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Memphis: A Lament
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JR
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JR
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Location: Germantown, TN (right next to Elvistown)
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Posted Sat Jan 29, 2011, 1:24pm
Subject: Memphis: A Lament
 

I live in the Memphis metro area, and I would LOVE to find a coffee shop that will:
  • Use freshly roasted coffee--freshly ground for my shot, not sitting in the grinder's doser...
  • Pull shots that aren't blond in the first 2 seconds of the pull...
  • Froth only "virgin" cold milk, paying attention to the texture, not just the temperature...

Today I went to a shop whose sign said "Best espresso bar in Memphis" (that's not saying much). The four-group La Marzocco was impressive-looking.  I watched a server fill his basket from the doser with coffee that was ground who-knows-when...pulling shots that were instantly blond, with water flowing around the portafilter into the cup.  At the same time, the milk was frothing itself, unattended.  I say "I watched" because I always watch before I'll order...this time I did not order anything but drip coffee.

To their credit, the staff was very friendly, and they used good, fresh beans.  My drip coffee was excellent--a Moka Java, they told me.  I can find several shops that are similar--good, fresh drip coffee, and extremely polite, attentive staff.  I just can't find espresso, or espresso drinks that I would order.

If I go 220 miles east to Nashville, I have my choice of at least four shops that do VERY good espresso drinks (mostly in the Vanderbilt University area).  Just not here in Memphis.

Maybe someone else knows of a good espresso bar that in Memphis that I don't know about...please?

If not, I guess I'll just have drip coffee in the shops, and get my espresso at home.

Jack

 
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JR
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JR
Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 1,833
Location: Germantown, TN (right next to Elvistown)
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: New but inop Quickmill...
Grinder: Baratza Forté, Cunill...
Drip: Bona Vita (Thermal)
Roaster: GG/UFO
Posted Tue Feb 1, 2011, 7:24pm
Subject: Re: Memphis: A Lament
 

JR Said:

Maybe someone else knows of a good espresso bar that in Memphis that I don't know about...please?

If not, I guess I'll just have drip coffee in the shops, and get my espresso at home.

Posted January 29, 2011 link

Judging by the (lack of) response, I guess it's just me.

Off to the kitchen to make my own espresso!

Jack

 
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Jasonian
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Jasonian
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Location: Lubbock, TX
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Posted Mon Feb 7, 2011, 9:21am
Subject: Re: Memphis: A Lament
 

JR Said:

Judging by the (lack of) response, I guess it's just me.

Off to the kitchen to make my own espresso!

Jack

Posted February 1, 2011 link

I feel your pain, Jack.  

My mother lives in Germantown as well.  I send her coffee every week.  She has an Aeropress and a Bodum Antigua that gets daily use.  

If you think there's a single shop that would be receptive to another company helping them out, let me know.  I'll be back there again in the Spring.

 
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gime2much
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Posted Mon Feb 7, 2011, 9:55am
Subject: Re: Memphis: A Lament
 

JR, would you mind disclosing the names of the shops in Nashville worth visiting. I should be there sometime in the spring for a week or so.

Thanks

 
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JR
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JR
Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 1,833
Location: Germantown, TN (right next to Elvistown)
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: New but inop Quickmill...
Grinder: Baratza Forté, Cunill...
Drip: Bona Vita (Thermal)
Roaster: GG/UFO
Posted Tue Feb 8, 2011, 2:43pm
Subject: Re: Memphis: A Lament
 

gime2much Said:

JR, would you mind disclosing the names of the shops in Nashville worth visiting. I should be there sometime in the spring for a week or so.

Thanks

Posted February 7, 2011 link

I certainly don't mind telling people about the good ones.

I was most impressed with Fido Coffee--but they've become a full-service restaurant, so it can get crowded during the lunch and dinner hours.  They seem to have recognized this, so they opened a shop NEXT DOOR in the same building, called "Hot & Cold".   It has coffee and Mexican chocolates, popsicles, etc. but no real food.  It was new, and when I went, the barista had not yet mastered latté art, but the texture was right and it was good.  Their coffee is roasted by their parent company, Bongo Java.  Bongo has their own location, and I've heard it's also good--but I have not tried it.

I've heard Portland Brew is also good, but I haven't been there.

Now, an update on Memphis: I normally do not use the drive-through, but I was in a hurry and stopped by Poplar Perk'n for a cup of drip coffee Saturday.  Lo and behold, I spied a Swift grinder behind the bar.  It had a portafilter locked in, grinding for a shot.  I sure didn't see that coming--almost fell out of my van.  Could this be a sign of better days to come? (by the way, the shop I described in the first post was not Poplar Perk'n).

Jack

 
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JR
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JR
Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 1,833
Location: Germantown, TN (right next to Elvistown)
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: New but inop Quickmill...
Grinder: Baratza Forté, Cunill...
Drip: Bona Vita (Thermal)
Roaster: GG/UFO
Posted Tue Feb 8, 2011, 2:49pm
Subject: Re: Memphis: A Lament
 

Jasonian Said:

I feel your pain, Jack.  

My mother lives in Germantown as well.  I send her coffee every week.  She has an Aeropress and a Bodum Antigua that gets daily use.  

If you think there's a single shop that would be receptive to another company helping them out, let me know.  I'll be back there again in the Spring.

Posted February 7, 2011 link

I honestly can't say any of them would welcome the help.  I think that's the problem.  They like what they're doing now just fine.  And in most cases, it's better than what the de facto standard-bearer can offer.

You need to holler at me when you're back here, and we can go on a coffee crawl if you're up to it.

Jack

 
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Jasonian
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Jasonian
Joined: 8 Aug 2005
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Location: Lubbock, TX
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Posted Wed Feb 9, 2011, 9:14am
Subject: Re: Memphis: A Lament
 

JR Said:

I honestly can't say any of them would welcome the help.  I think that's the problem.  They like what they're doing now just fine.  And in most cases, it's better than what the de facto standard-bearer can offer.

You need to holler at me when you're back here, and we can go on a coffee crawl if you're up to it.

Jack

Posted February 8, 2011 link

I don't have a specific date yet, but I'll contact you when I do.  

The contented bubble disease plagues many places of business.  I think some regions were hit harder by the epidemic than others.

 
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Java_Jiver
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Java_Jiver
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Posted Mon Apr 4, 2011, 2:56am
Subject: Re: Memphis: A Lament
 

Kind of off topic, but, who has the best pulled pork barbecue in the Memphis area these days, JR?

There were a few that my wife and I enjoyed when we lived up that way (in Germantown) 31 years ago, but things DO change.

Here in Baton Rouge we actually do have a good place for fresh espresso and drip coffee. It's called Highland Coffees, and it's right outside the gates of LSU.

http://www.highlandcoffeesbr.com/
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JR
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JR
Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 1,833
Location: Germantown, TN (right next to Elvistown)
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: New but inop Quickmill...
Grinder: Baratza Forté, Cunill...
Drip: Bona Vita (Thermal)
Roaster: GG/UFO
Posted Mon Apr 4, 2011, 3:56pm
Subject: Re: Memphis: A Lament
 

Java_Jiver Said:

Kind of off topic, but, who has the best pulled pork barbecue in the Memphis area these days, JR?

Posted April 4, 2011 link

Whoa, you want me to step on that landmine?  BEST is enough to start a religious war around here.  There are not many bad ones (they don't survive), and quite a few good ones.  I'm not sure who to say is the best.  Since you're from Germantown, the Commissary is still high on everybody's list, although I think they do a better job with catering than they do in their shop.

Jack

 
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crfrop7311km
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crfrop7311km
Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 22
Location: Memphis, TN
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Posted Sun Apr 10, 2011, 5:57pm
Subject: Re: Memphis: A Lament
 

Moving to Memphis in June, so did a search on here to see what would come up.  Good to see some chatter at least, even if the espressography isn't showing many hot spots in Memphis.  

As a super brief intro, I enjoy coffee quite a bit, proud owner of a Bunn ES1A and do the old popcorn roasting.  Good times.

Looking forward to joining the community of Memphian CGers, though.  Should be fun.  



Cheers,
Kevin

 
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