Tierra Coffee Roasters - Good, but not Great

I went to Tierra Coffee Roasters on 1038 Madison Avenue in Albany tonight with my girlfriend.  We were waiting for a movie at the Madison Theater, and figured we would get a drink to warm us up. 

Tierra Coffee Roasters opened in January 2011, in place of the now defunct, Muddy Cup.  Tierra has done a lot with the inside of the place.  Gone is the old, beat-up furniture; in are new tables and chairs.  According to alloveralbany.com, art by Samson Contompasis lines the walls.  The store looks neat inside.  It does not look fabulous, but it is vastly improved. 

I can symphatize with those who prefer the grunginess of the Muddy Cup.  The Muddy Cup had a certain bohemian vibe to it.  However, the bathrooms of the Muddy Cup were filthy.  The bathrooms in Tierra are neat and clean.  I will take the cleanliness of Tierra Coffee Roasters over the grunginess of the Muddy Cup any day. 

Tierra Coffee Roasters is not just a coffee shop.  Tierra also sells a wide variety of locally-grown nuts and fair-trade coffee in the store.  The parent company of Tierra Coffee Roasters is Tierra Farm out in Columbia County.   According to its website, Tierra Farm nuts and coffee are certified organic.  This is definitely a selling point.

Tierra has a wide selection of coffee drinks, hot chocolate and smoothies.  I ordered the hot chocolate for $2.75.  I was not too impressed with my order.  The hot chocolate was fairly average.  Starbucks hot chocolate is richer and more flavorful.  I prefer Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate too, though it is loaded with sugar and calories.  At Tierra, the hot and cold drinks are one size only, 16 ounces.  This was a little bit frustrating because I only wanted a small drink. 

My girlfriend graciously offered me a piece of her brownie, and it was pretty good.  It was a tiny brownie, but it cost $2.25, which is a little pricey.  It was fresh-baked, and had huge nuts in it.  This brownie is way better than the baked goods offered at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks.  I have a feeling all the baked goods at Tierra are tasty as well. 

Yes, I was not too impressed by my hot chocolate at Tierra, but this place has a lot of potential.  The place is tidy inside, if a little sterile, and the baked goods and organic nuts are very good.  For those who live in the Pine Hills neighborhood of Albany, this place is a find.  I am sure this place is hopping with students when school is in session.  When I am in the area, I will check this place out. 


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