All posts in St. Louis

  • Northwest Coffee Roasting in St. Louis, MO | Latte


    Northwest Coffee Roasting

    4251 Laclede Ave

    St. Louis, MO 63108


    I made my first trip to Northwest Coffee Roasting last Sunday to enjoy a late afternoon cup with a friend of mine. Unfortunately, they had already locked their doors at just after 3pm and I blame myself for driving 35 miles each way without checking their store hours. Regardless, the layout of Northwest Coffee was one that I hadn’t experienced before. Entering from off the street, large metal gate doors led you into a courtyard full of tables and quiet nooks for you to enjoy this perfect fall weather with a warm cup. They displayed great art pieces throughout the courtyard and I could tell right away why this hidden gem has made a name for themselves in the St. Louis community. The inside of the store was mostly taken up by their roasting facility which was in the wide open for customers to get an inside look of how their coffee is made. It is interesting to find out how many people still really don’t understand the long and expensive process that it takes to get their delicious “pick me ups” in the morning. I really appreciate when stores do their roasting on site, as it gives the customer the opportunity to investigate and see first hand how their coffee is being crafted. The roaster was hard at work with the Probat giving the store it’s own personal soundtrack of tumbling coffee beans inside of the chamber drum. I have been trying hard to scope out specialty and micro-roasted coffee shops in the St. Louis area and it has not been very easy so far. They have their large corporate roasterys that seem to be flooding coffee shops around town just as I have seen before in other cities. If anyone from Minneapolis is reading this article, please know that you have something very special happening in your city. The amount of independent roasters, and coffee shops at your disposal is something you will not be able to find everywhere. Get out there, try different shops and know that there are people dedicating their lives to the cup of coffee that gets your motor skills running on the daily. I ordered the latte from Northwest “for here” as I wanted to sit back and enjoy a read while I tried their coffee for the first time, but I received it in a paper cup. Call it pretentious if you’d like, but the experience for me is different when my $5 investment after tip is sitting a paper cup that is going to find it’s way to their trash can. Aside from that, the flavor of the latte was on point and definitely satisfied my 70 mile round trip drive to check out Northwest Coffee. The froth of the milk had great consistency and blended nicely with the brightness of their espresso. I was satisfied that the flavor of espresso didn’t get lost in the rest of the drink. This is a special location with a unique and creative atmosphere, and I hope everyone living in the area can get a chance to give it a try if they haven’t already. There is plenty of college students and populated shopping areas for this shop to capitalize on, and I am excited to make a trip back to learn a little more about this hidden gem in St. Louis.

  • Kaldi’s Coffee in Kirkwood, MO | Double Espresso


    Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co.

    120 S. Kirkwood Rd

    Kirkwood, MO 63122

    Double Espresso

    Wait a sec, why does this review say from Kirkwood, MO? Well, it is because I now live back in my hometown of St. Louis, MO to take my taste buds on a new venture and further my knowledge of coffee in other cities. The first stop that I knew I had to make was to Kaldi’s Coffee, which there are several locations stretching across the St. Louis surrounding area. Not only is Kaldi’s Coffee a staple in the coffee community here, they have made a name for themselves nationwide as one of the top coffee houses and micro roasters in the entire country. Their reputation as fine roasters and connoisseurs of specialty coffee does not stray them away from offering a great and relaxing environment of your everyday coffee shop. They offer tons of outdoor patio seating and a variety of choices on their menu. And hold your breath third wave experts, they have the word “grande” listed in their size choices. Too many fine coffee shops are straying away from the popularity of the customer who still wants a regular drip coffee or their mocha frappe, and could care less about what country, brewing process or other pretentious expertise that you are offering. I am not saying that these are the best traits to have as a coffee drinker, but there is no reason to single out the simplicity of just wanting some coffee. Nonetheless, it was nice to see a place with such a high reputation offering selections for all types of drinkers. The double espresso was everything I could have asked for. It was served along with a glass of sparkling water for the palette and some chocolate covered espresso beans to finish your shot off with a sweet finish. Lately, I’ve strayed away from enjoying an espresso that tries to be too sweet, and this shot had the perfect blend of a bite and a smooth “nutty” flavor that served well for this afternoon pick-me-up. I am going to enjoy diving head first into the coffee community that they have here and I hope to continue to learn more and share my experiences about the independently owned shops here in the St. Louis area.