Thursday, July 7, 2011

#046 Best Coffeehouse?

I have a feeling there is going to be some stiff competition determining the winner of Boise's "Best Pizza" and Boise's "Best Coffee."  According to Living Social, #046 The Best Coffeehouse is The Flying M. They also claim the macaroons are a must try, but I was disapointed to find there were no macaroons to speak of.

I think Flying M can be thought of as a "legit" coffeehouse.  It is my understanding they have their own unique blends -- they roast on a small batch drum roaster that was built in 1995.  Apparently you can even go to the coffee garage (in Nampa) and watch them roast on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  The problem is, I still don't like coffee, so I am going to have to judge these coffee places based on overall atmosphere, attitude, etc., and most importantly - CHAI and non coffee drinks.

I parked pretty far from this place and enjoyed a nice, leisurely walk to the coffeehouse.  There were some really beautiful and interesting buildings on the walk there. 

I got there and was pleasantly surprised that the hours were so flexible. It is open Monday-Friday from 6:30 am - 11 pm, Saturdays from 7:30 am - 11 pm, and Sundays from 7:30 am - 6 pm.  I appreciate the late hours, as another coffee house I want to visit has been a pain in the ass because it is only open until 6 pm on weekdays.  However, one sour note was that by the time I got there (7:30 pm) the gift shop was closed.  I love random gift shops, so I was bummed I didn't get to explore at all.

In addition to the nice hours, The Flying M also hosts many different events, which makes it more than just a place to get coffee or read a newspaper.  Most of the musical events are at the coffee garage in Nampa, but I imagine that is a great place for the locals to go.  There is also an art wall, that has curators and changes monthly. 

I sauntered up to order a drink, and was bummed to find that my choice wasn't hard to make at all.  There was nothing unique.  For instance, the Record Exchange had the London Fog and I had a difficult time deciding at Thomas Hammer (but ended up choosing a Chai Freeze).  Basically my only choice here was a  plain Chai, which is not original at all.  I love when coffee places branch out and serve some interesting/unique drinks, especially non-coffee options.

Thankfully, my chai was reasonable (cheaper than Thomas Hammer) at $3.35 for 16 ounces. 
However, I just didn't like it.  To be honest, I simply didn't think it was very good.  I make chai every morning at my desk, with a tea bag in a shitty little cup and sugar from an automatic dispenser machine, and I would say my morning chai tastes about 7.29484 times better than this chai.  It basically tasted like slightly sweetened 2% milk.  Maybe I got a bad one (yes I am going to give them ONE MORE chance soon!).  It simply wasn't satisfying. 

 To make it worse, it wasn't served with a smile.  At the coffee shops I have frequented so far, everyone has been very friendly.  I didn't think the barista was friendly at all here.

Here is a sneakily snapped picture of the inside.

I like the set up at Thomas Hammer way more as well (modern, cute, funky furniture and accessories).

Moral of story?  Sounds like the Flying M Coffeegarage is better than the Flying M Coffeehouse.  Considering there is no way I want to drive to Nampa for coffee, this will likely not be my favorite coffee place in Boise.  However, it has a great set up for a great coffee house....long hours, lots of space (105 person capacity), good prices.  I will have to try one more time to make sure I didn't go on an off day. 

What do any of you think? Favorite coffee place is?


Terri said...

We don't have any choices around here, it's either Starbucks an hour in one direction or Starbucks and hour and a half the other. No other coffee houses to speak of here :(

amazey said...

Great review. I wish I had some little coffee houses close by but all I have is Starbucks too.

Kelsey said...

Haha, well I should probably stop complaining about our overabundance of coffee shops! I have actually complained the Starbucks has no drive thru (we have about thirty million other drive thrus). But, if it makes you ladies feel any better, we learned in our marketing class that the fewer choices you have, the happier you are with your decision :) So you never have to agonize over where to go! Where do both you ladies live? I thought Idaho was about as sticks as it gets.