For all your comida concerns, the Daily Lobo presents: Eating with Wolves. In this edition, Daily Lobo reporters Amanda Britt, Megan Holmen and Alyssa Martinez rated Albuquerque coffee shops on their summertime drinks. For anyone wanting to hold onto summer for just a little while longer, they tasted classic house coffees and iced summer beverages.
Each coffee shop was rated for their house coffee and a summer specialty. The reporters reviewed then based on multiple criteria: service, freshness, taste and ambiance.
4200 Lomas Boulevard NE
Freshness of House Coffee: 8/10
Freshness of Lavender Mocha: 10/10
Taste of House Coffee: 9/10
Taste of Lavender Mocha: 10/10
The service at Humble is great and the whole establishment had a friendly vibe. We noted the abundance of outlets along the wall, allowing coffee drinkers to work or play — whatever their reason for popping in for a cup-of-joe.
The house coffee is fresh, hot and easy to drink, even before doctoring. Likewise, Humble’s house brew satisfies every characteristic we want in our morning cup: It doesn’t leave a bad aftertaste, it can stand alone without cream or sugar and it doesn’t taste overly acidic. Overall, it is earthy, yet mild.
The lavender mocha is surprisingly tasteful. This floral concoction has a lavender taste that snuck in at the end of each sip. However, the predominant flavor is chocolate. The drink is not overwhelming with artificial sweeteners either. This drink ranks 10/10 because of the balance of flavors and freshness, without the concern of an impending stomach ache that some specialty drinks are sure to bring.
Humble is a must add to your coffee shop list if you haven’t visited, especially if you’re looking to snag this floral drink.
202 Bryn Mawr Drive SE
Freshness of House Coffee: 5/10 (The beans taste a little burnt at the end.)
Freshness of Hula Mocha: 8/10
Taste of House Coffee: 4/10
Taste of Hula Mocha: 8/10
Judging on appearances alone, Michael Thomas is a step above the other shops we visited. It’s Bryn Mawr location is nested in a garden of flowers and vines, making it the perfect place to drink coffee in a serene, secret-garden style environment. The inside of the coffee shop is a perfect place to come and study on a rainy afternoon. The service is good, although not above and beyond.
The regular coffee (Kenya AA) is not as tasty as Humble’s house brew but, for dark roast fans, this cup is a hit. It is not as fresh as Humble’s cup, but it was still totally worth drinking even before doctoring.
The Hula Mocha is certainly bolder than the Lavender Mocha, but for coconut fanatics and sugar fiends, it is an ideal summer drink. The fresh whipped cream sealed the deal for us as a great end of summer hit.
Overall, Michael Thomas is a wonderful little coffee shop tucked away in Nob Hill. This should be on your list for sweet exciting drinks and cute outdoor seating.
2632 Pennsylvania Street NE
Freshness of House Coffee: 2/10
Freshness of Peach Cold Brew: 3/10
Taste of House Coffee: 2/10
Taste of Peach Cold Brew: 1/10
Although our experience at Little Bear wasn’t bad, it wasn’t necessarily good either. The service was above and beyond and we were even provided with a second drink when the first one was not to our liking.
The house coffee had an oily film across the top of it, which indicated that it had probably been sitting and the bottom of the pot for several hours. It is bitter and ultimately undrinkable, particularly without doctoring.
Unfortunately the peachy cold brew is even more disappointing. It is cold brew with whipped cream and a peach candy ring. The whip cream on the top had gone bad, leaving a bitter milk-gone-bad taste in our mouths. The coffee itself tasted nothing like peach.
This shop is certainly the coziest of the three that we visited and even had vinyl for perusing, but it was not a group favorite.
Stay tuned for next season’s Eating With Wolves, where the Daily Lobo will taste the fall selection from different coffee shops.
Megan Holmen is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @megan_holmen.
Amanda Britt is the photo editor at the Daily Lobo and can be contacted on twitter @AmandaBritt_ or at email@example.com
Alyssa Martinez is a beat reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @amart4447.