Johnson St Public House

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on July 26, 2011 by madisonespresso

I haven’t been updating this as much lately because I haven’t had a lot to write about.

That changed when I discovered Johnson St Public house, located where Company of Thieves had been.

I walked in a few weeks ago surprised to see that it had changed hands. I spoke to the guys behind the counter, who then revealed that they would be featuring Intelligentsia coffee. I mentioned that Intelligentsia was my favorite coffee place in the entire world. As it turns out, the new owner is one of the owners of Intelligentsia.

This is going to be excellent.


Dunn’s Coffee in Minneapolis

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 30, 2010 by madisonespresso

Had some espresso at Dunn Coffee in downtown Minneapolis this weekend. It was good. Full flavor, some acidity but not too much. Didn’t seem like a terribly dark roast.

They had a framed print of the Coffee Tasting Wheel on the wall. It had a link on it – It’s a cool site for the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Definitely worth a look. Since I didn’t immediately find a copy of the Coffee Tasting Wheel, I Googled it and found a copy here at Another interesting site.

Gotham, Daisy Cafe and Cupcakery, Mermaid

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 1, 2010 by madisonespresso

Gotham Bagels might have switched from Illy to something else. Ate there at St. Mary’s a few weeks back, made a mental note.

Plan to try Daisy Cafe and Cupcakery, can’t believe I haven’t been there yet.

Mermaid Coffee serves Just Coffee. Good stuff.

Jo’s Tazzina

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 15, 2010 by madisonespresso

Stopped in for a coffee and some lunch. The espresso was ok, kind of weak. Not much flavor or body. I didn’t watch it get pulled or ask where they got their coffee from, which I really should have done. They have a display case of chocolates from David Bacco, as well as the usual pastries and whatnot. They also aren’t sure if they want to do table service, order-at-the counter, or some hybrid. I just assume it’s order-at-counter, but they kept offering table service.

Nice place, though. They had a big chess set and an assortment of periodicals, as well as a bar-type seating area where you sit facing their food and beverage prep area. I might stop in again at some point in the future.

Espresso Porn

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 13, 2009 by madisonespresso

updated for the first time in like two years.

worth it for the three new shots alone.

Batch Bakehouse / Intelligentsia

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 29, 2009 by madisonespresso

Batch Bakehouse, apparently of the Ian’s Pizza family, is serving brewed Intelligentsia coffee. Only brewed, one pot, no decaf.

I checked my older posts and realized I never actually posted about Intelligentsia. They are (by far) my favorite coffee place in the world. I’ve only been to the one in Chicago, across from Millennium Park, but it was enough. Their espresso is what espresso aspires to be when the beans are barely ripening. Their service, atmosphere, food, art, location and everything else implies that elite status of design in all fields that can be designed: harmonious perfection.

The first time I sat in their location on Randolph St. I was with a girl seeing some art places. She had a latte with detailed latte art and a chocolate dipped biscotti. I had the espresso (obviously) and some brownie-type thing. Rain started to fall just after we sat down near the window. It wound up being one of the best weekends of my life.

It took a few tries (as in, different trips that were lacking in proper info and mappage as well as not having the time to do it right) for me to actually try their coffee, and it was worth every step of the journey. They truly have an understanding of coffee that bewilders all but the most experienced barristers. They have since become an essential part of any trip I take to the Loop area of Chicago (the key is to allot some time before departing, no matter how extraneous it might seem) and will apparently remain a part of my wishlist for Madison for the immediate future.

Batch Bakehouse is focusing on a handful of baked goods, which looked very tasty when I stopped in. Small brownie was $2. Simplicity is nice, but they’re only open until three o’clock in the afternoon, and not on Sundays, Mondays, or (possibly, not sure) Tuesdays.

Albino Espresso

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 9, 2009 by madisonespresso

So I finally managed to track down and sample some ‘white espresso’ the other day. Ancora serves it in their White Zombie drink. I had it served two shots served over ice.

First, it should be explained that ‘white espresso’ (or Albino espresso, or cafe bianco or a variety of similar terms) is made from coffee beans that are underroasted. This causes the beans to be so hard that they must be ground with special grinders. This also means (from what I’ve read) that the caffeine content is roughly triple that of regular espresso. I first heard about this drink here: ( ) via a person named bitcharista.

When I ordered it, it was an odd enough request that it I had to reassure the girl at the register. Having tasted the drink, I realize that very few people would enjoy this.

The barista cleaned out the portafilter, pulled out a plastic container of ground Albino espresso and poured some into the portafilter. She didn’t tamp it, just brewed it.

It does not look or taste at all like coffee, or any kind of coffee byproduct. It was a light yellowish color, a little milky, and smelled like Honey Nut Cheerios with a slightly fermented bite. It tasted like some kind of odd tea (I’ve heard it described as similar to ‘peanut tea’ but I’ve never had that, so can’t compare it). Very light flavor, not a very pleasant one to my palette. I didn’t get much of a caffeine buzz, but I’ve read things about how it’s a milder buzz and also arguments that less bean is used to brew a shot.

Not something I ever see myself ordering again, but at least now I can say I’ve had it.