Frequently asked questions

Q: What are the criteria for a cafe to be listed?
A: Every cafe on this map should pour an excellent, sweet espresso, or perfectly textured milk-based espresso drink, every time, regardless of who's behind the counter. I'm not personally interested in drip/press coffee (hence the site name), so it really comes down to the shot in the cup. See David Schomer's books, or Home-Barista's guide, or description of "third wave" as starting points.

Q: Why isn't my favorite cafe listed?
A: I get recommendations frequently, about 10% of which end up on the map. Here are some reasons that a cafe might not get listed:

  1. The cafe hasn't been discussed in any online forums (see below), or isn't represented in regional competitions, so I haven't really heard about it.

  2. Either I or other trusted palates have been to the cafe and determined it doesn't meet the above criteria.

  3. There are higher-quality cafes nearby. This may seem harsh, but I really am trying to point people to the very best cafe in any locale.

Q: Who are you to judge?
A: True, I've never been a regional or USBC judge, but I hang around those types and am passionate about quality espresso. I roast my own, I pal around with other excellent roasters, pull my own shots, and know what espresso should look and taste like, having experienced the best of the Northwest. Plus I rely on similar snobbish palates around the continent for their opinions.

Q: Only espresso, not drip/press?
A: My personal preference is for espresso, as I enjoy the qualities of coffee it extracts. I fully appreciate cuppings and subtleties in a cup of drip coffee, and roasters make the world go round. But for this map, it's about espresso.

Q: Only North America?
A: It's hard enough getting trusted locations for this continent. Besides, you Europeans, you've already got great espresso everywhere, so just walk down to the corner.

Q: Can you add reviews or discussions?
A: There are already great sites for that (coffeegeek, coffeed, coffeecrew, home-barista). I didn't want to get into any raves (or rants), so I'll leave it to those sites.

Q: How can I donate?
A: Actually, this is a never-asked question, but if you'd like to help offset my $5/month outlay, donate via Paypal. Thanks.