Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sambalatte on Jones: Now you can steampunk your coffee!

Being a woman of leisure has its challenges. Such as, now what am I going to do for forty hours a week? Smiley

First world problems, I know, I know. Well, I decided a good way to pass the time was to join a traveling book club. Wow, how esoteric, you say? Not really, I have ulterior motives. Now I have an excuse to go to quaint coffee houses and guiltlessly drink and eat the night away.

I was surprised to find out that while Las Vegas may be the mecca for food and drink, it is NOT the mecca for coffeehouses. But there were a few that have been on my radar for awhile, so I decided to give them a try.

My first stop was the newly opened Sambalatte on Jones. Its sister store, Sambalatte Torrefazione in Summerlin, has become a Las Vegas sensation. It was voted 2012 Best Coffee by the Las Vegas Review Journal and Huffington Post's declares it's one of the best coffee shops in the country!

Picture from Las Vegas Review Journal
The Sambalatte on Jones still has some growing pains. The first time I went, they were still training their cashier. The second time I went, they were closed at 8pm. For the outrageous prices they charge, I was expecting nothing less than impeccable, perfect service. Not even close, but the upside is it has that mom-and-pop feel in a kitschy sort of way. (sidenote: on my third visit here, I saw one of the owners, I believe her name was Sheila. So obviously, Sambalatte is still a family-run business).

Onto the coffee... I am by no means a coffee expert. Honestly, I stopped drinking coffee when I stopped working. But I was intrigued by Sambalatte's Steampunk press. The Steampunk brews the coffee four ways: it acts like a old-fashioned drip, a french-press, a slow-coffee pour over and a siphon. You can read more about it here.

Picture from
In essence, what it does is heats the water on the bottom, then siphons it up to the top, and acts like a fast-acting french press and finally the coffee is pressed out through the bottom. Words can't do it justice, you gotta see it. It's a cool little contraption.

Does it make a better coffee? It's suppose to. The hot water is in contact with the oils from the coffee grinds and its suppose to make a better tasting cup. Although a siphon brewer can do this too, the Steampunk regulates some of the x-factors, such as temperature of the water and time to make a good press.

Mumbo-jumbo? Honestly, to a non-coffee connoisseur, it's more for show. I ordered the Sumatra blend and it was far from the best tasting liquid to pass through my mouth. It still tasted like coffee, even a bit too acidic, but that could've been the Sumatra blend I chose (I picked it because the name sounded cool). I will say it was a STRONG cup of coffee and it had me jiving all day. Pic is below.

Steampunk'd coffee, Sumatra blend

The FOOD... amazing. Nothing short of amazing. This is where Sambalatte shines and why I'm a frequent visitor. I've tried their Quiche Lorraine, Nutella bomb, Tiramisu and their man-cakes. The Quiche Lorraine and their Tiramisu were heavenly little pillows of yum. Their Nutella bomb was interesting but their man-cakes were meh (they're in the sandwich refrigerator, they're fancy protein bars).

Honorable mentions are their loose leaf teas, which are brewed in a french press. And my bf had the blended mocha, which he thought was just ok. It's not very sweet, which may appeal to a lot of people.

Egg-white Frittata

In conclusion, Sambalatte is a great overall sensory experience. Sip. Savor. Enjoy. is their motto and they have nailed all three. Their prices are ludicrous but Sambalatte isn't Starbucks, it's not an everyday coffee stop shop. It's more a special occasion place, to go on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and idle the day away reading about faraway lands with mysterious dark-headed men.

Sambalatte on Urbanspoon

The fascinating book that I'm reading for my traveling book club is called Anatolian Days and Nights

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