St. Louis further proved its chops as one of the fastest-growing coffee cities during Caffeine Crawl STL
BY SADIE RENEE
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE
Year five of caffeinated exploration in the Gateway to the West (psst! That’s St. Louis) didn’t disappoint in the least, as 12 local roasteries, chocolatiers, and cafes brought their A -game for a recent Caffeine Crawl through The ˜Lou. Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co. kicked off the festivities with a full tour of their roasting facility. We ended in their tasting room, where we admired an awe- inspiring mural of the city skyline made out of coffee beans, and sipped two twists on an Arnold Palmer using Fireboat Tea that were pleasant and refreshing. Kayak’s Coffee & Provisions served up two unique coffees: a Timor and one of the first Java coffees they’ve sourced in several years, which were both tasty, and super interesting!
Park Avenue Coffee blew us away with a four-course coffee-focused menu that included coffee BBQ pulled pork sliders, coffee-brined chicken wings, salad with a coffee vinaigrette, and a sweet coffee ice cream, rounded out by house cold brew in the most eco friendly roasting facility in the Midwest. Stringbean Coffee Co. joined us multiple times throughout the weekend for brews of their Tanzania Peaberry, and Kitchen House Coffee introduced us to the backyard chickens that supply the eggs for their breakfast sandwiches. Over at Kakao Chocolate, we were served scrumptious dark chocolate samples alongside Tanzania brews.
A new addition to this year’s shop lineup, Arthouse Coffee at Living Room, welcomed Crawlers to their gorgeous mobile coffee bar for Bitt’s Cold Press and Fitz’s Root Beer. We sipped luscious drinking chocolates alongside a selection of housemate chocolate bars at Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier, and Crawlers took the opportunity to stock up from their appealing case of truffles & sweets. We enjoyed a creamy taste of summer with ˜The Neopolitan’ at Blueprint Coffee, a tantalizing combination of espresso, Askinose Chocolate ganache, house made vanilla and fresh strawberry syrups, and cream. Mike from Blueprint joined us at Half & Half to discuss food and coffee programs and pairings, and we nibbled doughnuts and sipped a Mexican El Pais brew on the patio while we listened.
Northwest Coffee Roasting Company was ready and waiting for us with house made waffles, fresh coffee, and an even fresher roasting demo during which we crowded around the Probat for an aromatic experience. The Mud House brought a twist on their Caffeine Crawl 2015 award winning Kyoto + Tonic mocktail with the Dank & Stormy Kyoto brewed Goshen Ethiopian with Fever Tree Ginger Beer and a slice of lime. Crawlers took home Wholesome Sweetener’s swag bags filled with treats from Yelp St. Louis and participating shops, including whole bean samples from Stringbean Coffee Co. in awesome tins, complete with a guitar pick.
Five years in and still as good as ever. We’re thrilled to see the St. Louis coffee ”and tea and chocolate! ”scene continue to grow, and we can’t wait for Caffeine Crawl STL 2017!
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.