The flavors don't lie at The Coffee Exchange 

click to enlarge RILEY BRATZLER
  • Riley Bratzler
Many factors can contribute to a coffee drink falling short, but we tend to look at the roaster and the barista’s pour centrally. A barista can under- or over-extract a beautifully roasted bean, or perfectly extract a shot from a poorly roasted bean. Either way, they should be constantly tasting and ensuring quality. The flavors won’t lie, and the idiom “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” feels applicable when we taste char. That’s the roast, gone past rich and dark to add burnt notes.

So we abandon our breve latte ($4.30/16-ounce) and café con leche ($4.49/16-ounce) and lay initial blame on Barista Espresso for what we’re told is a light-roast Sicilian blend. Sugar masks some of the damage in the latter drink and the thicker half-and-half texture of the breve only rounds off the scorch flavor. We reach for an (indistinguishably) gluten-free, face-sized ginger snap ($3.50) via sister outfit Bella’s Bakery to reset our palates with a cleansing ginger bite.


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