Mammoth Espresso is a small coffee shop in New Orleans, serving the Midwest’s finest, Madcap, on espresso, with filter provided by the automated Seraphim pour-over system. There’s a bespoke espresso blend and a daily single-origin option. This, plus two or three more single-origins, are available on pour-over through the Kalita Wave. If you’re hungry, there’s a selection of cakes/pastries, prepared in-house, plus breakfast burritos.
A seven-minute walk from the station and towards the southern edge the Central Business District, Mammoth is a little off the beaten (tourist) track, but well worth seeking out. I first popped in during my visit to New Orleans this time last year, when it was my final stop before catching my train to Tucson, providing me with a fitting send off to New Orleans.
On my return this year, I made it a priority to revisit Mammoth since I didn’t have time to write it up the first time around. It was therefore fitting that my first action on my first morning after flying in the night before was to take the short walk along Baronne Street from my hotel to Mammoth for my first coffee of the trip. Such symmetry pleases me.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Mammoth Espresso opened in 2016, one of a handful of speciality coffee shops in New Orleans’ Central Business District. Occupying a unit in a larger building on the west side of Baronne Street, there are two round, blue two-person tables outside on the pavement which catch the morning sun. From here, you can see into Mammoth through two floor-to-ceiling windows, but to get inside, you need to use the bright yellow doors to the right. These lead to a central corridor, the door to Mammoth being about halfway back on the left. If you don’t fancy sitting outside, but don’t want to sit inside either, a pair of two person-tables down the left-hand side of the corridor make an acceptable compromise.
Along with the two windows at the front, the right-hand side of the store, which runs along the central corridor, is lined with wooden-framed panels, the first five of which are windows, with the sixth and final one containing the door. With the direct light from the windows and the borrowed light from the central corridor, this makes for a very bright interior, all of which goes a long way to create a sense of space. This is aided by the high ceilings, Mammoth being roughly as tall as it is wide and about twice as deep.
The square counter is at the back on the left, till and cake facing you as you enter. The coffee side of the operation is off to the left¸ facing the front of Mammoth, where you’ll find the twin shower heads of the Seraphim system next to a two-group La Marzocco Linea. The remaining coffee operation, including a twin-hopper espresso grinder and an EK-43 for the filter, is along the back of the counter.
The space between door and counter is kept free for takeaway customers, leaving the front half of Mammoth for seating. There’s a central, four-person table, with a five-person window-bar at the front. The final seating is provided by a padded bench running down the left-hand wall from the counter to the window, lined with four two-person tables.
The décor is clean and simple, with plenty of natural wood and a geometric tiled floor. One word of warning though: the high ceilings and tiled floor make it very echoey and it can get very noisy. During my visit, six students were having an animated discussion and it was deafening. That said, it was much quieter once they’d left!
Turning to the coffee, all of which is from Madcap, Mammoth has a bespoke seasonal house-blend, Third Coast. This is joined by various single-origins which change whenever Mammoth puts a new coffee order in. Naturally, all the beans are available to buy in retail bags, along with a small range of merchandising.
When I visited in March 2018, on my way to the station, I had a flat white with the Third Coast blend. This was rich and creamy, an excellent start my day and a fitting send off as I left New Orleans. On my return, I was tempted by the guest espresso, the Rivera single-origin from Peru. My barista, Coco, said it went well in milk, describing it as a little brighter than the blend. She also recommended it as a cortado, so that’s what I had, being rewarded with a lovely, rich coffee, with hints of biscuit. Intrigued by the coffee, I followed up by having the Peruvian as a pour-over, a lovely, rich coffee with plenty of body. Served in a standard diner mug, it matured slowly as it cooled, with more fruity notes emerging over time.
Footnote: it’s rare that I am able to visit somewhere on the day when I publish its Coffee Spot. However, today I managed to sneak out at lunchtime to head over to Mammoth Espresso, where I tried the Rivera as an espresso, which I found pleasingly bright and fruity.
|821 BARONNE STREET • NEW ORLEANS • LA 70113 • USA|
|Monday||07:00 – 17:00||Roaster||Madcap (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 17:00||Seating||Tables, Window-bar; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 17:00||Food||Cake, Pastries, Breakfast Burritos|
|Thursday||07:00 – 17:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 17:00||Cards||Amex, Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||07:00 – 15:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||07:00 – 15:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||No||Visits||12th March 2018, 6th April 2019|
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