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Review of Driftwood Coffee


My oldest daughter started her first dance class which is in old town Peoria. The old town area is a neat little place with a park, a massive library and some really old shops. They have recently been working to make this place more of a "charming - old part of town" rather than a "hold you up at knife point and take your wallet - old part of town." One of the newest editions to this area is Driftwood Coffee, an excellent addition that really brings the whole area up.


We were running around Easter weekend, because for some reason our Easter is as busy as Christmas or Thanksgiving, and found ourselves about an hour early to dance class. So, we decided to stop in to Driftwood and check it out.

First impression is the building, which is not common for shops here in Az. We do a lot of strip malls and cookie cutter buildings here. The building is white, so it stands out like sore thumb...in a good way. I love the walk up counter window idea. I don't ever want to have a drive through, but this walk up window, is a great idea. They don't have much of a patio, but the tree and few tables and chairs they have out front just look like I could sit and enjoy for quite a while.

Walking into the shop, it is very minimalist. The tables are plain steel, the floor plain concrete, nothing fancy. Except...a random old looking couch on one wall. It looks like they are doing music sessions called, "From the Couch" or something like that, which is a great idea. It is the one piece of contrast in the main sitting area and it is well placed. The menu painted directly onto the wall was interesting. It doesn't leave them much room to add or change, but then certain things were just priced as, "market." For some reason I didn't snap a pic of the bar. I remember it being...well used...It wasn't quite as perfectly clean as I would have liked to see. The image of the white building and minimalist style, I just kind of expected a super clean bar area. It wasn’t bad, but it just wasn't quite as "perfect" as to match the rest of the place. I did like their merch though. The hats and shirts were pretty cool, if not a tad on the pricy side. The other stuff, not sure what you call it when like other craft people sell their stuff at your store, was nuts. There was a coffee mug, kind of cool looking, that cost $65. I think I actually laughed out loud.

Ok, now to the coffee.

The nice thing about this place, was that I got to speak with the owner/manager of the place. He (I don't remember his name, sorry) poured my black coffee and handled the transaction. I asked about the coffee and he explained that they are taking a multi-roaster approach. They will rotate through one local and one national coffee, unfortunately I didn't write down how often. The local brand they were selling was Infusion (www.infusioncoffeetea.com), which they used for the espresso; and Elemental (elementalcoffee.com), from Oklahoma, for the brewed coffee. I asked about his experience in coffee and he told me that he worked in coffee through school and wanted to open a place. He had a business partner, who is the business side and he is the coffee side.

Since I started listening to Cat and Cloud coffee podcast (https://catandcloud.com/), my interest in espresso is increasing. Normally, I only care brewed coffee, so I ordered one of each. I ordered a flat white, which is supposed to be the cool thing to do these days and I'd never had one, so what the heck. I'm not an expert, but from based on what I have read, the foam was not what I expected. There wasn't much of it and it kind of disappeared. The milk and coffee were fantastic though. The espresso had this nice roasty flavor and then really fruity. The wife was like, "I could drink a lot more of this." To which I replied, "for $3.50 per 6 oz...no you cannot." I asked about their brewing, doing my best to mimic what I heard on Cat/Cloud. I'm sure he saw right through it, but he humored me, which I appreciate. He explained that they use a ratio for their espresso. They were currently pulling a 45% ratio (coffee grams in / coffee out) and a 24 second pull. I understand what all that means, but in all honesty, I don't have a lot of experience dialing in espresso.

The black coffee was a Columbian. It was well balanced, a stone fruit kind of sweetness, and nice chocolate finish. It was an excellent cup of coffee. I just got the "fast bar" coffee, which is the normal brewed liter of coffee. They also have a "slow bar," which is where you can get your Chemex or v60 brews if you are so inclined.

Overall, I highly recommend this place. I think this is one of the few specialty coffee places on the West Side. They serve some good stuff. I also asked the manager if he was willing to try my coffee, which said yes...like I said, I appreciate that he humored me.






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