In post #5 (https://coffeetalkshop.wordpress.com/), we explored the diverse, social functions of a coffee shop. Also, we have discovered numerous ways to rate coffee shops. We have used themes, sense of community and other experts’ opinions to guide us. Today we will use a few of my personal preferences to guide us in rating a unique coffee shop in Las Vegas known as The Madhouse Coffee.
This coffee shop is centrally located and nestled in the south of Las Vegas. I discovered it (by means of a “happy accident”) one day when I finished my daily walk at the nearby Desert Breeze Park. The shop’s cross streets are Durango and Desert Inn.
What is nice about the location is that on any given day, if you happen to be seated outside on the tiny terrace you can watch the sunset against the backdrop of the Las Vegas strip skyline. The parking is adequate because it shares space with a shopping center which houses an Albertson’s, Chase Bank, Vegan Bistro and Yoga studio (all within walking distance).
Now if you are thinking that your schedule might not allow you to visit this hidden gem – I have good news. It is one of the few coffee shops open 24 hours, 7 days a week, year-round. (Yes, that means that they are even open on Thanksgiving and Christmas.)
An even better bonus is the drive-thru. (However, since I enjoy taking my time at this coffee shop – I have yet to use the drive-thru.)
Below is a picture of the coffee shop, just in case you drive by you won’t miss it. As you see from the photo – only 5 tables are available outside so you might not always be so lucky with outside seating, if that is what you are looking for.
Clean & Cozy
Following the afternoon rush, I only found one table not cleared off when I arrived. Like the exterior space, the seating area on the inside is small but adequate (interior seating capacity of about 40).
What will strike you at first is the New York-like studio/warehouse style, from its concrete floors up to the custom-made, industrial lighting and high ceilings. If you admire the long tables that frame the interior, designed with steel pipes, topped with varnished wooden slabs and stainless steel, the artwork on display will probably not go unnoticed.
Here is the pièce de résistance which makes any visitor drinking coffee feel as if he/she is in a gallery worth visiting. The shop is currently showing work by social artist Izaac Zevalking from the UK. The name of his art studio/company is Recycled Propaganda. (Below are a few eye-catching and thought provoking paintings that I saw when I visited the shop.)
If you happen to be at a loss for words, or need help finding a conversation piece, I can assure you that one of the paintings on display will strike an emotional nerve or two. His artwork makes you think about societal or global issues.
(If you are interested in more information on the artwork or the message behind the paintings please visit recycledpropogranda.com.)
Quality of Coffee
Now we move on to the best and essential part of the visit – the coffee. If you don’t have the chance to visit this place during the winter, put it on your list for a visit during the summer to sample one of the 14 cold brewed coffees available.
Unlike other coffee shops that rely on numerous coffee roasters, this shop only uses beans from Dillanos Coffee Roasters. Dillanos was founded by native New Zealanders 19 years ago. They are based in Washington and source their beans from coffee plantations all over the world. They only purchase coffee beans from cooperatives that practice responsible growing methods. If you are interested in purchasing directly from them or need more details, I invite you to visit their site https://www.dillanos.com.
Not Just One Method
I am happy to say that The Madhouse Coffee shop has several methods to brew coffee which include pour over, espresso, drip and kyoto. The kyoto method is the most interesting to me, as I had never heard of it before. I noticed the machine with round glass compartments with valves on my last visit. When I inquired about the large glass contraption, the barista explained that it came from Japan. Kyoto is known as a slow drip, cold coffee brewer which takes around 24 hours to prepare. The different compartments allow for different flavors to be infused into the coffee. Unfortunately, the Kyoto brewer at the shop is behind the counter and not completely visible so I am providing a photo by Liz Clayton to show you a similar model.
Liz Clayton’s Photo of several Kyoto brewers
Not Only for Coffee
In addition to hosting over 14 types of coffee, the shop also has a generous menu, whether you are looking for a light snack or meal (breakfast or lunch).
For a glimpse of the menu please visit https://www.madhouse.coffee. I consider the pricing (compared to other shops) as moderate. However as stated in my previous post, if the quality justifies the price – you will have no regrets. In the case of The Madhouse Coffee, I confirm that I have yet to be disappointed.
Review of Coffee
On this visit, I only sampled the coffee. I had a medium roast, double shot latte with soy. My drink was very good. The medium roast tasted more like a lighter blend, still not bad at all.
Although it is no secret that I do break for coffee, I also take pause for chocolate croissants or muffins. I didn’t sample any pastries on my last visit. However, The Madhouse Coffee doesn’t disappoint demanding taste buds. Did I mention that they make all of their bread, cakes, and pastries in house?
If you take your coffee strong with little cream, I do recommend the chocolate muffin to compliment it. The muffin is made with dark chocolate. The sugar in the mix offsets the rich, unsweetened dark chocolate (so the taste is smooth, satisfying any sweet-tooth). I have tried this on several occasions and it is delicious.
Superior Customer Service
I don’t know if it due to my Type A personality, or being born in the south that makes me rank hospitality and great customer service high on my list of “must have.”
On my last visit, I spoke with three workers. First, I posed a series of coffee questions to the barista which he kindly answered. The second person I spoke with gave me information on the in-house bakery and products served. The third person was the owner. He took the time and explained the artwork that the shop is currently showing. The team proved knowledgeable and friendly.
In my opinion, The Madhouse Coffee is worth the visit earning a 6 out of 7 (a high ranking).
Are you wondering what happened to one point? Ok. I admit that I become sad whenever I see beautiful, artisanal pastries served on paper plates. Yes. I am even a bit heartbroken to see plastic forks on the paper plates. So, I deducted a point for presentation because I value “pretty.” I find that the paper and plastic takes away from the majesty of the pastry. Cake deserves respect. (That is just my opinion.)
Other miscellaneous amenities with this shop:
Take-out offered by Uber
Good for kids
Special parking for bikes
Artisan bread, pastries, and cakes all made in house
The Madhouse Coffee
8470 W. Desert Inn
Las Vegas, NV 89117
Next Blog Post
For my final (8th) post, I will review another coffee shop. On this upcoming review, you will think that you are in Paris. The best part is that you won’t even have to buy an expensive ticket or bring a passport.
Until then, have a safe and very happy Thanksgiving holiday!