Another awesome Caffeine Crawl for the books: Crawlers sip their way through the Gateway to the West
By Sadie Cowell
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE
A drizzly weekend, brave bike-route participants, and a line-up of new and veteran shops made Caffeine Crawl St. Louis 2015 a caffeinated success.
Groups kicked off off the day around the city ready to sip, slurp, and caffeinate. The staff at Kaldi’s Coffee gave us a tour of their sizeable new roasting facility, and served shaken iced Honey Almond Toddies at their Demun location while explaining where the name of their œ700 espresso originated: It’s the street address of the original roasting facility on Demun. Kayak’s let us œbehind the bar ”or rather, brought the bar to us ”with hands-on brewing demos and lots of samples.
At Park Avenue Coffee, we sipped side-by-side samples of cold brew and nitro cold brew, and learned the nuances of eco-friendly roasting while munching fresh baked scones. Chuavin Coffee welcomed groups with Costa Rica La Minita, donuts, and lessons on sourcing and roasting.
Yelp tote bags in hand, Crawlers munched Earnest Eats bars in between stops, and sipped a delightfully fizzy kyoto and tonics with an orange garnish at The Mud House. Chocolatey goodness awaited us at Bissingers, and Kakao served up coffee-studded chocolate samples alongside bourbon barrel aged cold brew from Stringbean Coffee Co.
Northwest Coffee Roasters treated us to a start-to-finish roasting demo, with multiple samples pulled at various stages of the roasting process to demonstrate color change. Taylor from S P I R I T tea joined us, and we munched orange confit cinnamon rolls and scones at Benton Park Cafe, and learned a little more about the coffee journey at Sump. As a reward for braving the rain showers, the bike-route heroes savored affogatos at Comet Coffee.
Blueprint conducted a flavorful experiment involving pineapple, chocolate, tea, and purposely poorly-brewed to demonstrate terms like astringent, bitter, and sweet. On Saturday, they opened their doors after hours for a tasting competition with great prizes, snacks from Mission Taco Joint, and brews from Boulevard.
Caffeine Crawl Year 4 in The ˜Lou lived up to the great success of earlier years in a big way. There’s just more and more going on coffee-wise in the Gateway to the West all the time. A huge thank you goes out to all our sponsors ”including Unic and Barista Magazine ”who make this magic possible! St. Louis, you were great, and we’ll see you next year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.