What Makes a Good Coffee Shop and Sunergos Coffee

October 12, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Posted in Coffee Shop Reviews | Leave a comment
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After moving to Louisville and getting settled as to where things were I thought a good date with my wife would be to visit every coffee shop and try their coffee. I literally tore two yellow pages out of our phone book and proceeded to pick out shops, go to them and write notes on how the experience was. I would tell my friends about this and recommend coffee shops to them. I did this before I ever started blogging. These dates quickly got narrowed down to coffee shops that roasted their own beans. I do believe that we made it to every coffee shop in town.

Now you can find a lot of opinions on what people think makes for a good experience at a coffee shop and I want to add mine. First, the coffee, it has to taste good. We are learning about cupping and the art of tasting coffee. We can experience the aroma, flavor profile, aftertaste and body. I understand different roasts. So this may be over simplifying by me, but after the first couple of sips, does it taste good?! Would I buy a bag of this to make at home? Would I want to share this with my friends because it is that good? A good coffee shop has to have good coffee, period.

Second, is the staff friendly and knowledgeable? If the place is not too busy, I will ask questions and I would like good answers. I go as a learner. The more I learn about coffee, the more I realize I still need to learn. I want baristas who know how to interact with me without acting like a snob or like I am a pest. Will they help me learn about their coffee and roasting methods and brewing styles?

Passion is a word that is both over used and misused too much today. Here’s a word I like better when talking about coffee, enthusiasm. Is the staff enthusiastic about helping me learn about their coffee? Here is an important lesson; if the coffee is not that good the first time, I will go back and give them another chance if the staff practices good customer service.

Location is the third component in making a good coffee shop experience for me. If I am on a date and exploring with my wife, I really don’t care where it is located. But if I am going to go back regularly I would like a location with good parking. It doesn’t matter if it has a parking lot or you park on the street. Does the shop have good access?

The fourth component for me is atmosphere. My wife will walk around and look at the art and I will look at the coffee bags. So put the roast date on the bag. Anyone who knows anything about coffee will not buy a bag of coffee without a roast date. I personally don’t care if the furniture is old, new or borrowed. I don’t care how many tables or couches are available. I like background music, but not overly loud music. When I am out with Kim, I want to be able to hear what she is saying to me across a small table. I’m somewhat flexible about the atmosphere because I’m going there with my date (wife), I like to explore new places and I want to try your coffee and sincerely hope it is good.

Now when you put all of that together in Louisville you come up with Sunergos (www.sunergoscoffee.com). They have good coffee. My wife and I have not had a bad cup there. We liked some better than others, but there coffee is good. We have purchased it by the bag and shared it.

The baristas are friendly, knowledgeable, and patient. They like to help customers learn. They know how to make good coffee drinks too. I had my very first cappuccino there last week. Kim and I shared two, the first one was a Costa Rican Don Mayo and the second one was the Sunergos Blend. They were better than I thought they would be. Kim really liked them. The barista’s artwork was pretty good too. We also shared an espresso; it had a slightly sweet and sour taste to me. I think it was a Nicaraguan and it was very intriguing. Then we took home a cup of their Peruvian Centrocafe which was their daily offering.

Their two locations (Preston St. and Woodlawn Ave.) are convenient and the atmosphere is good too. We can sit down and talk and like looking around. It is a pleasure to go back there and enjoy some coffee and conversation. I’ve even taken out of town guests there too.

There you have my two cents on what makes a good coffee shop and a coffee shop that lives up to that. If you are ever in Louisville or driving by it I would encourage you to stop and try the coffee at Sunergos. Until next time, remember to stop and enjoy the coffee.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (Kim)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

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Coffee Shop Review: La Vida Java

August 29, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Posted in Coffee Shop Reviews | Leave a comment
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About a week ago Kim and I went out to run some errands, go shopping and stop at a coffee shop. We wanted to try one that we had never been too so we went to La Vida Java. It is located in Westport Village, 1301 Herr Lane, Suite 110, in Louisville. It is easy to find and there are a lot of shops and restaurants around it.

We went there on Wednesday morning and it was not too crowded. We like to look around a shop and order small cups of their daily brew. The two coffees we chose were a dark roasted Ethiopian and medium roasted Costa Miel Blend. The owner was working that morning and he made Costa Miel fresh while we waited. He is very personable and we had a good conversation with him. He answered all of our questions while we waited. As other customers came in he greeted those he knew by name and asked if they wanted their regular.

I visited their website and found the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe described as medium dark and bold and as intense as its name with aromas ranging from fruity and flowery enzymatics to exotic fresh leathers. Its smoky flavor follows suit displaying a fruity tart earthiness with a dry clean finish. The Costa Miel (Honey Coast) Blend is medium and mild and is a breakfast blend which is comprised of three South and Central American beans. The chocolaty, creamy and sweet taste lends itself to a caramel nutty and smooth finish, hence its name.

We were looking forward to tasting these coffees. The Ethiopian was good and had a nice fruitiness. It was not over roasted which is a good thing. The Costa Miel was excellent. It was naturally sweet and smooth. When we left the shop we went to Whole Foods and left the coffees in the car. We came out and both were cooled off. We liked the flavor profile of both as they cooled and thought the Costa Miel would make a great iced coffee. It was a very enjoyable.

We would recommend a visit to La Vida Java (www.lavidajava.com).Their motto is “Live Life. Have Fun. Drink Coffee!” Even if you are driving through Louisville on a trip and want to stop for good coffee, this place would be worth the stop. The friendliness of the owner and the quality of the coffee made this an enjoyable date. Until next time, remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversation.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

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