UPDATE - RESPONSE TO COMMENT
In response to the comment regarding my post, it is fairly obvious that this person's defensive nature as well as the detail they give suggests that they work at the store which makes it difficult to honestly discuss this. But I must say that I NEVER suggested that I make my own espresso at home. So the entire point is moot. I don't want to spend the cost for the type of machine I would require. The cheap ones don't make true espresso. But to suggest I don't know how to make coffee is stupid. It is not rocket science as this person suggests. I mostly always use fresh roasted beans and grind it every morning. I make drip coffee every week day and use a french press on the weekend.
So yes just like most people I DO know how to brew coffee and it is excellent all the time except for the beans I bought from the Commonplace. I happen to like a dark roast and usually buy an espresso roast, french roast, or another dark roasted coffee, but I use them to make REGULAR coffee and never implied anything else. I love espresso but only buy it from places that have the equipment to do it right.
Also, in case you don't know much about coffee, espresso roast is supposed to be a darker roast with a good secretion of caffeol. The release of caffeol (the bean's oil) from within the bean is controlled by air, heat, and light. Its release also releases the flavor of the coffee. This explains why the brown and very dry (rather than dark and shiny) supposed esresso roast that I purchased had no coffee aroma or flavor whatsoever. It was very pungent and aweful. If you ever chewed up plain appleseeds, then that is the best I can describe the taste. It had a hint of that flavor. But then again, perhaps I ground it wrong or pressed the switch on the coffee maker incorrectly. Maybe I used the wrong spring water. Please...its not that difficult.
I am the stupid one for not opening the bag and inspecting before I bought it. Won't do that again. I usually bag the coffee myself and can see and smell it while bagging. And I should not have suggested I know they are selling robusta beans. I just never thought arabica could taste so aweful but I suppose if you used it completely unroasted it would be horrible. So it could also end up anywhere in between if only partially roasted. Probably was arabica beans that were halfway roasted. Sorry and just wanted to clear up any misunderstanding.
ORIGINAL REVIEW POST:
Stopped here while overnight for business. The coffee tasted OK. I bought some espresso beans to take home. Had to throw it away. Worst ever. Way way underroasted and tasted more bitter than anything I ever had. It did not even have a good aroma after grinding. Have a coffee from their Clover machine but DO NOT buy any beans. I have to think that the coffee they are brewing in the store is decent arabica coffee. You have a cup...it tastes good...then you decide to buy a pound to take with you and end up getting a cheap bag of poorly roasted robusta beans. You will throw them out trust me.
Note: Properly roasted arabica coffee will be shiny and even a bit oily. Espresso will be even more oily. The espresso that I bought was dry as a bone. I should have opened the bag before buying it. Espresso is sometimes cut with a bit of robusta beans but my guess is that they are selling 100% robusta rather than true arabica coffee. This is the stuff that is in a can of Folgers. I am sorry to be so blunt but I was not happy when I went to make it.
I won't say this is the world's best coffeehouse but they do make a great Chai latte! The chai I have gotten from Java city seems too sugary and watery after having had the Commonplace Chai, and they out-do Starbucks on everything. They take a lot of care with their drinks and I love the little personal touches about the place, like the trivia questions that are always up behind the register.
Even though I am not a regular I feel welcome at the Commonplace, which I think is their best quality, because a lot of smaller coffee houses almost feel standoffish in their presentation and the regulars seem to look down on someone new or different walking in. Cafe Amadeus, the new coffeehouse, looks entirely too upscale to be good, and honestly scares me away because I feel like I'd be stared at funny for ordering something uncomplicated. The Commonplace, on the other hand, feels unassuming and friendly. I'd recommend it to anyone who needs a nice meeting place and warm atmosphere.
This Coffee is not even close to being as good as the other indiana cofee shop, In Your Cup. Not to mention the vibe isn't as good either. On weekends it's over run by young kids (highschoolers) and it is nearly impossible to hear yourself think.
This is good if you've never been anywhere else. Sort of like saying that a 20 book collection is an extensive library if you've never seen anything else. I'd rate this as mediocre.
I suspect that most of the reviews are from the owners, their friends or employees. The reviews are a little over the top and outlandish.
Only Citgo coffee is worse.
I've been to the Commonplace Coffeehouse several times as I pass through the area, sometimes as a customer and sometimes as a performer (music). The atmosphere is very welcoming and comfortable, and the coffee is great. Love the vibe.
We were out in Indiana, Pa visiting the Jimmy Stewart museum. While there we strolled the university common. My wife heard some students discussing philosophy (her passion). She joined in the debate. The discussion began to linger, so the students invited us to continue debate over a cup of coffee (my passion). They directed us to The Commonplace Coffeehouse. I was in awe as I entered to see a beautiful coffee roaster in front of me. While the ladies philosophized, I spoke with the proprietor, T.J. He was so knowledgeable. He knew the industry inside and out. I always loved coffee, but he ignited a fire in me to become a true lover of the bean. He made the greatest shot of espresso for me, it blew my mind. I also met his wife. They were both so helpful. I left with a deeper appreciation of the art of the bean. Oh yeah........and a beamin coffee buzz!
The fresh roasted coffee of the Commonplace is the best around - I definitely prefer it over Starbucks. The service is always excellent and cheerful - they even know which cup I prefer to drink my Americanos in! The Commonplace has a family feel - the furniture makes you feel like you're in someone's living room. I like the one-of-a-kind feel the place has - featuring artwork on the walls by local artists and university students as well as jewelry by local artists for sale.
I would also highly commend the owner, TJ - he knows coffee, is generous and treats his employees great!
While on trips have stopped in at the Commonplace Coffeehouse several times. I always enjoy the atmosphere there and the friendly people. The coffee is actually roasted there and is outstanding! I really wish this coffeehouse were in my home state! I would visit often!
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