About

About Coffee Towns

Hey there Coffee Fan,

My name is Matt Baker and I am a comedian and coffee lover from Seattle. At home, there are hundreds of great coffee shops to choose from, but the farther I get away from Seattle the harder it becomes to find quality coffee. I am on the road 200 days a year and am constantly searching for a great cup of joe. Since Urbanspoon, Yelp and the other user generated sites have led me to crappy coffee time and time again, I decided to start my own site. I have endured hundreds of bad coffee shops so you don’t have to!

This site will provide you with reviews and ratings of caffeine driven establishments that I personally have visited all over the world. No friends of the coffee shop leaving reviews, just one hard core coffee lovers opinion to steer you to the best espresso and coffee in town.  So, if you find yourself in a town and need a hip spot to hang out, relax, meet people, get wi-fi and of course get some good coffee this is the site for you.

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What I am looking for in a great coffee shop:

What type of machine do they have?

Generally there are a few specific brands of machines that are used by the more high end coffee shops. If you walk in to a establishment and you see one of these machines, you can trust they know what they are doing. When a coffee shops invests in machines like a La Marzocco or Synesso you know they care about the quality of the coffee. If I see those I immediately have confidence that I am going to get a great cup of coffee. Simonelli is also another good brand. Sometimes the machine will be the size of a phone, and unless they are the most skilled  barista, they are never going to make a good cup of coffee. Single group home machines never produce the sort of quality you are looking for in coffee. Just best to order some drip and don’t make eye contact. Look for the machines I mentioned above.

Do they put double shots in everything?

To be honest, I don’t know why this is a big deal, but I do know that all the famous coffee shops do it so there must be something to it. I have noticed that the quality of coffee of the places that put doubles in everything is generally higher. Probably because you can actually taste the coffee! Double shots in everything = Good Sign!

Do they have real Macchiato’s?

I am talking about the real Macchiato. Not the $9, 20 oz, sweet carmel crap they bastardized at Starbucks. I am talking about the classic 4 oz italian drink. Some espresso, a little milk and a dab of foam. If the coffee shop serves this, it does mean the coffee is going to be good, but it does mean that they have a little knowledge of real coffee.

Latte Art?

If a barista serves your coffee with a nice rosetta or lighting bolt in the final pour, you know they know what they are doing. When someone has put in the time to learn how to do art, you know they have put the time and know how to pull a decent shot.

My warning signs that the coffee is going to be bad:

If they ask do you want flavoring?

Anytime a barista asks me this I quiver. That means so many people come in there and order flavored drinks that it is abnormal to have your drink actually taste like coffee. My suggestion would be to cancel the order the moment they ask that question and order some drip.

8 oz

If they don’t serve 8 oz you are in trouble. 8 oz is the standard small drink in most knowledgable coffee houses. With 12 oz drinks it is harder to taste the coffee and that is why these coffee houses only serve 12 oz and above. They don’t care about the taste of their coffee. My favorite thing at those places is to still order a 8 oz drink and chuckle when they say, “our small is 12 oz.” I say, “is it possible to only fill one of those 12 oz cups 8 oz?” It’s amazing to watch as their head almost explodes.

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