Bill travels north to Anchorage and finds a splendid coffeehouse despite low hope.
By Bill Walsh
Before making my trip to Anchorage, I had received little encouragement that I would find any good coffee in town. A friend of mine who lives in the area said she had given up on finding a decent coffeehouse. Those who had preceded me seemed to also offer little hope, saying that mediocre is all that I would find.
Yet hope prevailed. While I can’t say I found anything that one would set as an industry standard (as some would term, “third wave”), I did find a few places in town that came dangerously close.
The best spot in my opinion was an organic coffeehouse called Terra Bella. Having its prime location in South Anchorage and a drive-thru kiosk in Midtown, Terra Bella had received some acclaim from some locals as serving up good coffee and espresso. I made my way to the southern location one overcast afternoon to find a warmly arrayed coffeehouse with palate of orange and earthy colors surrounding a spacious venue with plenty of seats and lots of art.
Choosing from their many self-roasted coffees (might I jovially add they had not one over-roasted bean in sight; an AK rarity), I ordered an espresso and a drip of their Nicaragua Segovia. The espresso, pulled of a short/medium volume with a medium brown crema, sent notes of sugar, chocolate, lemon tonic and salt lick; a potently varied yet good espresso. The drip held flavors of spiced rum, a little wheat, rock candy, sassafras, cocoa and arugula (an odd, yet delicious combination with a smooth body). The tea is free leaf.
If I had to move to Anchorage, I would surely be back to Terra Bella for a regular cup of coffee. If you happen to be in town or passing through, give Terra Bella a whirl.