Only Fairly Steamy for SteamDot

While the ambiance rocks, Bill finds SteamDot only mostly good. By Bill Walsh

steamdot

Subject: SteamDot
Location: Anchorage, AK
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]

While ambiance is not everything, it’s always welcome, especially when not expected.

One of my earlier stops in Alaska was a place in the southern portion of Anchorage called SteamDot. A coffee roaster that popped up in some of my initial searches, SteamDot appeared to be a good stop. My arrival at their sharply decorated store, a cafe full of large windows, bright colors and snazzy furniture, seemed to re-convey confidence that this coffeehouse was no dud (albeit purely based on the notion that if you have a stellar design, you must have amazing coffee to pay for it).

Moving onto the coffee, I ordered an espresso of their Single Origin Brazil and a pourover of the Nicaragua. Watching the process of concocting my drinks, they really seemed to know their away around their classy-looking pourovers and the espresso machine, another sign that usually the coffee has promise.

But in tasting my drinks, I found both coffees to be a little too dark to be truly pleasant. The espresso, pulled short with a blond crema, tasted of vanilla, ginger and a little nut, yet all amidst a noticeable bitterness like overly steeped black tea as well as a noticeable burnt flavor. The pourover of the Nicaraguan held notes of a darker coffee, with tobacco and bitter cocoa being prominent over the other flavors of cherry, walnut, sugar and grass. The tea is free leaf.

Thus, it seems that I either hit SteamDot on an off day or that they need to work on developing their roasts a tad lighter. Yet despite my darker-then-expected drinks, don’t write off SteamDot; the cafe is gorgeous and it has the tools to be a superb place. Give it a try if you’re in town.

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