I love coffee. I require coffee in order to function properly. I like to drink it black, a good dark roast is appreciated, and I do not like when I am charged an arm and a leg for this very simple beverage. Also it has come to my attention that the Starbucks in the Convention Centre has the world’s longest, slowest line (and frankly their coffee is not the tastiest). So in the interest of taking some of the pressure off of this Starbucks location, I have taken it upon myself as a coffee enthusiast to list and rate all of the coffee I have sipped while in New Orleans. If you disagree with my assessment of any listed coffee establishments, please comment below and we can hash it out.
- CC’s Coffee House, 901 Convention Centre Blvd. (3.5/5) So their coffee is fine. Thats really all I have to say about that. It is run of the mill. The taste reminds me of coffee you would find in a meeting room– you are so excited that it is there and that someone made coffee, but it is probably Folger’s, so not really a taste sensation. But nevertheless, CC’s gets a pretty good mark from me because their staff is extremely friendly and chatty!! Bonus points for hiring kind people. Also, CC’s has a real high convenience factor, being that it is right across the street from the conference centre.
- Pulp and Grind, 644 Camp St. (4/5) This place is a hipster paradise. Everyone inside of this coffee shop looks like they just finished up a morning collection from their herb garden, and they are on route to work at an art gallery. The staff is very friendly, and the coffee is very tasty. I also had some of their fancy cold pressed juice, which was equal parts colourful and delicious. The beet/apple/carrot/lemon juice combo I had was a welcome shock to the system after almost a week of eating gumbo and oysters and fried everything. The one draw back to this place is that it is pricey, and the line here grew quickly as I sat and drank my coffee and fancy juice.
- Revelator Coffee Company, 637 Tchoupitoulas St. (3/5) Here I got a normal brewed coffee- dark roast. It was 3 dollars. If a cup of regular black coffee is going to cost me 3 dollars, it should have magical healing properties. Its only been a couple days since I had this cup of joe, so I can’t say for sure yet whether this coffee is or isn’t magical, but for now I will venture to say the Revelator coffee was overpriced. The vibes inside this establishment were similarly hip to the Pulp and Grind, but was not as warm, so negative points for that as well.
- Stumptown Coffee Roasters, 610 Carondelet St. (4/5) I would give this place full marks, if not for the fact that it is kind of a hike to get to. The coffee here was very smooth, not too acidic, and smelled absolutely delightful! Apparently this place is actually one of several locations, and this chain actually started in the Pacific Northwest. I would never have known, because when I went in I was greeted by the staff with the warmth I associate with southern hospitality. Also, I tried the strawberry kombucha at Stumptown and I was a huge fan. For those of you who don’t know, kombucha is a type of fermented tea that is naturally carbonated and often sweetened for flavour. The first time I had kombucha, I thought it tasted like a dirty sock dipped in vinegar, but this stuff really grows on you. If you are looking to try some kombucha (there is some sketchy science that suggests potential health benefits), definitely try it at Stumptown.
- PJ’s Coffee, 1420 Annunciation St. (3.5/5) This place seems to be a New Orlean’s favourite, based on the fact that there are tons of locations all around the city. I would equate this place to its Canadian counterpart, Tim Hortons. We Canadians do not go to Timmie’s under any illusion that it is good coffee– we go because it is cheap, fast, and it makes us feel like we are sticking it to the man (I’m looking at you, Starbucks). So go on and have your PJ’s coffee in the name of supporting a local establishment, but you have been warned that this coffee did not make my heart sing.
- Bittersweet Confection’s, 725 Magazine St. (4.5/5) This place is my favourite, by far. The coffee was really delicious, and the vibes inside this establishment were fantastic. I sat in this shop for a bit to do some work, and as I drank my coffee, several “regulars” came in and the staff knew them by name and coffee order. Also, this place gets 1 million bonus marks for having so many delicious treats! It is a chocoholic’s dream land. I had a chocolate croissant because I went in the morning and could not quite stomach a cupcake at that hour, but all of their sweets looked incredible. This place also sells a cake that is apparently part of a New Orlean’s Mardi Gras tradition, called a King Cake. The cake just looks like a big circular brioche with colourful sparkly icing spread over top, which to me sounds not very nice, but I can’t say for sure because I did not taste it. Nonetheless, I would highly recommend anyone who is still in town to go check out this lovely shop.
Anyway, that concludes my coffee review. Now I will leave you to think on this, while I go find myself a little afternoon cup of java.