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Gideon's Coffee Americano

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Gideon's Coffee is named after a convict named Clarence Gideon, who wrote a letter to the Supreme Court in 1963 appealing for a defense lawyer. He won that right in a landmark case, Gideon vs. Wainwright, which is why all accused persons now have the right to an attorney, whether they can afford one or not.

His namesake coffee shop was opened by a defense attorney in downtown Phoenix in September. It's a short walk from the court houses, and advertises coffee, tea, and pastries. We decided to check it out after digging through public records one day. We needed a quick pick-me-up and ordered their Americano, with two shots of espresso.

The interior of Gideon's is pretty sparse, but cozy -- there are a few black leather chairs and some tables, along with local art on the walls. The Americano, unfortunately, didn't taste as quaint and cool as the environment in which it was served.

Our first sip delivered a whopping bitter taste, almost as if the coffee grounds had been burned. The espresso even tasted a bit watered down. We added cream and sugar in the hopes of balancing out the flavor, but a slight bitterness remained. We suspect this was because of the hurried way in which the espresso was prepared, because the coffee blend itself didn't taste so bad. Gideon's Americano just needs to be prepared with a little more love and attention.

As far as the caffeine boost, it was surprisingly slight for a drink containing a double shot of espresso (adding to our suspicions that it had been watered down). We'll return to Gideon's to try another brew in the future; hopefully, they'll have gotten through their growing pains.

Gideon's Coffee is located at 209 W. Jackson Street. Visit www.gideonscoffee.com for more information.

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.