Staying in Moab

Moab is mostly a tourist town.  It is filled with lots of jeep rentals, adventure guides and other tourist things unique to this part of the world.  Of course there are countless hotels and restaurants as you drive through the town.  Our hotel was part of the same chain we have stayed at for years.  It was about what we expected.  The room was a nice size with two queen beds and a couch.  The included breakfast had a wide assortment of breads, cereals, drinks etc.; fairly standard for this chain.  But there was one aspect of staying in Moab that we were not sure what to expect.

That all important part of any trip.  That item that can make or break a vacation.  That essential part of life, coffee.  In this review we will have to consider three different attempts at acquiring that essential culinary delight; in-room, at-breakfast, and in-town.

The in-room coffee maker was like any other hotel in-room coffee maker, small and limited.  The coffee it produced was about average for this kind of device.  It wasn’t very warm.  By the time you got your sugar and creamer mixed in it was luke warm.  It had the strength of tea and the flavor was indistinctive and mild.  In the end you wonder, to your great horror, should you have just had tea.

At breakfast the coffee was some what better.   It was the same weak indistinctive flavor, but it was warm.  In fact it was too warm.  It was almost scalding.  But consequently it was still warm after you mixed in your cream and sugar.  In fact it was still too hot to drink.  You had to wait till you were almost done with your breakfast to be able to drink it.  And then when you did you had the distinct feeling that you just got a cup of in-room coffee from the microwave.

In town-coffee was rather disappointing.  I realize I am not in Washington anymore.  But this is a tourist town for sure some tourists want a decent espresso drink.  A quick google search showed very few espresso shops in Moab.  What you do find is a number of bakeries, snack stands and gift shops, yes gift shops, that sell espresso drinks on the side.

I have been to these kind of places before.  Their espresso is more of a marketing stunt, so that they can say “We sell Espresso drinks”, than an attempt to delight the pallet of coffee connoisseurs.  But I was tired and desperate so I decided to give it a try.

At 4pm there was only one such place still open.  Going into the store the first thing I noticed was that this was indeed primarily a gift shop, with a few food items on the side.  About 80% of the store was a gift shop.  About 20% of the store was various kinds of food, including their attempt at coffee.  To be totally fair I should say it might have been great coffee.  I don’t know I never got any.  There was a line winding through all of their gift aisles to the checkout stand.  Based on the pace it looked like I would be there at least a half hour.  I have had gift shop coffee before and regretted it.  I wasn’t going waste thirty minutes to do that again.

Now here is the very sad, or confusing thing, they claimed to be coffee roasters.  In fact it is part of their name, yet 80% of the store was dedicated to souvenirs and other trinkets.  If they were really coffee roasters wouldn’t you expect the majority of the story to be dedicated to their name sake?  Or is their name just a marketing stunt to sell more souvenirs?  I didn’t care to find out.

The conclusion is that coffee in Moab is quite pathetic.

Now to the question I know you are all wondering, was it worse than Starbucks?  Before we contemplate that we need to consider that Starbuck’s drip coffee is as bad as their espresso drinks but in the opposite way.

Whereas the espresso drinks are bad because they are so weak, I think they use an eyedropper for putting in the espresso. When you say you want a triple grande raspberry latte, they think a three eyedrops raspberry milk flavored drink, not to exceed baby bottle temperature.

On the other hand their drip coffee is quite the opposite. It is so strong it is like drinking battery acid. I think they use a pound of coffee grounds for each cup of coffee. In all fairness it does have a good balance and flavor. That is if you can get past the battery acid.

So to the question at hand I think we have to think in terms of drink-ability. From that perspective I would say the in-room coffee is better than Starbucks, so maybe a 2.5 on the coffee scale.  Oh I forgot I haven’t blogged about the coffee scale yet. Well I’ll try to get to that soon.  The at-breakfast coffee was a bit better maybe a 2.7.  Of course since I decided not to wast my money on the in-town coffee I can’t really rate it, so we will just assume a 2.0.

The moral of this story.  If you are going to Moab expect to drink survival coffee or  bring your own.


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