Posts Tagged ‘1 star’

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Ebar

April 5, 2010

If there is one thing that bothers me more than bad service it is a cold drink that should be hot or at least warm. With that said the Ebar at Nordstrom in Alderwood mall is very generic. Walking in is looks and feels very much like a Starbucks or a Coffee Bean. The drink menu is pretty much tick for tack the same as the chain cafes. The one big difference is the food menu. A menu outside included items such as cilantro lime shrimp, herb roasted chicken pizza, roasted chicken and herb goat cheese sandwich, sauteed chicken and angel hair pasta, and salmon with gazpacho salsa. My mouth is watering just reading that. Unfortunately my time was short and eating wasn’t an option.

When I approached the counter a barista looked at me several times and went on with what she was doing without acknowledging me. Another walked out of the back and went about her business before even coming to take my order. Not a good impression.

I ordered a mocha and waited. When it came out I was was less than impressed. Not only was it cold, but it had an overly rich mocha flavor to it. It tasted sort of like chocolate milk that some one put way to much chocolate syrup in and let sit to room temperature. Not what I expected.

Although the mall parking was full that day the ample seating area outside of Nordstom that serves as the dining room was nearly empty so finding a seat is not an issue here.

One thing that I really liked about Ebar was their mission statement. Not only is their food organic and they serve fait trade coffee, but they serve local food. Also their hot paper cups are biodegradable and their carry out packaging are made from 100% recycled paperboard.

Nordstrom Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

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Brew of the Week–Millstone Carmel Blend

February 17, 2010

Always beware of fragrant coffee; that is my rule of thumb. However, walking through the grocery store’s coffee isle I’m stopped by the smell of carmel. It’s wafting from one of those bins full of beans that sit next to the in store grinder. I stop myself ‘don’t do it. I loose the internal battle and walk out with a pound of Millstone coffee. What a mistake.

Round 1: Only wanting to make one cup of coffee I grind the beans enough to flavor two cups and wait for my coffee maker to brew my blissful smelling coffee. I pour a cup and take a sip. Than I take another sip. Wait did I pick up water by mistake? No, that’s coffee in there. Hmmm…. The coffee was more like lightly flavored coffee water.

Round 2: I’m going to do it this time and over compensate with beans to eliminate the water. Grinding what I normally do to make 12 strong cups of coffee I pour the coffee grinds into the machine and add enough water for 2 cups. Haha! I got you this time! Than I wait, pour my cup, shut my eyes, and “what the f$%$!” It is still watery. Not nearly as it was before, but there is more water in my one-cup-of-coffee-brewed-for-twelve-strong-cups than there should be.

On the up side there was some flavor if that is the upside. What I had in my cup was bitter, and not in a good way. It was that sour bitter taste. Then there was the dryness to it. I might as well have been drinking bitter sand that smelled good in the package.

Millstone you disappointed me. I take away your rights to manufacture in Washington.

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The Brew of The Week- Dunkin’ Donut Hazelnut Coffee

February 7, 2010

Being a big fan of Dunkin’ Donuts it has become a rare treat for me to have since they pulled out of the West coast. Thrilled to see a Dunkin’ Donut for the first time in about two years I snapped up a couple of bags of the coffee to brew at home. It was a bit upsetting to see the only way I could get it was ground and not whole bean, but my grandparents don’t have a grinder so I didn’t let it bother me.

Now, I have had Dunkin’ Donut coffee in the stores in the past and rather enjoy it with a doughnut or a bagel, but the prebagged stuff is another story. Upon opening it the smell of some nasty concoction (not hazelnut)¬†wafted¬†out of the bag. Not letting it stop me I pour the grounds into the coffee maker and waited. What came out was not coffee. It was beyond the most foul toxin that I have drank. This could not be right. I may not be a master coffee maker, but I love coffee and have worked at Dunkin’ Donuts setting up all of the coffee machines while in college. I’m confident in what it should taste like at all.

So, what did I learn from this? Well, the Dunkin Donut commercials may say that they won in a blind taste test over Starbucks, but I know that they didn’t win with this stuff. Next time I’ll brew dirt before another Dunkin’ Donuts blend.