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Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in Blog, Local Coffeehouse Visit, The Local Coffeehouse Guide Facebook Page | 1 comment

Sweet Grass Market in Walden Colorado

Walden in north central Colorado is a town with a population of under 585 people and is the largest municipality in Jackson County. A small town just shy of the Wyoming border. I was passing through from Steamboat Springs, CO, through Poudre Canyon to Ft. Collins, CO when I saw the store and took a u-turn on Main.

Sweet Grass Market, Walden, CO

Sweet Grass Market, Walden, CO

 

Sweet Grass is the liveliest little place in town with coffee and burritos for customers like me, feed for some of the locals. YUP! It’s a coffeehouse and feed store! Not to mention a few other gadgets around available for purchase like stained glass and beautiful framed photographs of animals.

Deb McGlaughlin started the business in 2012. She donates a majority of her profits to the North Park Wildlife Rehabilitation center, which she manages. She has a passion not only for community but for small and large animals that are injured, usually on the roadways. Most of the injured animals are birds like eagles and owls. 

Pop in and visit them … and tell them I said “hi”!

Lisa

Sweet Grass Market
420 Main Street
Walden, CO 80480
(970) 723-4033
www.sweetgrassmarket.net
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Posted by on Sep 21, 2013 in Blog, Coffee News, Lisa's videos, Local Coffeehouse Visit | 0 comments

Coal Creek Coffee, Laramie, WY

First stop on my indie coffee road trip: Laramie, WY

“Home to Malcontents, Revolutionaries, and Do-Gooders of all types” is on the door.. A grand description of many coffeehouses I’d say, as they have historically attracted people that gather for the greater good.

Coal Creek Coffee Company has been part of downtown Laramie‘s landscape since 1993; an old-timer in the industry by U.S. standards. The founder is local entrepreneur, John Guerin. According to another John, one of his three employees behind the counter today, the owner is passionate about coffee and owns two coffeehouses and a roastery also in Laramie. But it doesn’t stop there … Founder-John also loves to bake tasty sweets like homemade graham crackers drizzled with dark chocolate, granola and cookies to name a few of the tempting treats behind the glass.

Next on his list of loves is brewing beer and is in the process of opening a brew pub next door to the coffeehouse on Grand and the railroad tracks … does this guy have it goin’ on or what? His business partner and wife is Jodi Guerin … A fellow Sister of mine with Sisters in the Fly!  I love the synchronicity!

I just had to post a photo of their retro Elektra espresso machine … wow!

It is a Saturday afternoon with bright blue skies and a crisp, almost-autumn breeze swirling through town. the customers I see are musicians, students, local homeless, young families, and a Tibetan monk. All are welcome and comfortable here.

My drink of choice? … a made from scratch iced chai!

by Lisa via PressSync

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Posted by on Sep 15, 2012 in Blog, Local Coffeehouse Visit | 2 comments

Wild-Flour Bakery, Cafe & Espresso, Lead SD

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This space used to be an Eagles Lodge once upon a time and now is home to a fabulous bakery owned by a mother-daughter team.  Mom was baking in the kitchen and her daughter The space is large enough to house the entire Denver Broncos football team and they have the sweets to satisfy their taste buds.  My favorite was the cinnamon and sugar raised twists …. just like my grandma on my mother’s side used to make at her bakery in Glendale, AZ.

My father, Fred, was raised here in Lead, South Dakota.  I remember when it was a community full of people going places and doing things.  The economy started to slow down when they legalized gambling in Deadwood, its sister town, but it came to a screeching halt when the Homestake Gold Mine closed in 2002.  Now Downtown Lead only gets a few visitors as they are passing through exploring the Black Hills.

This local family took a leap of faith and decided it would be a good time to invest in a business.  And they are not alone.   A block or so down the street is a building that will house a micro-brewery to be started by a family from Oregon.  Then a block from that is the old Masonic Lodge, the one my grandfather and grandmother were members of for decades.

Today is auction day at the Lodge and the streets are lined with cars.  The building and all of its’ belongings were sold to Dakota Plains Auctions as their new primary location for their very successful family business.

As you can see, things are starting to stir again in Lead.   I love that my Dad’s hometown is making a resurgence!

Lovin’  life, Lisa

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Posted by on Sep 10, 2012 in Blog, Coffee News, Local Coffeehouse Visit | 0 comments

Bluebird Cafe, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Andy lives and breathes organics!   He bakes gluten-free delicacies in his on-site kitchen and roasts his single-origin beans with great dare.  His roaster is at a special location where he can

My sister and I shared his Green Chili Quiche with a GF crust to go along with our rich and delicious americanos.  Gotta tell you, that a week later, I STILL desire the taste of the quiche in my mouth … MmmmmMmm!

Toward the back of the space is a large community table with a LARGE coffee  mug, too.  Betcha I could drink that whole thing full of his Silver Sky Coffee!  

Find out more about his coffee at www.SilverSkyCoffee.com

Visit his shop:
Bluebird Cafe
730 Grand Avenue
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
(970) 384-2024
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Posted by on Mar 21, 2012 in Blog, Coffee News, Local Coffeehouse Visit | 0 comments

A “soccer blogger” speaks about local, independent #coffeehouses and roasters in the US!

MLS Mornings: Pre-Game Roasts & Brews

Eric Giardini spills the beans on what should be in your mug….the first in TSG’s MLS Travel Series

It’s 7:00 in the morning and you’re settling in on the couch to begin a long day of soccer viewing.

What are you reaching for?

If you are like me, perhaps 7:00 is a bit too early for beer (and if it isn’t, you are my hero).

Perhaps you need something else. Something that can wake you up for a long morning and afternoon of games.

Or, if you’ve ever road tripped to see your club or national team play and have had to leave first thing in the morning, what are you in need of? If you are anything like me, you are reaching for a cup of coffee.

Coffee, much like beer, has undergone a revolution in recent years. Gone are the days of the giant tubs of pre-ground coffee, scooping it into a machine and hitting “Brew.” Coffee is becoming more and more like beer with localized roasters fine-tuning their craft around the country, which allows for a higher quality, fresher product.

And so, piggybacking off the success of any of the beer focused pieces we’ve done in the past, we though we’d reach out to local roasters in cities with MLS clubs and compile a list of those doing great things with coffee.

Our goal is to provide a resource for places to grab a cup when in town for a match, or beans to brew at home. We contacted roasters in each of the 19 MLS cities and, while we weren’t able to hear back from all of them, we had quite a few that were more than happy to participate and were gracious enough to send samples. It was a difficult task drinking fantastic coffee every morning from some of the best roasters around, but I did it for you.

(Also, I’m not a professional taster so forgive my amateur tasting notes. Thank you in advance.)

Eastern Conference

Philadelphia: Old City Coffee

Founded in 1984, these guys have been a staple in the Philly coffee scene for 27 years. Roasting in small batches guarantees that the freshest coffee will be available at either of their two café locations in Philadelphia. I was fortunate enough to be able to taste their best selling Old City Blend coffee, and I can see why they sell so much of it. The Old City Blend nicely combined the earthiness that South American beans tend to give with the more floral, citrus notes of Ethiopian beans. If you find yourself in the Old City District of Philadelphia, stop by their location on Church Street.

Kansas City: PT’s Coffee

While technically not in Kansas City, we would have been remiss to leave out a former Roast Magazine Roaster of the Year out of Topeka. After beginning as a single café in 1993, PT’s has grown and supplies coffee around the country. Of the coffees we were able to try, the Guatemala Finca El Injerto was my favorite. The caramel and chocolate flavors were pronounced; yet overall the coffee remained round and well balanced.

And to tie this into soccer, PT’s has partnered with the Prodigy Youth Soccer Association in Topeka to help Topeka-area youth soccer players receive the funding to offset annual dues. Through the sales of Flor del Sol, PT’s hopes to raise $1500 for the Jon Kaspar Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of a former barista and soccer player in the Prodigy Soccer set up. The Flor del Sol is only available for a limited time, so if you are into great coffee and helping youth soccer players and their families, act quickly. I know I will.

Houston: Java Pura

With five cafes in the Houston area, there are plenty of locations for Houston coffee drinkers to find Java Pura. Named the Best Coffee Roaster in Houston by the Houston Press, Java Pura’s mission is to provide drinkers the freshest, locally roasted coffee possible. Many of their coffees are Fair Trade and organic. The Costa Rica “Don Teofilo” was sampled and the earthy, nutty aroma was balanced with chocolate and citrus flavors to create a very enjoyable cup.

Western Conference

Portland: Stumptown Coffee; Public Domain Coffee

Not surprisingly, two roasters from Portland participated in our guide. Stumptown is a fairly easy-to-find coffee that can be purchased by the bag across the country, and they have cafés in Portland, Seattle, and New York City. The Hair Bender blend is their most popular coffee and most versatile as it worked well in my French Press or as espresso.

Public Domain has been in business for 40 years providing quality coffee in downtown Portland. Their Guatemala Finca Santa Felisa coffee was a favorite with a fruity, berry-like flavor that created a smooth cup that made getting up early to watch a 0-0 draw a little more palatable.

Seattle: Victrola Coffee

Recently named by Food & Wine magazine as having one of the country’s best cafés, Victrola Coffee has been providing Seattleites coffee since 2000 and have been roasting their own on site since 2003. I tasted the Finca Vista Hermosa coffee from Guatemala and was impressed by the chocolaty, nutty flavors that were present in each cup.

Surprise brew!

Colorado: Novo Coffee

Not knowing this ahead of time, we hit the jackpot with Novo Coffee out of Denver.

Not only has their coffee and café been recognized by Denver Magazine as one of the Top 100 Things to Taste in Denver, by Westword as the Best Local Roaster in 2011, AND as one of the Top 10 Boutique Coffee Shops in America according to Bon Appetit, but Jake Brodsky, one of the owners/co-founders, is also a self-described “huge soccer fan.” After finishing his collegiate career at UMASS, Jake played semi-pro soccer in Colorado, where he was able to train with the Rapids and Arizona. After “retiring” in 2002, he started Novo but still plays in a weekend men’s league in Denver. Both of the coffees sampled (an Ethiopian and Columbian) were fantastic and it was easy to see why Novo is held in such high regard around the country.

Los Angeles: Handsome Coffee

Last, but certainly not least, we have a roaster worthy of the city that’s home to the defending MLS champions. Three guys who’ve been around the coffee business in locations across the country formed Handsome Coffee in 2011, and only the Galaxy’s Big Three of Donovan, Beckham, and Keane only dwarfed this partnership in media exposure. They had garnered such a reputation built upon social media and coffee blogs that I was a little skeptical of whether their coffee would be any good. My skepticism proved to be misguided, as the coffee is good, very good. Their first café in the Arts District of Los Angeles opened earlier this month and heavy lines are the norm. Don’t worry, like everyplace else on this list, you can order online from their site

This is by no means an all-encompassing list of the roasters in every MLS city, or even all of the roasters within the cities highlighted. We tried our best to reach out to at least one business in each location, and sometimes we were lucky – other times we weren’t. If you know of any that I may have missed, please add them into the comments section. This also goes for little coffee shops, cafés, and breakfast joints. Our ultimate goal was to create a communally developed source of information for supporters traveling to see their teams play. Enjoy!

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