I decided that I would do a little coffee tour while working on a grand rounds project in order to: a) keep myself thoroughly caffeinated and b) get my butt out of the house so I could get some work done. While I did not include all coffee shops in downtown Kingston, I managed to make it to 4 downtown staples. My apologies if I didn’t make it to a coffee shop that anyone really wanted me to check out.
I did not include Starbucks in this comparison as I felt that people will always go to Starbucks regardless of the quality of their coffee. The marketing machine is so powerful that I find myself buying a Creme Brulee Latte more often than I would like over the holidays.
My method was simple: A small single shot cappuccino. A small single shot latte. No special requests. No sugar. Let’s see what these baristas can do! First up was Sipps. It has a really nice location overlooking Market Square. You almost feel like you part of the heartbeat of the community.
Wow. So many rules. I was not impressed. If you read between the lines, it is really asking people who are there by themselves to not sit at a full table. Also… it is saying: Get the hell out after 1 hour. One more thing to add: no free Internet. I wouldn’t want to stay one hour even if they allowed it.
This is the latte. You can see the uneven bubbles and the nice spoon they left behind for me in my cup. Clearly they used a spoon to dump the foam on top. It really looks unappetizingly frothy. The espresso was over-pulled, bitter, and almost had a taste of cleanser. J didn’t finish hers. It really didn’t even taste like coffee. It had no coffee aroma.
This is the cappuccino. The espresso was again over-pulled and bitter. I couldn’t shake that taste of cleanser in my mouth.
Look at all the bubbles in this cappuccino! Big ones, small ones, and you can see the canyons of foam sitting on top of this mug.
And when you drink the foam, you can see the crevasses and cracks of foam in your mug. It had the consistency of bubbles from a bubble bath. A nice foam should be texturized milk and very creamy! Overall, I did not enjoy my experience at Sipps. Two badly pulled espressos and some pretty bad steamed milk. There were also a ton of rules so I have no idea why anyone would ever come here.
Next up was Coffee and Company. With an abundance of tables, it is really popular with students who often will fill the large space as they cram for exams and write papers.
Here is the latte. The espresso was nicely pulled with some nice earthiness and nuttiness to it. My only gripe: I hate drinking coffee in beer glasses.
Very nice microbubbles! You can see how even it is compared to Sipps.
This is the cappuccino. The foam is not quite as even as in the latte but it is still quite good. Again, the espresso was quite nice. Overall, Coffee and Company is a great place to spend a few hours working on a paper (or grand rounds in my case). Free Internet + many tables + cozy atmosphere = great place for students. The espresso is nice and they steam milk pretty well. They also serve Godiva chocolates but I’ve never purchased any.