DCFoodies.com Murky Coffee - Last Time (We Hope) - DCFoodies.com

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Jul 17, 2008


Mike Bober

If they're willing to explain why, then I'm all for them sticking to their guns and refusing to let the customer "have it your way" - especially if they're also willing to accept the fact that there are some people who will refuse to patronize a place that won't cater to their exact specifications.

I agree with Cho's position - the customer is an honored guest. They should be treated with respect, but their presence does not require the establishment to compromise their standards.

AC from Arlington

I go to Murky frequently. I have never received rude service in general and never from David, the barista that served Mr. Simmeron. While I agree that customers should be able to do what they want with their coffee, I do not believe it gives them a license to act "like a total dick." I LOVE Murky Coffee and personally have never witnessed or experienced anything other than a wonderful time. I also LOVE that owner Nick Cho defended his employee and his business. What's so MURKY about that?!


Personally, I choose not to go to places where I'm going to be treated like I'm an idiot for preferring my coffee a certain way, or one where its ok to physical threaten people. Maybe I'm an uneducated coffee drinker, but that's how I feel.


Really? Ok, they don't offer iced coffee. But if a customer orders coffee and a cup of ice to do with as he pleases, why chastise him for that? Unnecessary.


It's not that they don't offer iced espresso because they can't make it. They don't offer it because they believe it creates a degraded coffee experience that they don't want to be associated with. If they give them a triple espresso and a cup of ice, it amounts to the same thing as if they gave them a iced espresso. The barista would have been better off not capitulating and giving him the cup of ice. Let him get it from 7-11 if he needs it that badly.


Ok, so they offer flavored syrup (see the FAQ page of the site), milk and sugar but you can't get ICE in your coffee? I home roast my coffee, so I'm not a total coffee novice here and I just don't see an issue with adding ice if you're willing to destroy coffee with flavored syrup....There is no menu on the site, so I have no idea if they use the syrup for coffee or Italian sodas and what not. But if you add milk and sugar, you're changing the flavor of the coffee. Do they only allow black coffee no sugar or milk? If not, then give the man his ice and learn something about customer service.

Joshua W Delano

I've run into some bad coffee in DC also, thank goodness we have Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. Ever been to Tryst in Adams Morgan? You should check it out.


I just spent 2 weeks around the Mediterranean, drinking coffee at several cafes in Italy, France, and Greece. All of these places were serving some of the best espresso I've ever had, and all of them were serving it over ice as well. In fact, most of the Italians coming in were ordering it that way. In Greece, it's one of the favorite drinks at the cafe. Seems interesting that Mr. Cho feels so strongly against this. Mr. Simmeron should have just taken his business elsewhere and not gotten out of line. However, I don't think there should ever be an antagonizing reaction to a customer in any service business.


I love espresso poured directly over ice. In fact, I think that I prefer it to the style of Americano described by Murky. I'll have to give it another round in a blind taste-test or something to be sure, but damn.


murky has excellent coffee. thats the point. if you dont like the rules, then go to starbucks, but i defy you to find any starbucks that has coffee as good as murky. perhaps the burnified junk starbucks sells gets your motor running, but once youve had the good stuff its hard not to just suck it up, follow the rules and get your fix.

also, my local purveyors of excellent coffee, BBC, offer coffee on ice without crotchatorial or any other kind of punching.


So the guy essentially ordered an Americano with no water, right?

Remember Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces..

Bobby: I'd like an omelet, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce. And a cup of coffee.
Waitress: A #2, chicken salad sand. Hold the butter, the lettuce, the mayonnaise, and a cup of coffee. Anything else?
Bobby: Yeah, now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven't broken any rules.
Waitress: You want me to hold the chicken, huh?
Bobby: I want you to hold it between your knees.

Sounds to me that the folks at Murky are a bunch of douches.

Alice in Blunderland

I love Murky. I was as upset as the next girl when the Eastern Market shop closed. And I agree it's cheap and tacky to order iced espressos and add free milk to "beat the system." But Murky's employees are jerks, and both sides have to give. I once got chastised by a Murky barista for ordering a skim macchiato, because it wasn't the "right" way to drink it. After pleading with him, he grudgingly agreed to make it with 2%.

But whole milk doesn't agree with me, and I didn't feel like explaining my gastrointestinal history to a total stranger.

I do agree that the best wine is one that will be enjoyed by the drinker, and the bottom line is discouraging people from drinking the "wrong" wines will discourage them from expanding their tastes. White zin was the first wine I ever tried, and now of course I wouldn't ever buy it. But it opened the door to better (and perhaps acquired) tastes. And isn't that the whole point?


True- I went to Murky Coffee for exactly the same reason - good coffee, the best in this area for sure. Are some of the baristas total douche bags? Absolutely. I wish they'd undertand that tattoos, asymmetrical hair styles, and a pretentious sense of detached irony don't make you an artist. Yeah, you like animal collective, and have been to punk show or two in New York City, I get it. And sure, its tempting to think you're the last bastion of creativity and rebellion because you're in the middle of clarendon. But "IceGate" is just an extension of this pretentiousness, not a committment to quality. Its more of an overall disdain of the community it serves.
Listen, I'm a snob but thats why I stay out of Clarendon and I don't want to generalize everyone who works there. But now, because of Cho's huge f'ing tax write-off in DC, own a nespresso.


I lean towards the customer service side here (although, as I think both parties involved would agree, everyone probably would like to go back in time and be a little more civil). I understand, and respect, working hard to offer a higher quality product, and even charging more for it, but I think an explanation of why iced espresso is not favored ("are you sure? putting ice in it messes up the flavor") is better than pissing off a potential customer. But really, I'm not sure either position is wrong--the real problem here, on both sides, is the attitude/tone of the interaction.

The DC Feed Editor

Great post!! I have linked to this at The DC Feed.


There are many ways to look at this but, bottom line, for me, Murky is on the wrong side of this argument. I've only been there once about two years ago. I totally appreciate their (his) dedication and foodie bent generally. DC (and Alexandria! btw, love that Misha's) could use more of it.

Cho babe, it's commerce man. If you want to make art go make art. I know that sounds snarky, but there is a line to be drawn and I think you have drawn it in the wrong place.


WWFD? This a great opportunity to engage in a little molecular gastronomy. How to make the espresso cold quickly without resorting to ice? Assuming it's the ice and the pouring and not the temperature per se that is the source of the objection. The F is for....

propecia online

If they give them a triple espresso and a cup of ice, it amounts to the same thing as if they gave them a iced espresso.

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