Specialty cafes worth trying

Since the creation of soluble coffee – loved by miners and cowboys in rural areas of the United States – and the opening of Starbucks (in Seattle in 1971), coffee consumption in the United States has transformed giant step.

Today, the idea of ​​coffee as an experience, a ritual or a topic of conversation has supplanted the old idea that saw this drink as mere fuel, ready to recharge the batteries of millions of people, and to oil, an American at the time. weather. , the cogs of capitalist hyperproductivity.

In this jump, specialty coffees were born in the east and west of the country, projects that not only have a barista to serve drinks derived from Espresso -Is cold infusions, to experiment with the X or Y method – or which are reserved for readers of Standardbut instead took on other roles in the channel.

So many of these coffees are also roasters and importers, it’s clear that where the beans come from matters as much as the communities that grow them.

Let’s start South Florida

When Leticia and Joel Pollock moved to Miami in the early 2000s, the city’s coffee scene was dominated by Cuban cafecitos.

There were few or no spaces dedicated to specialty coffees, so Panther Coffee was born as the perfect project to fill that space.

The first café opened its doors in Wynwood, this Miami district that has reinvented itself between still lifes to become a center of urban art and centers of consumption – restaurants, bars and cafes – which highlight their specialties.

Panther Coffee is to coffee what Mister O1 is to pizza and Zack the Baker is to bread, for example. The neighborhood accepted them, then the whole city.

Today, they have at least six branches where you can choose a bespoke cup of coffee: from the origin of the beans (the selection rotates, but there are fixed ones, such as one from a farm in Huehuetenango, Guatemala) and the method (chimex, nitro, cold brew, Espresso).

If you like coffee with a creamy texture, hints of chocolate and ripe cherries, try their Espresso from the east.

Representation above all

Women, immigrants, veterans, minorities and inclusion are the keywords of Mostra Coffee, a San Diego micro-roaster and café focused on the quality of life of its employees and a celebration of the Filipino heritage of its founders, Jelynn Malone and Beverly Magtanong.

Thus, some of their blends are made with varieties from the Philippines, a producing country that often goes unnoticed.

Although they also come from other producing countries such as El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Vietnam or Ethiopia (recommended if you like strawberry mochi notes in your coffee).

Their Bestseller It’s from Brazil, a blend of bourbon, catauí and mondo novo that delivers what a perfect cup of coffee has: acidity, smoothness and body, with a hint of dark chocolate.

The pionneers

Inteligetsia is one of the pioneering projects around specialty coffee in the United States —with a history that does not take us very far, until 1995—.

Doug Zell and Emily Mange started out short, in Chicago, where they carved out a niche with a small cafe in Lakeview, a Probat L12 roaster, and a mission to make their customers experience coffee not as a quick drink, but as a culinary experience. . .

It didn’t take long for the operation to grow weapons and have chefs, hotels and restaurants turning up to see them; Great Achatz, Rick Bayless, Nancy Silverton, to name a few, have already included Inteligetsia coffees on their menus.

Except for Las Vegas —sorry, not sorry— they now have operations in America’s favorite destinations — i.e. Los Angeles, New York, Austin, Chicago and Boston — in addition to a laboratory, extensive training programs and direct trade with 19 producing countries.

At Inteligetsia they create their own blends, they are extremely committed to fair trade and are obsessed with origin and seasonality, because contrary to what we imagined, coffee is not a fruit that is harvested all the time. year.

Their house blend is a great letter of introduction.

off road

Although thanks to online commerce you can try Spyhouse Coffee’s blends – Orion, the house blend, is the most popular of them all – their base of operations and cafes are strategically scattered throughout different neighborhoods in Minneapolis.

Among its recent collections are a number of coffees harvested by women, a group that makes up at least 70% of the coffee plantation workforce, but is underrepresented.

The most recent selection comes from Gayo Arabica Makhota, an Indonesian cooperative that brings together more than 550 farming families, including a subgroup of women.

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