There is something about coffee cafés. I like exploring and discovering cafés while I travel. You usually can walk in and “know” before you even order if the coffee is going to be good. But even “good” cafés have a tendency to fall into a trap.
Cafe owners seem to relish creating run down dirty places. Not all of them do that, I’ve been into some spotless cafés when I travel and those are always a treat. Say what you want about Starbucks, but at least they invest in their facilities.
My family and I recently visited the “best” coffee shop in a town while on vacation. The coffee was great. I ordered some sort of fru-fru Capp/mocha drink (don’t mock me, I’m on vacation) and my wife ordered a special mocha drink. The drink was great, really good micro-foam, everything about the drink prep was great. We sat next to the roaster and I spent time trying to convince my kids that this was a roaster-they must have thought all roasters looked like my BBQ drum.
So the shop knows espresso. They care about quality ingredients. They can have lines that go out the door. But the place was a dump. I don’t mind the bohemian look, but you know, fix the stuff.
I continue to gravitate towards Starbucks. The coffee and drinks there are consistent. The facilities always are kept up. And the wifi almost always works.