Columbus, Ohio might be the most American of all American cities. It’s a place where college football is a religion and girls still wear Abercrombie & Fitch (well the company is headquartered there anyway). Case in point, when Canadian coffee and donut chain Tim Horton’s decided to explore breaking into the American market, Columbus was their first destination. As Frank Sinatra once said, if you can make it in Columbus you can make it anywhere.
But beneath that All-American veneer, Columbus is home to a thriving independent counter-culture. With a food truck scene that rivals Portland and enough distilleries and breweries to send you to rehab, Columbus is a city bent on making itself a culinary destination. Coffee is no exception and the city boasts a number of roasters and cafés quietly putting out a quality product. One of those cafés is Mission Coffee Co.
Located just half a block from bustling High Street, Mission Coffee Co. is the sort of café only seasoned coffee veterans could open. The menu is simple; the bar flow is thoughtful; the atmosphere is elegant but comfortable. I find myself wishing Mission Coffee Co. was open when I lived in Columbus.
Mission Coffee Co. started as a multiroaster but recently began roasting their own coffee. It’s a bold move, getting your customers hooked on coffee from critically acclaimed roasters before switching to your own goods. Many shops have tried to make the leap and failed. Mission, however, is in good hands with head roaster Hans Hochstedler. Hans boasts years of coffee roasting experience, as shown by the sweet and syrupy shot I had of their house espresso blend.
Mission still offers a guest roaster and I also couldn’t pass up trying Ruby Coffee Roaster’s Reko, Ethiopia which I had as a pour-over. The Wisconsin-based company has developed a reputation for roasting excellent coffees and this one was no exception. It had all of the wonderful qualities I expect from a Ethiopia Yirgacheffee with a surprisingly delightful tropical fruit note. It’s a beautiful coffee that was wonderfully served.
On their website Mission Coffee Co. claims “Our purpose is to deliver excellence in everything that we do.” Based off my short visit I would say, “Mission accomplished.”