Posted by mike | Filed under Coffee
I don’t even think I can call this a review, because I ordered a single cup of drip coffee, but I at least have something to say about Voluto Coffee, so I will. Pittsburgh has a growing coffee scene. The likes of La Prima, Aldo and, more recently, 21st Street Coffee have really been driving Pittsburgh onto the map of great coffee. Having been an early customer of 21st Street (then, Cafe Intermezzo), I think I know something about coffee. That having been said, I can’t really feel what Voluto Coffee is aiming for.
5467 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
The restaurants and shops on Penn Ave had a bit of an event on Friday night, and some friends invited me to head out with them to try Voluto Coffee. One of my friends (Corey) had been following Voluto’s blog since before they even opened, and had been interested in giving them a try. Corey tried some of their french press coffee, which was good. I ordered some basic drip coffee: also good. I can’t say I’m able to say more than “good,” and I can’t help but wonder why they didn’t try harder to make me appreciate it a little bit more.
Who is the target audience? Voluto mimics the quiet coffee shop situation offered up by 61C (though I don’t know about their Wi-Fi situation). They mimics the quality coffee offered up by 21st Street and Aldo. They have the live music offered up by…well, Starbucks. So what is it that is going to drive their business? Who are they targeting? Are they looking for the coffee enthusiasts willing to pay top dollar for a premium roast? Are they looking for the busy student who is looking for a quite place to write a paper? Are they looking for people who want a venue for Brad Yoder? Then what?
Good coffee without noteworthy service. I had a single cup of coffee, and I don’t feel well positioned to comment on it’s quality. That having been said, I think coffee quality is at most half as significant as the atmosphere. In my mind, the defining quality that drives people to any of the other coffee shops I’ve mentioned so far is the atmosphere. I go to 21st Street for technical coffee insights from Luke and Alexis. I go to 61c for laid back barista’s and a distraction-free place to read with hassle-free Wi-Fi. Voluto may have something go for them, but what are they aiming to present?
All that having been said, I’d like to go their again and give them another shot. I want local places like Voluto to succeed, and I am especially fond of coffee shops. Who knows: maybe I just went at a bad time or caught them on an odd night. I certainly hope a return visit proves that to be the case.