Monday, June 05, 2006

Lowry's Irish Coffee House

Location: 350 W. Julian St., San Jose

Reviewed: June 5, 2006

My request for an espresso turned up a good degree of consternation when the cash register reproduced my request as "Espresso - 16oz."! I immediately sought to clarify the misunderstanding with the barista, who assured me the drink would not be that large. Her reassurance was better than nominal, but the shot was still way too long at nearly 4oz. (presumably a double). The crema was medium-pale, uniform in tone, and quite thin. Table service didn't help, and it was starting to break by the time I picked up the cup to take a sip. The flavours in the cup were quite subdued; it was medium-bodied, balanced, and didn't taste like much at all. This is likely due to the grinds sitting in the doser for however long they'd been there. A wholesale customer of Barefoot, though I'm not certain which blend they use.

Lowry's is an open and well-lit shop with a high ceiling and interesting chandeliers. The walls are painted variously a medium burnt-orange or a darkish moss-like green (the overall scheme looks much better than it sounds). There is a large TV on the far wall that is usually set to CNN.

It is my understanding that the 2oz. single/4oz. double is pretty normal in Ireland, so at least they have some claim at authenticity.


Anonymous said...

Hi Timmy,
Thanks for pointing out some areas where we have room for improvement. As a self-appointed Espresso Watchdog, I assume that you aspire to helping the local Espresso shops you visit to achieve Espresso perfection. I'm not sure how a negative review on a blog site achieves that. I would suggest that the best way to do that is to actually contact the business owner with your comments in addition to posting it on your blog site. I am sure that every business owner like myself is willing to listen to constructive criticism. But, not everyone will accidentially stumble across your site as I did.

Having read your review, I have asked my barista's to ensure that we grind our shots to order and we will work on refining our extraction techniques. So, hopefully you'll enjoy your next espresso a bit more.

Anonymous said...

btw, how do you get around so much? I'm impressed by the number of places that you have actually visited and reviewed !

Timmy said...

I've never really thought of myself as a watchdog of any kind; instead I observe and report.

In any case, I congratulate your willingness to move toward improvement. I actually have addressed this with multiple shop owners (both before and after I began bloggind), and the results have been less than encouraging.

Timmy said...

Much improved at this point.