Judging Java: Coffee Etc.

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Co-News Editor

4 Globes out of 5


Located just off the Willow Station T stop in Castle Shannon, across from the Ice Castle (a castle-themed ice skating rink), sits Coffee Etc. A smaller coffee shop, Coffee Etc. packs a lot of atmosphere and a lot of heart. The store felt very crowded, despite there not being many people in the store. As I waited for my coffee, a group of high schoolers at the table next to me were loudly discussing how one of them had a “super hot co-worker.” But enough about things that I overheard from teenagers, let’s talk about the coffee.

Most coffee shops serve house blends that have nuts mixed in, or chocolate, or just whatever random crap they can mix into the blend to make it their own. But Coffee Etc.’s house blend is exactly what you think of when you think “black coffee.” If you’re looking for a traditional cup of coffee, this is absolutely the place to go because their house blend is simultaneously traditional and phenomenal.

If I had to say something negative about the cup, it’s that it was served too hot for my liking. Luckily, I wasn’t in a rush, so this wasn’t a huge issue, and I was able to sit, let it cool, and enjoy a nice cup of coffee.

And that’s the thing about drinking black coffee: enjoyment. Drinking black coffee can sometimes feel like getting punched in the stomach in a cold, dark shower. Sometimes it can be enjoyable. I think that you can tell a lot about the quality of a cup of coffee by if you enjoy it. Obviously, you still like drinking the coffee that feels like you’re getting punched in the stomach in a cold, dark shower, but you definitely prefer drinking the coffee that is enjoyable to drink. And this coffee was enjoyable to drink.

Coffee Etc. serves breakfast sandwiches, and so now it’s time for the recurring section of these reviews where I discuss breakfast sandwiches. Coffee is my main area of expertise, but I also feel as though I’ve eaten enough breakfast sandwiches to commentate on them.

I ordered a bacon egg and cheese bagel sandwich, and it was very good. It took a while to get made, but like I said earlier, I wasn’t in a rush. When it arrived, I was delighted by an easter egg with chocolate on the side; it was a nice Easter surprise. The sandwich was also served with a cookie designed to be dipped in your coffee, so I’d definitely recommend saving some coffee until after you’re done with your breakfast sandwich. Another thing I’d recommend: order a side of the chipotle aioli sauce, it’s delicious.

Coffee Etc. is, admittedly, a ways away from campus. But if you’re a commuter in the area, or you’re just bored on a Saturday, Coffee Etc. is definitely worth checking out. Exceptional customer service and delectable breakfast sandwiches make it a standout spot.