“there’s nothing accidental about quality”
RD – thanks for sharing in our love of espresso and your story
Back when I was a kid, when I was young and impressionable, my father took me to the old Night Hawk restaurant in San Antonio. There was a sign on the front door, right by the handle, that read “There’s nothing accidental about quality.” That is what I am thinking as I write.
I can enjoy many types of coffee; I’m a coffee lover, not a coffee snob. I can enjoy instant, vacuum packed, coffee mixed with Chicory, middle eastern coffee, etc. I always drink a double espresso when it is available though, and I’ve been drinking double espressos every day for nearly 20 years. I got started on espresso at Quackenbush’s when it was on the drag.
The espresso here is top quality. They have several blends (and some single-origins) which they order and they’ve always got two of these available. If you like the more bitter blends then this is the place for you. Try the La Forza or Toscano from Counter Culture.
La Forza – your tongue is coddled (or held in a tractor beam maybe) by a cup of smoky espresso with no trace of sourness. It’s flavor has solidity and authority on the same level that a Merriam-Webster’s unabridged dictionary has. There’s quite a bit of heft here. You leave the shop feeling right about so many things; you walk with the Hound of the Baskervilles.
Toscano – markedly less full than La Forza but with more complexity, and thoroughly rewarding. It invites contemplation. This espresso is like a quiet sincerity.
I normally don’t drink coffee but I did have some at the cupping event last weekend. Wow, what a fantastic cup of coffee. We had the Puente from Honduras, which I would call very well-behaved, just not doing anything that you feel you need to ignore in order to enjoy the part you like, which made it very well-behaved indeed. Then we had the Hacienda La Esmeralda Geisha, which was also very nice like the Puente but much richer. If you enjoy coffee then you must try these this year. The Puente is available at Houndstooth as I write, the Geisha can be ordered from the Counter Culture web site. You know these coffees are kind of like an old book, one of the ones that smell nice. You open the book, sniff the aroma, and you’re halfway there.
As coffee shops go this is an embarrassment of riches. Besides top-quality coffee, the staff is uniformly helpful and curious about how well you enjoyed your coffee. Ask for anything more and you’ll probably run into problems no matter where you go.