Coaching youth football allows me to travel to new places for games on Saturdays. When I visit a new high school for games, I’m usually there for several hours because I have boys in multiple age groups and I help out with the age groups I don’t have a boy in. My wife takes photos for all the teams, and if I’m not helping out, I have down time in between games. Wherever I go, I try to find a coffee shop close by so that I can try it, report back on it, and explore what great and interesting things other people are doing in coffee. And occasionally, I’ll stumble across something interesting that is not very good. Such was the case with Sunsational Coffee.
Location. Sunsational Coffee is just a block away from a large high school in an outdoor, retail, strip mall. It has a drive through and a good amount of parking. On weekends, the parking is easier to navigate because there are medical offices nearby that are closed. This lowers the number of cars looking for parking and increases the parking spaces available. The lobby has plenty of seating and has a ‘donut shop’ vibe to it. There’s a bathroom available, which is important if you’re traveling or have little ones with you.
Service. The service was very good. The owner was more than willing to talk about where he got his coffee beans from, what makes his coffee unique, and generally seemed like an introverted guy trying to be friendly, outgoing, and excited about his coffee. It looked like he was training a new worker at the time of my visit, and he did all things behind the counter very well.
Coffee. This is where the experience went downhill quickly. I was greeted by a huge sign inside that said Sunsational offers ‘White Coffee.’ just the fact they offered this abomination of ‘coffee’ alone should bring eternal shame on the shop, but there’s more. I, of course, asked for a shot of the white coffee and was not disappointed- it was as horrible and disgusting as the white coffee made famous by Dutch Bros.
But I also gave them a shot to redeem their coffee by ordering some lattes with their regular coffee espresso. This is where the owner really perked up and told me that what makes them special and unique is that they grind their coffee finer than other local shops. What impact does that have? he didn’t say. Why is it better? He didn’t know. But it was a unique selling point. It’s what made his coffee special. I guess.
Conclusion. I don’t mean to be too hard on shops. They’re actually out there in the industry, providing a service to their customers. Still, the whole idea and concept of serving white coffee really chaps my hide. You know the staff doesn’t drink it. The owner doesn’t drink it. Why would you serve it? It’s nasty. But, they’re doing what they think is best for their coffee. Which is a shame because the location is so incredible that they could really do something exciting and awesome.