Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I am pretty serious about my coffee.

There are a lot of complicated factors to consider when you're going out for coffee. Quality of beans, skill of baristas, hotness of hipster coffee goddess driving the espresso machine; is this your morning cup or are you out at night? With a date or your tattered notebook? What day of the week is it ?(i.e., on a weekday, any "alternative" music which can't be heard on "alternative" radio is appropriate. Sunday morning, jazz or mellow ambient, and if you're unsure the mellowness of your ambient, stick w/ Jazz. ) I mix up where I go for my morning coffee a coupla times a month, just to stimulate the old noggin from thinking I'm an extra in "Groundhog Day". Some people define themselves by their hobbies ("Hobbies? I've got two kids!") Some by their job ("Uh... no.") . Me... I define myself by my vices - and I quit smoking 4 months ago.

This morning I decided I wanted iced coffee for my wake-me-up. No, I wanted good iced coffee, which is a little bit trickier. While I will begrudgingly cop to the fact I can stomach just about any coffee chain's sugary sweet Frozenated Coffee Beverage (TM), that's just not okay in the morning. And sure, I can trust any of my regular haunts to, at the very least, serve me up an appropriate iced americano, but that's not what I'm talking about. I could try someplace new, but there's no garauntee that I won't have refrigerated "Coffee of the (yester)Day" poured into my plastic glass. Hell, go to any area Diedrich's location, and that's the BEST you'll get; you could get HOT coffee poured on your ice. And if Herr Diedrich himself is there he'll tell that's the only "correct" way to make it (however it is that they're making it that day).

Then he'll blather incessantly about how he's decended from a pantheon from Germanic demigods.

But I digress; there are, in my experience, only a handful of java joints in the metro area which make iced coffee the way it should be served - with a Toddy coffee maker. One of those, Scooter Joe's, is spitting distance from my route to work. I was so excited at the prospect of the smooth, chocolate hinted taste that I didn't think twice when I missed my turn and had to drive around the block to get to the parking lot, even though I was already running a little late for work. And the coffee was most definitely worth it.

But it begs the question, and I for the life of me can't put my finger on the anwser... why don't I like Scooter Joe's MORE than I do?

Drive down Lincoln at night and you can't miss in the picture window, the lighting and color scheme give the scene a (pleasant) yellowing, antique feel, like an old photograph. A real urban vibe that the bars in town try to emulate, but are way too Aurora-attempting-to-be-Cherry-Creek glamorous to achieve (see "Funky Buddha" up the block).

Inside, I've never had a bad drink, and the Coffeegirls this morning (one whippit thin, tatoos peeking from behind the straps of her tank top, the other with shy eyes and that kind of unintentionally flirty smile which no doubt makes her the target of advances from hopeful guys who are nowhere near her league; both with dishevled, anti-grav hair) were/are everything a coffee slut like myself could ask for. And of course they've got the weekly rags and plenty of seating.

Maybe it's just too clean - it should be more living room and less sitting room. Or the furniture that's meant to look old, but you know cost a ton, that's been a coffee house cliche since "Friends" (I can think of 5 other places off the top of my head that are WAY worse about this than Joe's, though) Also, the way they push the "scooter" theme seems a little convoluted... if the owners and/or employees are enthusiasts, that's great - that vibe in and of itself should bring some clubs in. But Monkey Bean down Broadway has become a haven for motorcyclists without putting "Wheelie" in it's name or a Triumph on it's roof.

It's inviting enough, though, and the coffee and assorted drinks got it where it counts. Maybe once it's all more worn in, this won't just be a "run in and out" in the morning kind of place, but a "let's go meet for coffee" kind of place.

Okay, so I'm DEADLY serious about my coffee.


Anonymous said...

Dude, it's called Scooter Joe's because it used to be a a [b]scooter dealer[/b]! That scooter on the roof? That was there before and they just decided to leave it up there and go with the theme! Hope this helps.

caffeinator_x said...

I understand it was up there before, and it's a pretty cool decoration (I'd have left it there myself!)

My understanding, though, is that they've persued some local scooter clubs to hang out and/or have meetings there. I just think it's cooler if people find coffee shops and christen it "theirs" on their own.

totalvo said...

dude you blog rocks.. keep it up.. i can give you info later on how to make some dough ( not alot) but some writing blogs. peter

Anonymous said...

Great blog! I also LOVE Monkey Bean. I saw the local BMW motorcycle club there the other day... Good to see another blog dedicated to coffee here in Denver! I thought I was the only one. I'm going to put up a post about your blog on mine. Good stuff :-)

Anonymous said...

oops... meant to post that on your monkey bean review. oh well... I guess I'll have to check out Scooter Joe's! :-)

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