Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tour De Coffee Shops: BIG SHOULDERS COFFEE

Big Shoulders Coffee was the perfect first place to go on our tour. 
Thoughts De Christine: 
After finding free parking, {which is something to celebrate} we stepped on up into Big Shoulders. 
Literally. There is a little step to get into the door. 
We settled in and we were about to go up to the counter to order, when all of a sudden a man comes up to us, brings us waters, welcomes us, and asks if we have any questions. I probably stared at him blankly because I was so taken aback by his kindness and hospitality. 
Is that what the word is? Hospitality? 
Maybe customer service is a better definition. 
Oh, what the heck, I'm in a good mood, it's both! 
Ok, I just googled who the man was. His name is Tim. 
Tim, if you ever read this, please know that how welcoming and kind you are speaks volumes. Never stop being that. Never stop doing that. You and your staff are incredible people. 
So needless to say, Big Shoulders' customer service is outta this world. 

Moving on, I ordered my Decaf Americano with a scone like I promised in yesterday's post. 
My friends, they did not disappoint. 
The Americano was a perfect blend. Not too strong tasting but not anywhere near weak sauce either. 
The scone was a nice blend of not to crumbly, but not too cakey.
The wonderful pastries come from Cheap Tart Bakery. So good.
Also, Jenna's yummy croissant pictured below came from Eclair Bakery.
We had to give these people some credit. Good. Food. 

Lastly, atmosphere. Even though it was a gloomy day in the windy city, the big windows and natural light that pours in makes the day seem more on the bright side. I like natural light, so there's a big plus from me on that. There isn't too much seating, but we had no problem finding some. There's enough that you won't get your undies in a bundle. The decor is exactly how they explain their coffee: 
Big Shoulders Coffee was created specifically
 for hard-working Chicagoans like you: 
a perfectly roasted, no-nonsense 
brew delivered fast and hot in our signature one-size fits all cup. 
No fancy lingo required.
The decor is clean, practical, yet inviting at the same time. 
We had good conversation, dang good coffee, and a good overall experience. Big Shoulders Coffee, I am bringing everyone I know here. Get ready. 

Thoughts De Jenna:

Atmosphere:

Great! Felt welcoming, open, and inviting from the moment we walked in the door. Its location, right by blue line and bus routes at a busy intersection, gives it a desirable location. They cater to the working, Chicago commuter, which pretty much covers all of us! They have a large screen tracking upcoming trains and buses, which is extremely helpful if you want to snag a cup of jo without making yourself late for work or for your hot date! Although its a rather small place, it doesn't feel crowded at all.

Customer service:

So great! The owner (I think) brought us water and greeted us as we were sitting down at the barstools along the windows. He took our orders as we sat and brought everything to us. We didn't have to pay until we left, and they had our tabs open and ready to check out at the counter! Now that's the way to run a business. They clearly put their customers first. The woman at the counter was equally as friendly as the owner, and made sure we enjoyed our drinks and our time there. The service alone made me know I'd want to come back many times!

Quality: 
I have an unabashed love for anything Almond, so when the owner told me they just began making their own HOME-MADE almond syrup (am I in heaven?!,) I of course ordered an Almond Latte. It did not disappoint, and tasted much like marzipan as an employee noted, which I agree with. I savored every last sip of that latte-- and the foam was perfect, too! I also got an almond croissant (you say too much almond, I say no such thing), which was equally as heavenly. Basically, two thumbs up for everything I consumed. I would give it three thumbs if I had an extra, but that would just be weird on lots of levels...
Aesthetic:

I really do love the layout of this place! The wooden counters along the windows have hooks underneath to hang coats/bags, and there is also a small nook underneath to set a bag--how clever is that! It's the little things like this that I really appreciate. The giant windows and mainly white interior make for a very bright and airy interior that can't help but make you feel awake and happy to be there! They played great music, including Sufjan Stevens, which always makes me appreciate a coffee shop that much more. I noticed they have free wifi, which I didn't get to use but consider an integral component to any great cafe. And as a side note, I really enjoyed their website and explanation for serving their coffees in a single-size 16 oz cup: 
"Big Shoulders Coffee was created specifically for hard-working Chicagoans like you: a perfectly roasted, no-nonsense brew delivered fast and hot in our signature one-size fits all cup."

They don't mess around, but they do give you the best! Can't wait to revisit this gem.




Big Shoulders Coffee, you made us love Chicago even more than we do now and I didn't even think that was possible. 






1 comment :

  1. A daily excuse for delicious coffee, yummy pastries, in a fun atmosphere?! You're brilliant. I obviously haven't put my blogging excuse to good use yet.

    ReplyDelete