Word of Mouth

How much is too much to pay for a double espresso?

I just went through a few receipts and found my tab for a recent review meal at Bella Bistro, 7702 Ralston Road in Arvada. The total was in line with the other meals I ate there, so I'd thought nothing about it when I paid the tab. But upon closer examination, I realized I was charged $8 for a double espresso. And that caused me to choke.

To be fair, the drink was actually a quadruple shot, because each pulled shot from Bella's machine yields a double. Still, $8 seemed high, especially because my server neglected to tell me how the machine was set up.

So I did some comparison work.

Frasca Food & Wine, 1738 Pearl Street in Boulder: $5 Colt & Gray, 1553 Platte Street: $6 Masterpiece Delicatessen, 1575 Central Street: $5.50 Pizzeria Basta, 3601 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder: $6

I checked these places because they're restaurants of a similar price point or use high-quality roasts -- although Bella Bistro uses an imported roast, while several of the spots above source locally.

Am I crazy for being a little annoyed?

How much would you pay for a quad shot of espresso? Especially after you asked for a double?

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk