The CoffeeShop Company is a recent addition to the quick dining scene in The Woodlands, and is part of the Schärf Group of Companies based in Austria. The Woodlands location is the first in Texas, with two additional planned locations in the immediate area. When it comes to coffee shops in The Woodlands, one of the first that comes to mind is, of course, Starbucks; with what seems like a store on every corner, there are approximately twenty of these cafes in the Spring and Woodlands area. Among the many differences between The CoffeeShop Company and Starbucks is the level of service provided at these two caffeine vendors. Though both offer food and drink and drive thru windows, The CoffeeShop Company has full service dining with a "Quick Gourmet" menu, including sandwiches, upscale croissants, salads, cookies, cakes, and brownies. Additionally, all of CoffeeShop Company's coffee and espresso based bevrerages utilize highlands Arabica coffee beans, which roasted with an especially gentle, 12-minute-rotational roasting method.
We both opted for an Iced Moccacino Coffee ($3.95, large); one dark and one white. The white chocolate beverage was mild and pleasing to the palate, with almost no hint of a coffee-type flavor; with a taste more similar to a milk shake. The dark chocolate coffee drink had a similar texture with a decidely more chocolate taste, reminding us of an old favorite cold, chocolate milk drink you might recall - Carnation Instant Breakfast. All that aside, the drink is served up in a classy double-wall glass helping to keep the drink cold just a bit longer.
The Jalapeño Chicken Bagel Sandwich ($6.95) came on a soft, toasted bagel, and was made with a well-portioned amount of fillings & fixings. The sandwich included grilled chicken breast, Muhammara sauce, and fresh cilantro cream cheese, as well as jalapeños, leafy greens and fresh sliced tomatoes. My first impression was this was a much more upscale sandwich that I would expect from a coffee shop. But again, I found myself mentally comparing it to those pre-packaged hard, dry sandwiches one typically finds at, oh, say for example Starbucks. I found the textures and flavors blended well, with moist chicken, vibrant flavors in the Muhammara sauce and fresh cilantro cream cheese, and fresh, crispy greens. The bagel was a little chewy, but I expect that from a bagel. I would have liked to have had an option as to which bagel my sandwich was prepared on; but that brings me to my one negative about the sandwich. When I asked our server if I could get a different bagel, he explained the sandwiches are all "made the way their made" and that the range of options in bagel type are really only available for the individual bagels and cream cheese one can order a la carte.
The Oven Roasted Turkey Sandwich on Austrian Sourdough bread ($6.95), was fresh and flavorful without being over-bearing. This sandwich comes with an herbal cream cheese, fresh cucumbers, chives, leafy greens, tomato, a danish remoulade, and Swiss cheese. I was initially concerned that the sandwich might be a little on the dry side, but the first bite indicated that I was mistaken. The cream cheese and remoulade provided just the right amount of moisture allowing all of the other flavors to come through quite nicely.
The interior of the restaurant is comfortable, with a range of seating options including booths, smaller tables with comfortable arm chairs, and a large "community" table. There is also a welcoming seating area, with larger chairs and side tables, for those who might rather stay a while enjoying a good book. The majority of the interior is finished with reclaimed woods and environmentally friendly-sourced materials. Like many new restaurants, they will have some kinks to work out; and aside from not receiving any acknowledgement when we initially entered the store, the overall service level was good. They do have a small service counter for to-go orders, but as it was covered with assorted baked goods, there was no obvious place for which to conduct any business. While we were previously aware of the full service status, many new patrons might not be, and having one or more staff members greet newly arriving patrons would be helpful.