Java Jolt: Coffee in Vegas

Posted by on Jan 19th, 2012 and filed under Dining, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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A cup of coffee at The Beat Coffeehouse, Downtown.

Let’s face it, many of us need a little java jolt to get us started in the morning or keep us going at night. After all, it is Vegas, land of sensory overload and home of too much to see and do in a weekend.

But not all cups of coffee are created equal. Jonah Vongdala, head barista at Social House says that much like wine, there are variables that go into making a good cup of coffee, including the grower, the roaster and the region in which the coffee is grown. However, Vongdala notes that one key difference is that the barista actually has to make the cup of coffee — adding another tangible element to the process.

“The Barista is like the ambassador to the coffee. Everything can be done right, but as the person brewing it, your job is to essentially minimize quality loss,” says Vongdala.

Here are some elements Vongdala takes into consideration while brewing your coffee:

  • Brewing at the right temperature.
  • Starting with good, quality water.
  • Identifying the right grind for the coffee, course to fine.
  • Measuring the right ratio of coffee to water.
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Jonah Vongdala, bartender and head barista at Social House crafts a cup of coffee using a siphon.

In other words, you can’t make coffee like me: Pour water, pour coffee grinds and hope some form of drinkable sludge comes out.

Here are a few places to get a good cup of coffee in Vegas.

Social House

When you think of a modern Japanese restaurant, the first thing you think of probably isn’t excellent coffee. But in recent years, Japanese have really fallen in love with siphoned coffee and thus, you can get one of the best cups of coffee in town from Social House at Crystals at CityCenter.

When you go to in search of fantastic coffee, ask for Vongdala. The passionate bartender and head barista is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to coffee. Vongdala is also a level one certified barista in the Barista’s Guild of America.

“I took a lot of interest in it because I am an avid coffee drinker. . . There’s something that happens one day when you go from enjoying it to really being interested in it,” says Vongdala.

Hot off the (coffee) press at Social House are aromatic brews including a bold safari blend and an Ethiopian Harrar. Vongdala says he likes to constantly add new coffees to the menu, so a guests can go to Social House twice within three months and get different cups of coffee.

Social House
Located in Crystals Shopping Center.
3720 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, Nev. 89158

Sambalatte

Sambalatte might have the most coffee-making gadgets in Vegas. From a coffee-making siphon and French press to a Chemex and an AeroPress, which looks like a giant needle-less syringe and is a fast-brewing method.

Sambalatte frequently has live musical guests to entertain you while you sip a cup of gourmet brew. The coffee house has an upstairs meeting area that can be reserved as well as general seating downstairs and on the patio.

Sambalatte
Located in Boca Park Shopping Center.
750 S. Rampart Blvd., Suite 9
Las Vegas, Nev. 89145

Espressamente Illy

Espressamente Illy offers Italian-influenced caffeinated beverages including hot and cold espresso drinks. Additionally, the busy counter offers a variety of pastries, crêpes and 54 flavors of gelato.

Espressamente Illy
Located in Palazzo Las Vegas.

Cafe de Japon

Cafe de Japon offers a great cup of coffee at a reasonable price. They use the siphon method for preparing a perfect ending to your meal.

Cafe de Japon
5300 Spring Mountain Road, Suite 101
Las Vegas, Nev. 89146

Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro

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The Beat Coffeehouse is a trendy, vibrant place to warm up with a cup.

In addition to fine French chocolates and heavenly pastries, Payard also offers fantastic coffee, great for starting your day–or keeping your day going strong. Located at the mouth of the Appian Way shops, toward the back of the casino, you can enjoy Payard’s coffee at a quick-service walk-up counter or in the more tranquil bistro section.

Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro
Located in Caesars Palace Las Vegas.

The Beat

The Beat is a cute, downtown coffee house, full of artsy touches and a neighborhood community feel. The Beat offers sandwiches, salads and bites, as well as beer and wine after 7 p.m. The Beat has an eclectic following, including lawyers,  artists and local politicians, as well as travel-savvy tourists.

The Beat
Located Downtown in the Emergency Arts Building.
520 Fremont St.
Las Vegas, Nev. 89101

There are also many Starbucks coffee shops located in the following hotels on the Las Vegas Strip:

  • Harrah’s
  • Luxor
  • Mandalay Bay
  • MGM Grand
  • Mirage
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Stratosphere
  • Treasure Island

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