Caffeine Crawl Indianapolis Celebrates a Growing Coffee Scene in Central Indiana

Caffeine Crawl Indianapolis Celebrates Coffee and Community in Indiana’s Capital City

A chilly weekend and a stellar lineup of coffee, tea, chocolate and donut shops greeted us for Caffeine Crawl year three in Indianapolis – new shops supplemented the original 2012 lineup for a series of fun presentations, delicious drinks and Indy’s biggest coffee event of the year.

A fire pit greeted us outside Hubbard & Cravens Broad Ripple location, lending a cozy vibe to the coffee-scented ambiance awaiting us inside. Tim talked about their creamy nitro cold brew as we sipped, and Kyle brewed coffee from Bali on one of the few remaining Clover machines outside of Starbucks. Yelp Indy handed out coffee mugs as take-home props for their pop-up photo booth to document the occasion.

Caffeine Crawl Indianapolis
Cheerful Chemex brews set the mood at Bee Coffee Roasters during Caffeine Crawl Indianapolis.

Bee Coffee Roasters brought out their tasty new barrel-aged coffee to kick off Friday and Saturday routes. Dueling Chemex brews compared their El Salvador Miravalle aged in different beer or spirit barrels, and the same former Cup of Excellence coffee roasted without the aging process.

Caffeine Crawl Indianapolis
Lessons and multiple tasting options at Julian Coffee Roasters during the crawl.

North of the city in Zionsville, Julian Coffee Roasters had a spread of drinks waiting, from steaming cups of local Joy Chai to espresso options, a cascara and coffee combo on tap to a single origin Mexico on the Curtis Gold Cup brewer. Ken Julian gave us a tour of the roasting facility and discussed their mission and roasting process while we sipped. Down the street, Victor at Bites by Confectioneiress kept us engaged with coffee experiment stories as his crew passed out one of last year’s favorites – the coffee (mint) julep. We also enjoyed a new hopped coffee brew that was accompanied by an amazing Snickers-like dessert – made in house, of course. One of the routes was treated to a presentation from tour guide leader and guest route host, Tim of Brew The Way. Tim and his team brewed a variety of options – V60, Chemex, Aeropress, and French Press – all served in unique mugs from Tim’s personal collection.

Caffeine Crawl Indianapolis
A brew to sip with a cupping underway at Tinker Coffee.

A local collaboration welcomed us at Rocket 88 Doughnuts with Mile Square Coffee Roastery serving up bottled cold brew and a pourover of their Rocket 88 blend. Paired with tasty doughnut holes and Q and A time with Trace of Mile Square, the experience was delightful. Tinker Coffee was the newest roaster on the Crawl, and they curated a cupping experience with a Kenya and a Guatemala to compare and contrast. We rotated from roaster to coffee trays and flavor wheels, soaking up the steps involved from green coffee to cupping table. Trade Secret Chocolates ended the visit on a sweet note with liquid chocolate for sipping.

Caffeine Crawl Indianapolis
Foundry Provisions where they do a great job combining art, community and coffee was one of the highlights of the 38th Caffeine Crawl.

Two doors down, Foundry Provisions displayed a coffee shop’s role in the local community by inviting Herron High School art students to discuss their recent projects – on display and inspired by their time spent in the shop. Kimmie dished up butternut squash soup samples and the team served cafe au laits and macchiatos as we listened to the students present. Also in the neighborhood, Danielle from The Thirsty Scholar created a special, off-menu signature drink for us, and ˜The Lady Killer’ was a crowd pleaser. A coffee mocktail containing cold brew, chai mix, and coconut, it was just the thing to fuel our first 1-minute dance break during a Crawl stop.

Caffeine Crawl Indianapolis
Exploring flavor nuances at Quills Coffee was a delightful experience.

Quills Coffee drew us in nose first for an open conversation on tasting coffee – from smelling the brew to dissecting flavors with each sip, Josh guided us through a wonderful group experience as we were encouraged to take a moment and enjoy the natural flavors in each cup. General American Doughnut had delicious treats waiting – fresh doughnuts, paired with Stumptown Coffee brews, were devoured as Kari shared with us how they started the shop and why doughnuts became their path. (Sidenote: We’re super-glad it is!) Also on the sweeter side, Best Chocolate in Town covered chocolate basics, explaining the many types and styles of chocolate available while we savored the finished products.

Caffeine Crawl Indianapolis
You really can’t go wrong with donuts on cat plates.

Two days and six great routes still weren’t enough to take in all the excellent coffee, tea, chocolate and donuts that the city of Indianapolis has to offer. A big thanks to all the sponsors, shops and attendees for making Caffeine Crawl Indianapolis, our 38th Crawl, one to remember!
Brimming with ambition, sarcasm and caffeinated zeal,  Sadie Colwell
 is fascinated by all things beverage and the extraordinary humans behind them. Recently relocated from KCMO to Fort Collins, Colorado, you can find her behind the bar of  Harbinger Coffee  or hunkered down with a cappuccino, fervently planning the next  Caffeine Crawl  or blogging for  The LAB.  When she isn’t traveling to caffeinated cities, she drinks a lot of local beer and lets her dog take her for long, vivacious walks through City Park.  

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