Cafe de los Muertos

I’m the type of coffee drinker that enjoys her coffee with no sugar and just enough cream to cool it down so I can dig straight in.  I don’t like sweetener or flavors and I don’t need a lot of “vibe” in my coffee shop, if the coffee is good.  When I make coffee at home, I use the pour over method with fresh beans ground right before it’s brewed and use a dark roast.  While I will drink the free coffee offered at my office, the cup of Dunkin Donuts from the shop with the drive through, or the Starbucks, if that’s what I pass by, I prefer the spots that offer fresh, local beans roasted recently and served by a kid in a flannel shirt and thick rimmed glasses.  Some how, these baristas just know how to bring the milk to the right temperature and make that delightful design in it that doesn’t necessarily make it taste better but shows that they give a crap about what they are putting in the cup.  All of these things in mind, I set out believing I would thoroughly enjoy this coffee shop.

Overall: 2 out of 5

Service: 3 out of 5

Food/beverage: 2 out of 5

Ambiance: 3 out of 5

Value: 1 out of 5


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That being said, my recent visit to Cafe de los Muertos was a huge disappointment.  The store is located at 300 W. Hargett St, which is a great location! Reading yelp ahead of time, I grew increasingly excited as the time came for me to visit this new establishment.  People raved about the pastries, the coffee and the ambiance.  As I approached, I was pleased by the outside decor.

Walking in, I was underwhelmed.  While the bar is cute and the art is trendy, it didn’t make me want to grab a seat, so I ordered my treats to go.

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I was greeted immediately by the barista, who was VERY knowledgeable about the coffee they offered.  It’s from a local roaster, Oak City Coffee, which is located right up the street from the coffee shop.  Great, I thought, must be fresh.  The barista was able to give me suggestions and detailed descriptions of what each coffee they offered would taste like in the pour over method.  Because my favorite is a latte, I decided to see how theirs rated.  I placed my order for a medium, and without question, the barista began working the machines.  He placed my drink in front of me with a pretty little heart drawn on the top.

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While this was lovely, it was only then that I noticed it was a 12 oz beverage.  Most coffee shops offer at least 3 sizes, 12, 16 and 18 or 20 oz, so I was surprised to find that mine was a 12 oz, even though I had ordered a medium.  When I asked the barista, he stated that they only offered one size latte, the 12 oz, for $3.75.  In my opinion, THAT is expensive for a 12 oz drink.  It was colder than I typically enjoy my latte and the espresso had a less than pleasant aftertaste that made me wonder if it was old.

The bakery case was nearly empty.  They had a few cookies, one type of scone, a crumb cake and a chocolate cake.  The scone and crumb cake were from a local bakery, I picked a scone since it was breakfast time.  After ordering and paying, I was told that all of the items from that particular bakery were gluten free.  I went over and re-read the signs and didn’t find any indication that they were gluten free.  IF you must eat gluten free foods, I am sure this would be one you would want to try.  On the other hand, if you do not have to eat gluten free, and don’t know you are paying over $4 for a bakery treat only to find out after that what you have ordered is gluten free, you probably won’t be happy.  It had a terrible aftertaste, as some gluten free flours do, and was very small.  I was bummed.

Most of the reviews on yelp that raved about this place were in reference to their shaken latte.  May be I would go back and try it, but otherwise, I will not return to this establishment.

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