AlexKilpatrick Senior Member Joined: 30 Jan 2013 Posts: 117 Location: Austin
Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler Grinder: Bairtiza Vario
Posted Wed Feb 27, 2013, 4:42pm Subject: How often do you buy coffee when you are away from home?
I have been making consistently good shots at home. i recently had a chance to travel to Seattle, and I tried coffee in a bunch of places along the way - a couple of places in airports (not Starbucks), plus a few local Seattle places. Since Seattle is such a mecca for coffee, i expected to be blown away. However, I found the coffee I tried in Seattle to be over-roasted and pretty awful, actually. I guess that is a regional thing. The best coffee I actually had was a Peets in one of the airports along the way. It wasn't great, but it wasn't awful.
Overall, I have found coffee away from home to vary in the range of <awful> --- <drinkable> One exception is Houndstooth in Austin, which makes great espresso. However, even "drinkable" is rare. It is making me think it isn't worth buying coffee at all when I am travelling, because most likely it is going to be too awful to drink, and it is extremely unlikely to be "good" I'm also amazed at how many super-automatics are out there. Pretty much everyone seems to use them nowadays.
I'm curious to see if other people have similar experiences. Are you able to tolerate coffee you buy out in the real world?
Skylar Senior Member Joined: 15 Apr 2004 Posts: 138 Location: New Jersey Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: lelit espresso Grinder: lelit grinder Vac Pot: B. D. Electric Drip: chemex Roaster: wok roast and popper, heat...
Posted Wed Feb 27, 2013, 5:34pm Subject: Re: How often do you buy coffee when you are away from home?
Disappointment makes me avoid coffee in almost every circumstance when away from home. In a restaurant it will be tea after dinner. Even at a "good" cafe the question of the bean source determines ordering a shot or not. Frankly, if what I am served does not come up to home standards I will not repeat the order.
JasonBrandtLewis Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2005 Posts: 6,572 Location: Berkeley, CA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -... Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -... Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup Drip: CCD, Chemex Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Wed Feb 27, 2013, 7:42pm Subject: Re: How often do you buy coffee when you are away from home?
Whenever I am away from home, I buy coffee . . .
Specifically, when I'm out of town -- and thus, away from my machines in home and office -- I'm seeking out cafés in which I can get my espresso fix. In Seattle, there are a number of places I enjoy, including Vivace and from Café Vita's 5-group Bosco. It's been a while since I was in Austin, so I can't comment -- but I couldn't find anything in Dallas. Ditto New Orleans, but there I just go for café au lait.
Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I like the espresso at Monkey Forest Road (Oakland), Verve (Santa Cruz), as well as Four Barrel and Ritual (San Francisco).
JohnLyn Senior Member Joined: 15 Aug 2011 Posts: 243 Location: Golden, BC, Canada Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldy Grinder: Vario Drip: Bonavita Roaster: Toastess popper
Posted Thu Feb 28, 2013, 8:03am Subject: Re: How often do you buy coffee when you are away from home?
There are a few ways to answer that:
I'm in a small town, espresso is terrible (except at home), so drip only. One place does a decent job.
On the highway traveling out, Tim Horton's. I will not sign it's praises at all but it is the one time I have cream and sugar in my coffee. Consistent crap so to speak. Even then there are a couple of places where there are good cafes that I will stop at. Those cafes know me and if I get the right barista, they try a bit harder for me. I enjoy that!
Major cities: I research to find the great cafes, make a point of going and this is my education. I really enjoy that!!
Posted Thu Feb 28, 2013, 9:30am Subject: Re: How often do you buy coffee when you are away from home?
I'll drink espresso in the few places I know do a good job in Cambridge/Boston. Pourover in places around Cambridge, Arlington and surroundings that do it, and drip elsewhere. I will drink the drip coffee on planes or in diners (although I won't go back if the coffee is too bad), or the airpot/boxes at meetings. On the road, I'll drink diet coke or pepsi instead rather than have service plaza coffee (with an exception for the Dunkin' Donuts slightly coffee flavoured milkshakes in summer).
Coffeenoobie Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2011 Posts: 3,073 Location: PNW Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: N S Oscar Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:05am Subject: Re: How often do you buy coffee when you are away from home?
I look for places when I am out. If they have a good machine/grinder I will watch the baristas. IF the seem to have their act together I will try one. If I like it I will often pick up some beans. It helps I am in the PNW and coffee is taken pretty seriously here. Doesn't mean it is all good most coffee shacks suck around me.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
Intrepid510 Senior Member Joined: 30 Dec 2010 Posts: 356 Location: California Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:30pm Subject: Re: How often do you buy coffee when you are away from home?
Coffeenoobie kind of hit on the head, just because you are going to an area where there are a lot of good coffee shops, still doesnt mean you are going to be able to go into random shop x and get good results. Sure your chance in Seattle might 1 in 50 as oppose to 1 in 1000 for another city but to get good coffee out you have to do a little research or judge the place when you step in and where its located.
Of course you could've researched and gone to places recommended here and thought their coffee was swill, it's a possibility.
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