Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

May 6, 2013

BUSINESS: Clash of the Coffees

‘Frozen Joe’ and ‘Flip Switch’ work their way into reporter’s heart

JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville Daily Progress “Best Cup Of Coffee In Town” competition has finally concluded with two clear winners — a tie between Jacksonville Joe's and PhoenixSquare Deli & Coffee Shop.

Using a ratings scale of 1 through 4 stars, both stores rated a clear “4” in terms of quality. However, since comparing the two very-different venues is like comparing apples and oranges, the JDP staff has decided to award both their own first place designation.

Here's how we broke it down:

•  Jacksonville Joe's — located in the Century 21 parking lot on south Jackson street near the intersection of Rusk.  This coffee stand, with its drive-through accessibility and crafty caffeine mixology,  takes first place for the commuter venue with the carmel nut “Frozen Joe” drink submitted for our review.

• Phoenix Square Deli & Coffee Shop — at 201 East Commerce, on the corner of Main and Commerce in downtown directly across from Austin Bank.  PhoenixSquare takes first place as a “coffee place where you can hang out” venue for its eye-opening drink, “FlipSwitch.”

Now, as an aficionado of all things eye-opening — be it espresso, coffee, tea, energy drinks, or even C-Monster,  this reporter can testify that Jacksonville Joe's and PhoenixSquare both provide vital public services by providing powerful, respective javas for mass consumption.

The main qualification in coffee contest was that the beverage had to be potent, contain lots of caffeine, and be effective in waking up sleepy people.

And in the end? Both shops fit this bill quite nicely.

A little bit of history: Having announced our competition on the JDP business page back in February, we at the newspaper received a handful of suggestions focusing entirely on these two stores.

Then, reader Kim “Mama K” Holman came along and provided us with her own superlative evaluation of both stores, which she kindly emailed to us. Her conclusion was that Jacksonville Joe's deserved the caffeine crown. She said she is a big fan of JJ's liberal use of chocolate in its drinks and the chocolate covered coffee beans provided to customers by the owner.

“In my opinion, this is a necessity for the coffeeholic,” Mama K said in her email. “I have ordered several different variations of coffee and have been pleased every time. Two times I drove up and told him (Larry the owner) what I wanted in my coffee and he nailed it overtime.”

But other patrons contacted the paper after we ran her evaluation and indicated they prefer their coffee and espresso in PhoenixSquare's artistic, “sit down” environment.

Here's our evaluation:

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