There’s something sad and unsettling about a chain store that strives to be remarkable and fails. Mad Beans & Wine Café isn’t exactly new. Both wine and coffee have been served in the same location for years. However, it wasn’t until this year that the two were officially combined and the folks at Mad Greens (the food player in this Mad trinity)took over the coffee aspect of the business that operates at 1200 Acoma St., across the courtyard from the Denver Art Museum.
Mad Beans & Wine Café serves Illy Coffee, that comes from Trieste, Italy. I have great respect for Illy, particularly its founder Francesco Illy, who is credited for inventing the illeta—an espresso machine that used steam instead of compressed air, the technique that is used to this day. But respect for Illy doesn’t compensate for the lack of fresh roasted coffee that Mad Beans & Wine has to offer. And the friendly barista who served me my overheated drip coffee doesn’t make up for the fact that this shop has dropped off the map of what coffee connoisseurs consider specialty.