Blog Post #8

Welcome!

In post #6 (https://coffeetalkshop.wordpress.com/), we visited a small, locally owned artisanal coffee shop off of the Las Vegas strip.  Like our city, the MadHouse Coffee Shop never sleeps and is open 24 hours, 7days a week.  It was a genuine pleasure to meet the entire staff that put so much heart into their craft, from making the finest grade coffee to baking the pastries on location.  Also, we saw its unique contribution to the community by its support of local artists, as it functions as a gallery showing casing new talent.

Since our last post focused on an art theme, today’s post will focus on a destination theme.  If you will recall, I promised you a virtual trip to Paris, sans the passport, luggage, and jet lag.  So, we are going to visit Ile St. Louis Café.  This will be my first time at this shop too so it should be interesting.  We will put this local French themed coffee shop to the test.  For our test, we will use only 4 of the 5 criteria as outlined in my previous post.

1.Location

pariscoffeeshop

Truth be told since it is on the strip, you will not be able to park at the entrance and just walk in without avoiding a crowd, or use the drive-thru.  Nevertheless, as you can see from the picture, it is highly unlikely that you will miss it once you are on Las Vegas Blvd.  Differing from other coffee shops, there is no drive-thru or store front parking.  However, on a sunny day with mild weather, it is a pleasant 10-12 minute walk if you use the self-parking lot.  Navigating from the parking lot to the entrance of the Paris Hotel is relatively easy as well because of the direct escalator to the entrance.

There are over 5 coffee shops once you arrive to the Las Vegas, man-made Paris level of the hotel.  You will walk over cobblestone streets that are lined with multiple French signs offering a sampling of traditional food and beverages.  Each shop front is constructed to resemble a small café filled street that you would expect to find almost anywhere in France.

The Ile de St. Louis Cafe’ is the only one with an indoor terrace with trompe-l’oeil blue skies and clouds above, in addition to indoor seating.  In total, the coffee shop can easily accommodate 200 people.

2.Cleanliness

Perhaps due to my phobia of food-poisoning, I always look for the rating for the café.  Fortunately, it has an A rating from the Clark County Health District.  This is always reassuring.  (I don’t like to take risks.)

3.Quality of Coffee

Here is the sad truth of the coffee I tried – it was terrible.  I requested a double-shot latte with soy.  It was not to be.  They do not offer more than two choices of milk: whole milk and non-fat.  As for the coffee, the indoor café only serves two types of coffee – regular or decaffeinated which is percolated in an industrial, cafeteria stainless steel machine.  It gets worse before it gets better.  They use tap water with their coffee brand, Jacobs Douwe Egberts.  What was the result?  It tasted like tap-water with milk (no hint of the coffee bean flavor at all).

Why is tap water criminal when making coffee?  Well, you won’t go to jail because taste buds can’t arrest you but coffee taste can vary tremendously when you use tap water from Las Vegas, if it is not filtered.  If you have the time, you can try this experiment at home using a pour over adapter ($3.00 at most supermarkets such as Smith’s) a regular coffee filter and your normal choice of coffee.  Make two cups and sample.  I feel that the chemicals used to make the tap water drinkable somehow destroys the purity of the coffee making the beverage taste like tap water with coloring (or in some cases, it tastes like an extremely bitter version of the coffee selected).

Still, I wanted to know more about the coffee bean origin and brand history, but it was difficult finding out anything from the staff.  Since they got the name from the packaging (Jacobs Douwe Egberts), I figured I could do the rest of the research online, so I Googled it and was directed to this site https://www.jacobsdouweegbertsprofessional.com/coffee-tea-more/espresso/

Here is what I found out about Jacobs Douwe Egberts.  It is a well-established coffee manufacturer located in the Netherlands with an admirable 260 years of experience in the coffee industry.  Sadly, the company does not appear to be transparent as their website is not forthcoming about the coffee bean acquisition in Brazil (linked to slave labor). 1 The website lists all the different brands that they sell but not much information about the Arabica bean other than it being Brazilian farmed.

4.Different Coffee Preparation Methods Offered

As mentioned under the paragraph heading “Quality of Coffee” this coffee shop only offers one method within the café (percolated process with tap water).  The server did add that espresso and lattes are available at the nearby coffee bar next to the terrace.  I found it bizarre that this café can’t provide even a basic espresso unless you order from the coffee bar.  This was another huge disappointment.

Coffee Review/Evaluation

I deducted points for poor coffee, insufficient selection, uninformed staff.  The café (although in beautiful surroundings) only earned 2 points.  One point for friendly staff and one point for cleanliness.  As for the price – it is expensive and not justifiable (about $10 for one cup of coffee with a tip).   In my opinion, this shop is to be avoided, if possible.  It is not worth visiting unless you want to visit the agreeable view from the Eiffel Tower (Las Vegas version).  You can do this without going to the coffee shop.

The tour of the Eiffel Tower is highly recommended.  It made up for the disappointment of the café.  For some wonderful photos taken from the top of the tower, please visit the resources below.

It has been my pleasure having you on this journey of coffee shop reviews, their unique purpose in our lives and hopefully a special place in your hearts. Happy holidays.

All the best,

Marcella

Resources:

https://www.jacobsdouweegbertsprofessional.com/coffee-tea-more/espresso/

https://www.theguardian.com › World › Development › Brazil

Mar 2, 2016 – Nestlé and Jacobs Douwe Egberts say beans from Brazilian plantations using slavelabour may have ended up in their coffee. …

https://www.vegas.com/attractions/on-the-strip/paris-las-vegas-eiffel-tower/

Photos with spectacular views from the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas inside the Paris Hotel :

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