Sureshot Espresso: Dive Coffee and Caffeine

Last May, I wrote a blog chronicling my first encounter with white coffee. White coffee is what happens when coffee is barely roasted, and is a substance primarily renowned for its excessive caffeine content. Not many places serve it, since it honestly isn't all that tasty. But every so often, you find a place where weary and bleary-eyed people may stumble into the adrenaline-producing presence of under-roasted coffee beans combined with stomach-churning amounts of sugar. And when you do, you have to stop, momentarily set awe aside, and put things into perspective.

Standing in a short line at Sureshot Espresso, I was brought to this point of contemplation about the interplay of coffee and caffeine addiction. And I was forced to admit to myself that I sometimes drink things like Red Bull, leaving technically zero room for me to judge anyone for enjoying their white-coffee, white/chocolate mocha with marshmallow syrup and whipped cream. Especially not in the University District, soon after finals.

Sureshot Espresso is a place uniquely suited to its environment. An eclectic mishmash of old arcade games, a coffee shop, an Internet cafe, a snack bar, and a study hall, it appears to have evolved to a point of serving almost the entire "Ave" population. (No small feat, if you've spent much time observing The Ave.) It's the dive bar of the coffee world. Service is curt, even a bit surly. He is not unkind, but you can tell that the man behind the bar has done his fair share of bouncing individuals from the establishment.

Like a dive, Sureshot is not the sort of place you'd visit for an expertly crafted beverage. It is a place you visit to get the job done, as evidenced by the separate menu of drinks featuring white coffee (the tequila of the coffee world). My single previous white-coffee experience having left me without any desire to ever drink it again, I ordered a standard Americano instead. And I stood there, and I watched as the shots were pulled . . . and some tidying was done . . . another customer was rung up . . . and a punch card was handed out . . . and then the shots were poured into water.

I blinked.

And I considered asking that it be remade.

But then I thought, isn't the only time you can really justify sending a beverage back at a dive when there's a bug floating in it? Which there wasn't. So I took it, and I said thank you, and I walked out the door savoring faint hints of cigar ash and tree sap.

Along The Ave, Sureshot has a considerable following. But I think that until they add fries to the menu or get an air hockey table, there is nothing there to entice me back. Even then, it might be a stretch.

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