Saturday, December 27, 2014

Balzac's Coffee (Guelph): First Impressions

In a word, disappointing! 
Any establishment is judged by how well it creates it's most basic offering: chinese by its Cantonese Chow Mein, thai by its Chicken Pad Thai, polish by i's perogies, a coffee house by its House Blend.
I don't know about you but I like the option of starting with a steaming hot mug. Balzac's brewed coffee (House Blend) was less than lukewarm coming out of its thermos.  The second cup (Farmer's Blend) was no different, coming from a different thermos. I was sorely tempted to ask my mug to be microwaved.
As for taste, that'll have to wait since it's difficult to judge taste with lukewarm coffee, although I admit I find it impossible to tell an Ethiopian organic single-blend from Tim Horton's dark roast.
Perhaps these are growing pains for this particular establishment: I've had really great coffee from the Stratford and The Distillery locations.
One positive at Balzac Guelph is the pleasant staff (understaffed with just 2 tonight), smiling and doing their best to serve a Saturday evening full house. But it'll take great coffee to pry customers away from Planet Bean and Starbucks, both only two blocks away.

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