Friday, July 29, 2011

A 3W Kind Of Opening?

Someday someone will welcome guests to this place.

I've been in the coffee game since the rough dawn of the "third wave" and I've heard all sorts of stories about baristas and their shops pissing off and offending customers of all kinds. However, what I haven't seen before is a shop that pisses off their customers before it opens.

I'm in Charleston, West Virginia this weekend and was fully prepared not to find any sort of serious coffee until I started searching Barista Exchange and found my way to the facebook page of a shop called Moxxee Coffee. With an interesting blue logo that looks to be inspired by Kaldi the dancing goat, the facebook page sports an address and hours of operation but no phone number and a website address that doesn't exist (yet).

The photos on the facebook page show the Moxxee people giving demonstrations, going to SCAA Anaheim and some build out details. All in all, the facebook pages gives the impression of an operational shop that's making 3W style coffee beverages.

Someday people will sit here.

Then you do a google search and you find one Charlestonian who's just fed up and pissed off. He's been following and posting about Moxxee's progress for the past two years and I guess that if I had been eagerly following and waiting for ostensibly good coffee in my town, I'd be pissed too.

The angst of the blogger and the photos on their facebook page (plus the potential for tasty coffee) compelled me to make the drive down to Morris Street to see if Moxxee indeed was closed or open.

Situated on a quiet corner, the reclaimed building has been clad in metal panels and the interior done with mesh seats, contemporary banquette, copper window counters and a really nice-looking steel collage main counter. It's contemporary and high-tech looking.

The bar itself sports a big double Fetco drip coffee brewer, twin Clover brewers, dual Cirqua water systems, two Mazzer Robur-E grinders, a Mazzer Mini grinder (guessing decaf espresso here), and a three-group Synesso Cyncra espresso machine. All-in-all, Moxxee's equipment list reads like the baristas dream list. Of 2009.

Aside from the scattered pieces of technology and a paella pan/cooker combo scattered around the shop, Moxxee Coffee looks like it's ready to go. To my eye, with just a little cleanup, they should be able to add coffee, turn the lights on and rock and roll. Barring unforeseen technical issues or permitting, I can't imagine why they wouldn't be open - especially considering how much they've spent on the build out.

I guess I'm a bit influenced by Charles West's frustration because as I looked over their menu board, I couldn't help but to think that these guys really are stuck in 2009. Individual, brew-to-order coffee for $2.00? Shots of espresso for $1.50? Latte for $2.50? These really are 2009 prices and is a difficult way to make a profitable shop. I'm guessing the owners will revisit their pricing once they actively start purchasing inventory.

Today isn't the day, but ostensibly the day will come when the citizens of Charleston will be able to walk into Moxxee to try their version of 3W coffee.

I just wonder if Charles West will visit.

No comments: