Caffeine Crawl hit Columbus, Ohio last month, and crawlers sampled autumnal drinks and learned about its city’s rich and extensive history of coffee and collaboration
Columbus, Ohio: a capital city with a coffee scene steeped in years of experience, and the perfect setting for a unique Caffeine Crawl. Participants in the Columbus Caffeine Crawl, which started September 23rd, kicked off a high-energy weekend with a Friday night route exploring the Columbus cafe scene, and four Saturday tours with plenty of caffeine to go around.
While specialty coffee as we know it today is still a relatively new industry, coffee on a broader spectrum has been around for centuries. Columbus has a solid history of successful coffee companies that have stayed relevant through the changing waves of coffee culture. Crimson Cup, celebrating 25 years of business alongside a 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year award, welcomed us to their sleek new Innovation Lab, which is Ohio’s first SCAA accredited training campus. Up close and personal with Brandon Bir, Coffee Sourcing and Education Manager, we talked coffee travels and sampled a variety of house drinks ”nitro cold brew coffee mocktails with house made syrups, and Chemex brews of ˜The Wayfarer Blend,’ which was the second place winner of the 2016 America’s Best Espresso competition!
With more than 20 years of experience in the coffee industry, owner and founder of Brioso Coffee, Jeff Davis, brings his expertise to the local scene with a firm belief in relationships as a conduit for great coffee. A founder of the original Columbus coffee collective created in 2008, Jeff explained it as, œthe first thought of a community of like minded, coffee focused individuals coming together in Columbus to support each other. The group hosted latte art throwdowns and coffee community events, and œother people picked up on that. The Columbus Coffee Trail passport created by Experience Columbus, annual Columbus Caffeine Crawls, and an increased sense of community camaraderie are just a few of the great results drawn from the growing coffee scene awareness in Ohio. Jeff and Robin Myers, Brioso Coffee’s Experience Coordinator and Trainer, shared their sourcing, roasting and brewing expertise with a three-coffee lineup of differently processed Costa Rican coffees to sample.
43 years in business is something to be proud of, and we sipped the flavors of success at Boston Stoker Coffee Co. Henry Dean, Vice President of Operations, has traveled a caffeinated journey since his parents founded the company as a tobacco shop in 1973, and developed a following for the freshly roasted beans they started serving to customers. Having traveled extensively sourcing great coffees for their cafes, Henry shared his love for connection through coffee: œcoffee is truly a people business, and I love every bit of it.
Another Ohio standard, Stauf’s Coffee has been serving up fresh-off-the-Probat batches of coffee for every taste since 1988, and we sampled several cold brew presentations in their classic Grandview Avenue cafe. While these Columbus coffee mainstays may have the edge on experience, the new kids on the block are holding the bar high. An in depth tasting at One Line Coffee gave Crawlers new knowledge for their home bar grinder game, and a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony drew us even further into the rich history of coffee at Upper Cup.
An in house barista competition produced the ˜winning drink’ served to Caffeine Crawlers at The Roosevelt Coffeehouse ”a warming autumn ˜apple crisp’ latte. Focus on impact for good extends beyond Ohio at this mission-oriented cafe, to food, clean water and social justice for all. House made chai and vintage vibes at the Raccoon Coffee mobile bar accompanied even more community emphasis from co-owner Ami Lannone: œYou’ll hear the same thing from everyone: Columbus is outrageously collaborative in all arenas. It’s a very close community. We have the disloyalty program, we encourage everyone to go try all the other coffee, and it’s awesome.
An ˜international coffee’ experience at Red Velvet Cafe highlighted Cuban espressos and Venetian iced coffee, and espresso truffles at Le Chocoholique rounded out the weekend’s exploration. A shout out to Yelp Columbus, Wholesome!, Chemex and Urnex for helping make the Caffeine Crawl Columbus magic possible ”we can’t wait to keep watching this collaborative community grow!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brimming with ambition, sarcasm, and caffeinated zeal, Sadie Renee is fascinated by all things beverage and the extraordinary humans that make them. A KCMO native loving life in Fort Collins, Colo., she spends most of her time drinking extravagant amounts of coffee and planning the next Caffeine Crawl for The LAB. When she’s not on a plane to a beverage destination, you can find her conducting research at a local brewery or pouring the occasional latte behind the bar at Everday Joe’s Coffehouse. After she lets her dog take her for a long, vivacious walk around the neighborhood, she likes to soak up some mountain magic and wind down with a good cocktail.