Aside from the coffee/espresso/tea options, they also serve a full breakfast and lunch menu, which didn't seem to affect the environment too much (a coffeehouse should NEVER smell like a deli).

They serve up Cafe Moto beans, a San Diego supplier of roasted coffee as well as tea and other typical coffeehouse beverage supplies. After browsing the CM website, it "seems" they know their stuff; they just need to ditch the super corporate look as it makes it seem like they're faking it.

In my humble opinion, their drip tasted fairly decent. The espresso conveyed a decent body but it had a bit of a charred taste to it. The tea they serve fresh (free leaf) and while I only observed, it looked of decent quality.

Needless to say, my expectations were rock-bottom low to begin with, so Java played out to be a lovely note in that morning's arduous drive. As Twin Falls seems to be a bit of a crossroads, if you're ever going through be optimistic that there's at least one decent coffee stop in town.

Friday, November 24, 2006

CC: Villa Coffeehouse

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Villa Coffeehouse
Location visited: Idaho Falls, ID
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]

his past weekend I had the "fortune" to attend a conference in the lovely city of Idaha Falls, deep in Mormon country (did you know that strict Mormon's won't drink coffee because of the stimulative effects?). Aside from my car breaking down on the way and Idaho Falls being hardly the cultural metropolis I had (oddly) hoped for, the city does have some minor charm and the conference did turn out to be quite pleasant.

Before I embarked on my trip, I had made sure to get a list of possible good coffee establishments. Armed with a list of four, I was remise to find that one didn't exist and the other three were extensively spread out over the city. Nonetheless, I made my way for the first (Villa), which I had driven by the day before (which was Sunday, when nooooothing is open).

The exterior didn't beam too much promise, as it was a blah grey with (cheesy) holiday window writing, but upon walking in my countenance changed. The architecture was a beautiful loft construction filled with vibrant shades of reds and grey. There was ample seating and a pleasantly-flowing atmosphere, complete with a fishbowl-ish conference room in the back.

The coffee was another surprise. They brew PT's Coffee out of Kansas (random?), a company that seems very emphatic on using only the best single origin coffees. From what I tasted at Villa, the coffee was pretty good (it had been sitting some time I think). The fact that there was an array of different coffees, ranging from Peru to Ethiopia really made my day.

The espresso was also fairly decent. My first trip in, my americano was stellar with a subtle brightness and smoothness that appeased my palate. But their weak point seemed to be their barista skills, as my second time in I got a latte that was overtly under-steamed and rather blah (like the front of the building).

The tea was very Republic of Tea, as the entire interior was covered in RoT
paraphernalia (though tactfully done) but fortunately I really like RoT, so it was another vote of confidence on their credibility.

Overall, a very bright gem of a coffee place in a very dull city. Idaho Falls really needs to embark on a downtown revitalization, as it seems to barely hold on with the passing years.

Also, on a separate sad note, I didn't make it to the other two coffee establishments, but maybe next time I'm in town (?).