I bemoan the lack of decent coffee shops near where I live. Back in my little suburban enclave, there is only a single coffee shop - an independent called Java Jive. They've been there since I moved to the area three years ago, and during that entire time, they've sucked. So much so, that I can't stand to go there, even for a single cup of coffee.
I've tried over the years, four different times now. You would think that they must be doing something right to be able to stay in business. If they are, I don't know what it is. This has to be the one time in my life where I actually wish that a Starbucks would roll into town and put them out of their misery.
I had a friend in from out of town last week. The day he was leaving, we decided to go for coffee before he headed to the airport. Having heard me rant about Java Jive every time we drove by the place, he had to see for himself just how bad it really was. I think he just likes to punish himself.
The first sign (literally) of what we were in for was posted on the door - the store hours. Java Jive is only open from 5:30 am through 1pm. WHAT? 1pm? On a weekend? You have to be kidding me. This is one of the reasons I disliked the place early on. It seemed that every time I tried to stop there for coffee (usually after biking), they were closed. When I first moved to AZ, it literally took me a month before I got a chance to try the coffee there.
Once inside the place, strike two. Instead of a tastefully decorated coffee shop, Java Jive has the feel of a high school cafeteria. There were a few chairs and a couch in the place, but they were haphazardly arranged. The rest of the tables and chairs really were public school issued furniture. To make the place less inviting, the walls were devoid of any real character. The place felt completely industrial, and a bit dirty. Java Jive supposedly roasts their own coffee, and you could see the roaster in one corner, with a bunch of crap stacked all around it.
That day, an older gentleman and a highschool kid were working behind the counter. Since it was pretty hot out already, my buddy Greg ordered an iced coffee and a scone, and I decided on an iced mocha and a scone. The iced coffee was weak and watery and completely lacked any flavor. My iced mocha tasted more like iced chocolate milk. It was one of the worst I had ever had - absolutely no trace of coffee flavor at all. To make matters worse, the Costco scones they had behind the counter were overly sweet, and not at all good.
I've tried to like this place. Really I have. I'd love to have a neighborhood coffee shop where I can drop in and meet with friends over a decent cup of coffee, but it just doesn't seem to be in the cards for the Ahwatukee Foothills. Let's hope that with all of the new shopping spaces going up, someone comes along and opens a real coffee shop. The area is certainly ready for one.