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

Coffee Shop Review – The Hub

May 11, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Posted in Coffee Shop Reviews | 1 Comment
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While driving through Danville Kentucky I spotted a coffee shop on the corner. Kim and I were hoping we would find a coffee shop to stop at. We did not want fast food coffee, gas station coffee or donut shop coffee. We parked on the street and walked back to The Hub Coffee House and Café www.thehubcoffeehousencafe.com. It is connected to Centre College Bookstore.

We spent a little time in the bookstore because we like them too. Then we went over to The Hub to order coffee. The place was not busy at all and we were waiting for someone to ask us if we wanted anything. One of the sales people a young lady, seemed more interested in talking to a young man at the counter than taking our order. I didn’t want to be rude, but I kept moving closer to them hoping to get her attention. In my mind I’m thinking, “would you mind helping me spend my money here?”

She finally asks us if we wanted anything and I tell her she can finish helping the young man. She tells me its o.k. we were just talking. My wife and I tried to ask her some questions about the coffee they serve (Sunergos, Higher Grounds and Stauf’s) and about the coffee shop. She either didn’t know how to answer our questions or she didn’t want to talk with us. Since we both like Sunergos (and we have reviewed them before) Kim ordered Higher Grounds medium roast Mexican and I ordered the H.G. dark roast called Fresh Water Land Trust.

Both coffees were good. My wife drank hers black and really enjoyed the flavor. It wasn’t too bold, and had a slight citrus flavor. I got the bottom of the pot and it wasn’t that warm. She heated it with the espresso milk scalder. I thought she would offer to make a fresh pot. The dark roast wasn’t too bold and I told Kim I would like to try a fresh pot of this coffee. We also ordered a chocolate chip sandwich cookie and it was a little too sweet.

You may wonder why we stopped again on the return trip. Well I believe everyone deserves a second chance and we did not see any other coffee shops, anywhere. Kim likes a flavored coffee at times so she ordered Stauf’s Chocolate-Orange blend. It had a hint of bittersweet chocolate and slight orange taste. She liked it a lot. I ordered a Higher Grounds medium roast called Red Ribbon Blend. It was smooth and light in my mouth and was a bolder taste than I expected from a medium roast. I drank it black because it tasted so good.

The sales person who waited on us was different and she seemed to be interested in talking with us and serving us. The dark roast was old and she offered to make a fresh pot if we wanted to wait. This was totally different service compared to the day before. We were asking her questions about the coffee and the shop and she tried to answer them. She even asked us to talk with the manager; I think her name was Natalie.

I’m not sure if service there is always hit or miss, but based on my first time there I was not impressed. The second visit was a better experience. At the Leader’s Retreat one of the topics we discussed was the importance of customer service. The Hub needs to improve on customer service. They need some consistency in their staff. They seem to have great coffee selection, some good sales people, and a manager who seemed to care about customers. A little training and they could be a very good coffee shop.

We are looking forward to our next coffee shop adventure whether it’s good or bad because we do it together.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Can You Smell The Coffee?

February 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews, Coffee Shop Reviews | Leave a comment
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If you are a coffee drinker, you know that there is just something about the smell of coffee. I like having a coffee maker with a timer because I can smell the brewed coffee in the morning when I get up and its ready for me and my wife. I usually buy whole bean and grind it as we use it. Sometimes we’ll make a cup in the afternoon too, mostly regular, but sometimes decaf. I like dark roast coffees best, but I’ll try lighter roasts. I don’t drink flavored coffees; just give me regular coffee, strong, not bitter, with one teaspoon of honey and a little cream. Man, I’m looking forward to tomorrow morning already.

So my wife and I like to go on a date and try different coffee shops. We will visit them, see what their daily brews are and pick one to have. We have been in just about every coffee shop in Louisville. We like to see how the staff interacts with us so we usually ask them questions about the coffees and their store. We like to sit down enjoy the coffee, watch the people and talk with one another. One of the coffee shops we really like is Sunergos. They are located at 2122 South Preston Street (www.sunergoscoffee.com). We like their coffee so much we buy the beans to make it at home. Sometimes though we just like to go there, sit down and enjoy the coffee.

My wife likes to look at the art they have hanging on the walls and we like the eclectic mix of furniture. The staff is friendly and helpful. Saturday we tried what they call Blend B in a French Press. The coffee was stronger than being brewed in an auto drip machine. It had more of the coffee oils and grit in it then we are used too, but it was pretty good. In about a week we are going back to try the same blend in a Chemex brewer. We want to see how the coffee tastes with that brewing style. We are trying both of these because we are interested in purchasing one for home use. The staff helped us by answering any question we had. It was an enjoyable coffee drinking experience.

We’ll definitely keep buying Sunergos coffee and brewing it at home. We’ll go to other coffee shops, but I know we’ll be back to Sunergos. We appreciate the products they sell and the friendliness of the staff. If you want some good coffee, go to Sunergos. I don’t think you will be disappointed. You can find them online at: www.sunergoscoffee.com .  I posted this recommendation because we like supporting local small businesses. Oh yea, the date was good too! I’m looking forward to the next one we take to another coffee shop.

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