Drink Ordered: Small Cappuccino
Coffee Roaster: Ground Control – Roasted on location
Other Beverages: Teas, Wines and Beers
Stamp Card: Yes
Pricing Comparison: $$$$
This week’s coffee shop is Ground Control in Goodyear. I’m pleased to say this is another hidden gem. While not immediately obvious from the street, it’s worth spending a minute or two in the parking lot to locate this shop. I visited Ground Control on a Sunday morning. As would be expected, there weren’t any long lines and almost all of the tables were free. Even though the shop did not appear to be busy, there was still a fairly regular flow of customers in and out of the shop during my visit.
Ground control has a few tables outside, but other than that looks just like every other storefront in the shopping center. The inside, however, is a much different story. Anything but plain, the classic contemporary look begins with the oval espresso bar area in the center of the shop, rather than the more traditional placement at the back or side wall. Another, smaller, bar is located at teh back of the shop, next to the roaster where Ground Control roasts their beans twice a week. A selection of jazz, indie and soft rock music was playing at a pleasant volume – not so quiet that you would need to strain to hear it, but not loud enough to be overpowering. The large tropical aquarium is a nice finishing touch.
On display around the shop is a large selection of wines and beers. With their great food menu, and wide selection of beverages, Ground Control is perfect for any time of day. Whether stopping in for your morning latte, or going out for drinks or dinner after work, Ground Control has what you are looking for.
The young barista who helped me was very energetic and upbeat. I knew I was in good hands when he thanked me for ordering a cappuccino, because not enough people order them this time of year. While a considerably wetter cappuccino than I like, it was what I would consider to be a perfect American cappuccino. I have no doubt that if I had asked for a proper cappuccino, that is exactly what I would have received. The froth was thick and creamy, and had not turned back into liquid by the time I finished the cappuccino.
The espresso itself smelled of cedar, but also a bit sweet. The taste had tones of honey, pecans and cedar. This is one of the better espresso’s I have tasted, which can partially be attributed to the in-house roasting, and partially to using high quality beans, and perfecting the roast. What I found interesting about this roast was how light it was. Many coffee roasters take their espresso right up to the point of being burnt, or beyond. This espresso tasted closer to a full city roast, which made for a much more complex and enjoyable flavor.
Ground Control’s dedication to quality showed in everything I saw during my visit. Not only were the cafe and bar area spotless, I overheard several of the employees engaging in conversations about cleanliness and proper drink preparation throughout my visit. It would seem that quality is not only an expectation, but a way of life at Ground Control.