Drink Ordered: Small Cappuccino
Coffee Roaster: Coffee Beanery (Roasted off-site)
Food: Cookies and packaged pastries
Stamp Card: Yes
Wifi: Yes – provided by the mall
Pricing Comparison: $$$
The Coffee Beanery location I visited is inside the Superstition Springs Mall in Mesa, AZ. The mall itself was relatively busy, but the coffee shop didn’t have a single customer inside. This made me wonder if it just wasn’t a coffee time of day for the mere mortals, or if this was an unspoken warning to stay away. In the end, I would have to say that it is a little of both.
The barista was very friendly, and asked my wife and me a number of questions to help us decide what we want. She was actually very good at this, unlike some baristas I have encountered in some much “nicer” coffee shops. While we were trying to figure out what to order, another customer walked in. The barista immediately called her previously unseen coworker out from the back. One thing this shop obviously had right was the concept of great customer service.
On first glance, the shop itself looked clean and organized. For the most part, the image of cleanliness and organization was accurate. The outer walls were lined with bins of beans, and shelves of drinkware for sale. The shelves were definitely clean, and there didn’t seem to be so much as a mug turned backwards on any of the shelves. What really disturbed me was the way that a company that roasts their own beans was willing to store those beans.
The bins of beans were clear plexiglas bins with loose closing lids. As if the exposure to light and air were not enough of a problem, the bins also looked like they had not been emptied and cleaned out in over a year. The buildup of rancid oils would be enough to ruin the flavor of even the freshest beans in one of those bins. While I wasn’t able to confirm this, I would like to think that this store was not an example of how the company accepts quality, but simply one franchise.
The barista made our coffee relatively quickly, and even offered to top my cappuccino with ground cocoa or spices. When I picked up the cup, it felt about the right weight for a cappuccino. I was beginning to have high hopes for the overall experience, and thought that possibly the only thing wrong with this shop was the way they stored their beans for sale. This illusion quickly dissipated.
After receiving our drinks, we went to the mall play area, about 175-200 meters a way. By the time we got there, the foam in my cappuccino was already half gone, and a couple of minutes later I basically had a flat latte. Despite the small quantity of milk, the espresso still tasted very weak. The espresso did have a pleasant spice flavor, and a mild nutty aroma. But that was only for the brief moments before the little flavor there was simply vanished. Even my wife’s Iced Fudge Ribbon Mocha tasted cheap.
In the end, the experience was pleasant enough, the baristas were helpful and very friendly. Unfortunately, that isn’t enough from a coffee shop. If you want to be treated well, this is an excellent place to go. If you want coffee, I would recommend looking elsewhere.