We decided to meet at Lola Coffee (www.lolacoffeebar.com). It is on our Roosevelt row. Roosevelt is a street just north of our down town area here in Phoenix. It is basically the artsy/hipster part of town. I love the area. It is a mixture of re-purposed homes and new buildings. The down side to anything in this area is parking. There is some free parking, but it is limited. I was lucky and found a spot not too far down the street.
There are two entrances for the location. The path I took brought me to the location through the patio entrance. I love the patio. There was a sail shade that smelled fantastic because of the Pita Jungle right next to it. The block wall held all the character of the old building for the old part of town. This would be a great place to eat dinner than walk across the patio for coffee (not in the summer of course).
The inside of the store was a little tight. There was bar seating that ran the length of the back wall, a single couch (which my meeting had claimed, score!) and a few too many tables for the space.
I introduced myself to my meeting and went to the bar to get a cup of coffee. The bar looked nice. Aged wood. Pastries looked unique and delicious. Bar was busy, but not too cluttered. It was nice. The barista was a lovely young lady in what I believed to be a Dr. Who dress and painted red lips. Pop quiz time! I asked her what they were brewing and the response I got was pleasant but not quite enough. She told me they always brew their house blend. I asked her what was in that and she said it was a mix of beans....Okay...What kind of beans? I finally got that there are a few different South American beans and possibly an Ethiopian mixed in there.
What she did do that I has not been done yet, is ask me if I was having the coffee there or to go. I told her I was drinking it there and she automatically put it in a ceramic mug for me. It actually surprised me. I haven't had a mug at a shop in a long time. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Now the coffee. I actually really liked it. It had a nice full body. Incredibly smooth. I could tell it was a blend, but it was balanced. It did not have the specific flavors that pop like you get from single origin, but was a really nice cup that I could drink all day.
The roaster I met with said she thought they roasted it too dark, but I found later that she favors much lighter roasts. I don't think it was over roasted. It was darker, so the roast was the main flavor.
Leaving the shop, we stopped and looked into the kitchen. They have windows in the hall way that allow you to see where they bake and roast. I love it when places do this. I want to see how clean the food I eat is. Could have been tightened up a bit, but was did not make me doubt my food or drink.
Overall, this is a really nice experience. I'm still searching for the barista that wows me right out of my socks though. I will return in the future. If I am planning to spend some time there, it will have to be when there aren't too many people inside. If you're in the area, I would recommend this shop.