DoubleShot Coffee

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For religious reasons, I try to avoid caffeine as much as possible. Aside from the occasional glass of sweet tea (cut me some slack — I’m 51 percent Dixie!) or one of those cute little eight-ounce bottles of Coke now and then, I stick to decaf.

It is, however, impossible to give a fair review of a coffeehouse without drinking the cappuccino, and Tulsa’s DoubleShot Coffee Company simply doesn’t sell decaf — so, in the name of research, I took one for the team and ordered a cappuccino there the other day. (Yeah, you’re welcome.)

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For the record, it was probably the best cappuccino I’ve ever had in my entire life. And I’m not just saying that because it’s been a year and a half since I had anything but the stale, half-burned primordial sludge that passes for decaf almost everywhere you go.

I spent most of high school and all of college living on cappuccino and its myriad derivatives, and I knew how to operate an espresso machine before the rest of my generation learned to distinguish between their regular coffee and mountain-grown Folger’s crystals. So when I say this was a great cappuccino, I am comparing it to the high-octane versions found at Coffee Cartel in St. Louis and the late, great On the Edge Cafe in Carbondale, Ill., among others.

There’s no question that DoubleShot sells a good product, of which its owner is justifiably proud. The guy roasts his own beans. Daily. You don’t get much fresher than that. And he knows what he’s doing with that roaster.

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Most cappuccinos start out smooth, and then the espresso’s bitter edge sneaks up on you. DoubleShot’s cappuccino starts out a little edgy, and then the smoothness sneaks up on you. Lovely stuff. And the baked goods (I had biscotti; Ron had banana bread) were worthy companions to the exceptional coffee — equally fresh and flavorful. I’d go back just for some more of that biscotti.

The stellar quality of the products is probably why I’m willing to excuse the owner’s snarky tone in responding to my initial request for a decaf cappuccino. (“I don’t know why anybody would want to drink decaf anyway,” he said, in a tone dripping with contempt.)

Decaf isn’t perfect. Believe me: Those of us who switched to it after years of drinking every kind of espresso-based concoction known to man are profoundly aware of that fact. We don’t need to be reminded.

Tofu Pups aren’t perfect, either, but for some people, some things are more important than taste, y’know?

When I pressed the owner on the issue, he allowed that he’d tried serving decaf for a while, but it didn’t sell well and didn’t taste good enough to meet his exacting standards. He didn’t want to put his company’s name on a second-rate product.

I can respect that.

DoubleShot is located at 1730B S. Boston Ave. For more information, visit the Web site or call (918) 599-7700.

UPDATE: I failed to check the hours before I wrote this review. Sorry ’bout that. DoubleShot is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. And yeah, I have to agree with those who have complained about the limited hours. I’m knocking a little bit off the convenience score, although I think the hours are basically consistent with the intent of the place. A coffeehouse that opens in the afternoon and closes after midnight and hosts a lot of poetry slams and open-mike nights is kind of like a nightclub: Its purpose is to give people a place to socialize (and maybe a buzz). DoubleShot is more like a wine bar: Its sole focus is taste. You’re not there to get a buzz. You’re not there to hear an angst-filled teenager play acoustic guitar. You’re there to drink something that tastes good. So, y’know, it probably doesn’t need to be open half the night. But Brian could probably expand his customer base and take a few more dollars out of Starbucks’ pocket if he’d stay open long enough for folks to stop by and grab a cup of coffee after a long day at the office.

Grades:
Value: A-
Products: A+
Service: C (as in “condescending”)
Convenience: A- B
Overall: B+

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~ by redforkhippie on March 7, 2007.

8 Responses to “DoubleShot Coffee”

  1. I would knock off a letter grade or two of convenience for the limited hours of operation, but otherwise this is review is dead on.

  2. jeez, that guy is a snob. word on the street is that he lives without electricity at home. urban legend?

  3. Four words come to mind: “No soup for you!” It’s great coffee, and you have the admire the fact that Brian stood up to threats from Starbucks over his shop’s name, and they backed down. But I haven’t been there in months because he’s not open when I’m able to visit. He doesn’t trust anyone else to be involved in preparing his product, so DoubleShot is only open when he can be there.

  4. Your Seinfeld analogy is spot-on, Michael. Ron said he thought the same thing when we were there.

    If your product is exceptional, you can get away with a prickly demeanor. And DoubleShot definitely scores points with me for making a bully back down. On the other hand, the kids working said bully’s drive-through window don’t give me any static when I order a decaf cappuccino. They just take my $5, give me my coffee, and say “thank you.”

    Still, I do appreciate that “if you can’t do a thing right, don’t do it at all” ethos. I’d rather put up with a little ‘tude than blow $5 on a cup of decaf that tastes like something you’d use to remove hard-water stains from Mr. Coffee.

  5. Glad to find another Tulsa blogger! and congrats on appearing on the up and coming WordPress honor roll today. Well done and NICE blog! Just subscribed to your RSS feed.

  6. Hey, big corporations aren’t always a bad thing! Starbucks is a very progressive Fortune 500 company that is paving the way. Starbucks offers full time benefits to part time all (part-time) employees as well as same-sex benefits and competitive insurance benfits!!!! Plus–i have never encountered any condescending fascist right-winged assholes there (ahem DoubleShot). Service with a smile means so much.

  7. I’m not a big fan of Starbucks. Their service is good, but I can name at least three coffee shops that serve a better-quality product, and Starbucks’ relentless quest for world domination is both obnoxious (they have been known to deliberately open a shop right across the street from a mom-and-pop that’s been there for years and then do whatever it takes to force the little guy out of business) and a disservice to investors (I just don’t see Starbucks’ brand of hyperaggressive growth as being a sustainable business model — something about it reminds me of Krispy Kreme’s failed attempt to become the Waffle House of doughnut shops a few years ago).

    As for the name-calling … let’s not.

    The purpose of this blog is to promote the little guy, not tear him down.

    I agree that service is important, but look: If he’s happy doing this Ed Debevic’s schtick, and it’s working for him, more power to him. I’m sure he’s smart enough to give his regular customers what they want.

  8. I wander into Double Shot occasionally for a mych needed office break and Brian has never been snakry to me.

    Maybe my snarky meter is set too low.

    Anyways, I greatly appreciate his product and the fact his is the ONLY easily accessible coffee house for those of us living the cube life south of the BA on the edge of downtown.

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