I didn’t have much chance to visit coffee shops during the week in I spent in Atlanta with Amanda, since we were staying in the suburbs, a 40-minute drive from the city. We visited Octane: Westside and Firelight Coffee Roasters when we arrived on the train from New York, but the next time we were in the city centre was on my way to the airport for my flight to Chicago at the end of my stay.
We could have gone straight to the airport, but instead we made a detour to the Midtown reason to visit Dancing Goats (or to use its full name, The Dancing Goats® Coffee Bar Midtown). Dancing Goats (part of Batdorf & Bronson coffee roasters) is one of four Atlanta-based coffee shops (with another five in Washington State, where it all started).
Dancing Goats is firmly in the speciality coffee world, but with a mass-market offering. There’s a small espresso-based menu combined with a much larger menu offering the typical American “large” drinks, featuring 20oz lattes amongst other things. The retail coffee offering mirrors this, with multiple blends supplemented by a smaller range of single-origins. Meanwhile, if you’re hungry, there’s a small range of cake.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Dancing Goats is a local to both Atlanta (where it’s the third of four, having opened in 2017, ten years after the first) and Olympia (where the first Dancing Goats opened in 1988, followed by three more, with another in Lacey). Dancing Goats also purchased Batdorf & Bronson, which was established in 1986, and started roasting in Atlanta in 1994.
The Midtown coffee bar is on Peachtree Place (half of Atlanta’s streets seem to be called Peachtree something-or-other), directly opposite the Midtown MARTA/bus station, making it easily accessible by public transport (rare for Atlanta). Even better, there are direct MARTA trains to/from the airport! It’s a long, high-ceilinged affair with four sets of tall windows facing the MARTA station, separated by wide, brick pillars. Three are to the left of the glass double doors, with the fourth to the right. Meanwhile, at the left-hand end, is a sheltered, shaded outdoor seating area slightly below pavement level, accessible through the coffee bar.
The counter, opposite the doors, occupies the right-hand third of Dancing Goats. A set of retail shelves funnel you to the right, then you double back on yourself to go past the counter, where you order and collect your coffee. The seating is in the remaining two thirds of the coffee bar, starting with a nine-person, U-shaped extension at the end of the counter. There are two curved, five-person window-bars along the front, occupying the two windows at the left-hand end.
Behind the first of these, in the middle of the room, is a large, round, seven-person table, while to the left of that, a long, thin pillar separates the rear left-hand corner from the rest of the room. There’s a two-person padded bench on either side of the pillar, facing front and back, each with a pair of round, two-person tables. Finally, in the corner holds a solitary, oval, six-person table.
The concrete outside sitting area is accessed through a pair of glass double doors in the left-hand wall. There are round four-person tables in three of the four corners, two at the front (to your left as you come through the doors), the other in the back-left corner. Between them, tables line the walls, with three on each side, separated by red, wire chairs. Note that the outdoor seating area is no-smoking.
Turning to the coffee, the Dancing Goats house-blend (regular plus decaf) is on espresso and batch-brew, while there’s also a single-origin espresso which changes every few days (it was a Costa Rican during our visit). If you don’t want a latte (which comes in 12, 16 and 20oz sizes), Dancing Goats has a 4.5oz cortado and a 6oz cappuccino, plus there’s a double-shot espresso, plus macchiato and con panna options.
Along with the batch-brew options, Dancing Goats has a pair of single-origins on pour-over, made using the Chemex and the Seraphim automated system. These change slightly more frequently than the single-origin espresso and were an Indonesian Sumatra Mandheling and a Guatemalan Volcan while we were there.
One of the advantages of travelling with Amanda is that we can try twice the coffee, so we ordered one of the pour-overs each, plus a pair of mini doughnuts and a lavender-walnut scone, both of which were awesome. As usual, Amanda had the more refined palette, so while I got the deep, rich flavour that I associated with all Indonesian coffees before I discovered Ngopi, she got cedar and orange, with a touch of clove. Similarly, while I’d say the Guatemalan was a typical central American, Amanda was getting cinnamon notes. Either way, we both enjoyed both coffees.
|33 PEACHTREE PLACE NE • ATLANTA • GA 30309 • USA|
|Monday||TBC||Roaster||Batdorf & Bronson (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||TBC||Seating||Tables, Window-bars, Counter; Tables (outside)|
|Friday||TBC||Payment||Cash + Cards|
|Saturday||TBC||Wifi||Free (with login)|
|Chain||Local(ish)||Visits||14th March 2020|
April 2020: please note that during the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Midtown Dancing Goats is temporarily closed, although you can still order coffee beans on-line.
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