View Full Version : "Mass Market" espresso - chains

w squared
10-24-2011, 08:24 AM
I thoroughly enjoy making my own espresso (mostly for lattes) at home, and have found a good local retail source for fresh-roasted beans in Calgary. The problem is that I spend a lot of time on the road...meaning that I'm often stuck trying to fend the best of the available coffee in the area of a city that I'm in....or in a small town that I'm in.

So far, I've found that Charbucks....well, they're Charbucks. At least you know what you're getting.

Seattle's Best...their beans aren't as dark, but I've also found that their staff is somewhat indifferently trained. They always seem shocked that I don't want vanillamangofuzzypeach syrup in a latte...or that I want four shots of epsresso in a 20 ounce cup.

Which chains have you had good luck at? I bounce all over Western Canada, and the Gulf Coast, Pacific Northwest, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana...so if there are regional chains that you know of, I'd be happy to hear about 'em.

Any specific spots in Bellingham, Washington would be especially welcome - I'm probably going to spending some time there in the spring of 2012.

01-10-2012, 05:58 AM
I have had good luck with Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, but I think thats mainly in SoCal, Gloria Jeans is ok, but kinda like charbucks. Caribou isnt to bad, but the one by me is staffed with morons...

01-10-2012, 07:23 AM
As far as chains go, I'll second Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and also add Peet's. I have no idea how widespread those are, but they both seem to cater to people that actually like how coffee tastes, not just people that like a hint of coffee flavor in their sugared syrups and creams.

01-10-2012, 07:36 AM
As far as chains go, I'll second Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and also add Peet's.

Peet's does a good job on espresso, but I find their brewed coffee to be too strong for my taste.