Whispers Coffee & Tea

Overall Rating: 4.100

Address: 711 Chicago Ridge Mall
Cross Street(s): 95th St. & Ridgeland Ave., in the Chicago Ridge Mall
City, State ZIP: Chicago Ridge, IL 60415
Phone: 708.636.2233
Hours: M-F 10am-9pm; Sa 10am-7pm; Su 11am-6pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 3.20
Barista: 4
Savvy: 4
Ambiance: 3
Presentation: 2
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Spaziale
Coffee Rating: 5.00
Aroma: 5
Body: 5
Brightness: 7
Crema: 4
Flavor: 5
Taster's Correction: -1.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Ashy
Coffee Beans: Whispers Coffee & Tea
Cup Manufacturer: Paper
Price: $1.25
Last Update: 12/27/2009
First Reviewed: 12/27/2009
Notes: None

We always dread subjecting ourselves to mall espresso. This wasn't as terrible as it could have been - and marked an improvement over its previous incarnation as Gloria Jean's Coffees - but it was still sub-par. Like a number of Gloria Jean's outlets in the Chicago area, this was recently converted over to a new, local chain in Whispers. It practically has the same stand in the middle of the mall, but now there are a handful of café tables available for seating nearby. They even seem to have kept the newer, two-group, Cora-supplied La Spaziale machine. Served by emo high school kids, the shot has a bare, balding thin medium brown crema. It's a dark, somewhat bitter cup with a touch of ash and strong pepper and tobacco. But it's a real espresso - not some filter drip coffee facsimile. Unfortunately, it's not a good one. This is why straight espresso has such a bad name in middle America. Definitely made for milk.