Angel’s Island Coffee

3 Dec 2010
Cheap Eat (up to $7)
Southeast Huntsville
4 out of 5
We took a few minutes last week to relax at Angel’s Island Coffee, a home-owned coffee shop on South Parkway located in a simple cinderblock building that once housed a dry cleaning operation. The store is decorated with the usual coffeehouse selection of cozy seating, local art, and soft lighting accented with spotlights. I liked the variety of seating, including a few benches, a couch or two, and a few tables and chairs. I also enjoyed the local art, which is tasteful, attractive, and restrained. Above the barista bar is Starbucks-influenced lighting, but the store otherwise isn’t trying to imitate the mermaid, which is refreshing. Clearly, the owner is working hard, in many ways making something out of nothing. Despite the trying, the store has little character. The interior shows no clear theme, not even an accidental commitment to quirkiness. Quilts hang near the ceiling (for sound abatement, I assume), but they are bland. Pastries, candy, and coffee beans adorn the bar, but they come up short. Plus, other than the exposed cinder blocks, no obvious remnant from the old dry cleaning business is visible; in the right hands, a repurposing of the automated clothesline could be oddly appealing. Also missing was the smell of coffee. On the night we visited, I only smelled a cleaner or a plug-in scent; I’m not sure what it was.
I was pleased with our drinks and dessert. We chose seasonal treats: Melanie ordered a peppermint hot chocolate, I ordered a pumpkin spice latte, and we shared a piece of pecan pie. Melanie’s hot chocolate was smooth, sweet (almost too sweet), and had a nice flavor. It strongly resembled the flavor of the peppermint hot chocolate at Starbucks, which was a good thing (their coffee stinks, but their hot chocolate is good stuff). My pumpkin spice latte had a nice flavor and smell as well. The flavor was a bit weak, but I enjoyed the drink. The pecan pie was neither spectacular or bad, but at $1.75 was a steal. The beverages, likewise, were competitively priced: the total for our drinks and dessert was about $7.50, easily 25% below Starbucks prices.
Our interaction with the barista was minimal, but we received good service. She was helpful and friendly and willingly answered our questions. No cranky or too-busy-for-you barista was to be found. Although I have some quibbles with Angel’s—in particular, the atmosphere needs some work—I intend to return. I’d really like to try their espresso or Americano, which would give me a much better idea of how good their coffee is, since coffee quality just can’t be judged with a milk and coffee drink. I’m also impressed that Angel’s is competing and holding their own against Starbucks in a town that is captivated by big city coffee. I hope they will do well.
Angel's Island Coffee on Urbanspoon

3 Responses

  1. Sherry Hamilton

    This is another great review! I hope you send a copy of your reviews to the business you are discussing. I want to chime in that the smell of coffee in a coffee house is my favorite part of going to an establishment of this type. If Angel’s doesn’t have smell, then she should get a diffuser and get the smell pumping through the store!

  2. chelseasone

    I love Angel’s Island! I go there all the time to study. My personal favorite thing on the menu is the Dingo. I feel absolutely ridiculous when ordering it, but it’s worth it, haha.

  3. Lara Baswell

    “too sweet” hot chocolate sounds about perfect for me!

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