Judging Java: Black Forge Coffee II

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Editor-In-Chief

For April Fools’ Day, my comedy band was asked to play a show last minute to fill in for someone at Black Forge Coffee II in McKees Rocks. The show was very fun as it is always nice to play some saxophone and blow off some steam, but the coffee really, for lack of a better term, hit differently this time around. Because of that, I feel the need to give them a huge shout-out.

Also, on that note, please don’t even bother assuming or complaining that because I have performed at the venue my review will be biased in their favor. I have performed at some venues I absolutely hate, and I’ve performed at some venues with absolutely terrible coffee. Black Forge is neither of those things.

If you find yourself in McKees Rocks, either for a show or just for fun, I recommend Black Forge’s iced drinks. All of their iced specialty drinks are relatively similar, and one big similarity between them is that they are all very good. A lot of them feature cinnamon and flavoring, but none of the flavorings are offensive.

For example, Dunkin Donuts’ flavoring that they put in their coffee is offensive. It is, at times, repulsive. No matter what you get from them, you will always be disappointed because the syrup all tastes the same – sugary and artificial.

Black Forge is the opposite – their drinks are delicious and high quality. Their drinks are so high quality that once, while at a grindcore metal show, I watched someone drink three back-to-back. They kept going back because it was so good.

I simply cannot fathom drinking that much caffeine at a grindcore show. I was in attendance to support a friend on tour, grindcore and hardcore are not my forte, but I do appreciate the music. That being said, being hopped up on caffeine at a show like that would give me an absolute rager of a panic attack.

In general, I, for one, can’t handle caffeine in the evening. That’s why every time I’m at Black Forge, whether it is to play a show or to see one, I opt for the decaf. I would love to go there during the day so that I could get a proper coffee, but McKees Rocks is not somewhere that I head very often. I also do not like to drink caffeine when performing, because I would like to not be anxious while performing.

One other small thing about their specialty drinks is that they all cost six dollars and sixty-six cents. Black Forge in general has a good bit of ironic, but still satanic, imagery, which I have no issue with. That being said, I consider paying six dollars and sixty-six cents for something on its own to be bad luck, so I always end up getting either two drinks or a snack with my coffee.

The only issue with Black Forge for students is getting there, although it is only a ten-minute drive from campus you will most likely need a ride from someone or a Lyft or Uber. That being said, it is well worth the trip, especially for a fun show.