Updated to change the tone of the language…
I was on my way back from having high tea at the White Heather Tea Room when I drove by Dolce Vita Coffee Art. Even though I had drunk quite a bit of caffeine today, I decided to stop by and get a cup for two main reasons. First, I really liked their name and their logo colors and I was thinking, this seems like it must be great coffee. Second, I didn’t think that I would pass by that route again so now was the time to try the place. Besides, I have already planned to stop by ‘Sounds Like Coffee’ coffee shop the next morning on my way out of Victoria BC so I was unlikely to have room for an additional 12 oz. So stop I did.
To be honest, this was not one of my best Victoria BC coffee sampling experience. Not because it was the worst latte I tasted here in Victoria, but simply because I had such high hopes for what I was going to get. Although the barista did a decent job with pulling the coffee and all that, I really didn’t like my latte. First the latte was a little ‘hard’… a term I use to describe lattes that have been made with 2% or skim (or fat free) milk and I personally prefer my lattes with whole milk. But the other part of it I think was the particular roast they used did not really have great flavor. What was even more odd was that the more I drunk the coffee, the less I liked it.
I talked to be barista before I left the store and asked her what beans they use. She told me they use Intelligentsia beans from Chicago. Now I don’t know if she meant that the beans actually did come from Intelligentsia’s roasting plant in Chicago or whether Intelligentsia is headquartered in Chicago. I must say I have had decent lattes in Seattle that was made with Intelligentsia beans and so I don’t believe that using Intelligentsia beans was necessarily the problem here. I think it was simply have been the type of roast they they used.
One other issue I think Dolce Vita Coffee Art suffers from is that they are a franchise shop. So it could be that some of the other stores could actually be making great lattes and the store I happened upon was not a great store.
My suggestion for this store is first and foremost change their roast. I think this will make a big difference. And with a name like Dolce Vita, one would naturally expect to find Italian style espresso roasts there. I would suggest that they source their beans from Caffe Umbria in Seattle. An alternative but great source for beans would be Caffé Vita or Caffe D’arte (Caffe Darte) also in Seattle.
I wouldn’t want to go back to Dolce Vita Coffee Art for another latte… at least not if the experience would be the same… next time I am in Victoria, I will go back and try another espresso from the same shop… hoping that this was simply a one off experience…