Long time readers of The Compass will remember our first post highlighted an exciting new espresso bar in Downtown Louisville. That espresso bar, of course, was the third retail location for Louisville specialty coffee pioneers Sunergos Coffee. Just shy of 6 years later, the Sunergos retail family is growing again, though their fourth location couldn’t be a sharper contrast from the closet-sized standing room-only espresso bar, in the shadow of Michael Graves’s famed Humana Tower. Sunergos Norris place occupies a refurbished garage, in quiet Deer Park. We caught up with Sunergos’s co-owner Matthew Huested to find out how the project came together….
In a perfect world every espresso bar would be staffed with at least three baristas for maximum efficiency, but in the real world, lots of baristas are stuck working solo in non-peak hours. Luckily, latte art champion Ryan Soeder has you covered. Soeder is something of a work flow expert, and has the tattoo to prove it. …
Designer Tyler Deeb is no stranger to coffee. Before executing one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time, Deeb worked as a barista for Quills Coffee, where he cut his chops as a designer making t-shirts and Quills’s logo between lattes and pour-overs. It’s been a long time since Tyler has worked a bar shift, but his career came full circle with a recent project. We sat down with the Louisville-based designer and asked him to talk about the Madison Coffee & Tea, a stunning new café in Madison, Indiana.
We’re very familiar with the branding you’ve done for different coffee companies. Is this the first time you’ve designed an entire café space?
Yes! — Most coffee shops are rushing into opening the store on shoe-string budgets. Mike from Madison Coffee & Tea is smart business man. He made sure he …
Jesse Harriott is no stranger to long-time readers of The Coffee Compass. Jesse’s curriculum vitae reads like a greatest hits record: award winning coffee roaster, co-founder of America’s Best Coffee House Competition, and the fist person to ever represent Kentucky in a barista competition. In addition to being a specialty coffee mentor of ours, Jesse has conducted several interviews for the Compass, including with World Barista Champion Pete Licata. Now Jesse can add “founder of Copper Horse Coffee Roastery” to that list.
When I first heard that Jesse was leaving Sunergos Coffee to help start a new roastery in his native Ithaca, New York, I was ecstatic. Anyone who has met Jesse can testify to his skill and passion for roasting coffee. The sad reality that our close-knit coffee community in Louisville is losing one of its pillars has yet to set in, but anyone with Jesse’s giftings deserves to be at the helm of their own project.
The good news is that you can be one of the first people to try coffee roasted by Copper Horse by backing them on Kickstarter. I’ve got my eye on that Brazil Cup of Excellence winning coffee from producer Fazenda Recreio. Regardless, upstate New York should be excited to have another fantastic coffee roaster in the area.
We’re beyond chuffed to announce we wrote an article about the Louisville coffee community for Fresh Cup Magazine, which was published in their June issue. The article’s title, “The Kentucky Coffee Scene is Decadent and Delicious”, is an allusion to Louisville native Hunter S. Thompson’s famous essay about the 1970 Kentucky Derby. We shared some of the background behind Louisville’s burgeoning craft coffee culture and the shops that make it what it is today, including Sunergos, Quills, Argos Sons, and Gralehaus. Ben Willis of Firm Anchor Photography supplied the photos, which are gorgeous as always. You can read the story online or most likely in your local coffee shop.
The Coffee Compass exists to help you navigate the world of craft coffee. It just so happens that we live in Louisville, the home of the Kentucky Derby. If you’re in town for the Run for the Roses this year, we have a trifecta of coffee shops for you to visit, all surprisingly close to Churchill Downs.
Sunergos Coffee Espresso Bar and Roastery – Woodlawn
We love Sunergos. The business made its debut back in 2004 with the opening of its Preston location near UofL and now in 2013 has three Louisville locations. Their location closest to Churchill Downs, Sunergos Woodlawn, is nestled just south of the Watterson Expressway on a small business strip between 3rd street and Southern parkway. The shop is the main roasting headquarters and showcases what Sunergos is all about:
Throughout the life of Sunergos we have enjoyed participating in a diverse community of people who regularly come together around coffee. Out of the fabric of this daily coffee community, people have emerged to join us in our work, enriching and being enriched through working together. The work of Sunergos continues to grow as each person engages their craft, from the roastery to the espresso bar. – www.sunergoscoffee.com
The shop has a paddle-group La Marzocco Linea espresso machine, two Kompaq K10 grinders boasting one blend and one single origin espresso, manual pour-overs (Chemex or V60), and has two rotating Sunergos coffees on their Fetco automated drip brewer. There is plenty of seating and depending on how far away you park for Derby events, might just be within walking distance!…
In the wake of the Christmas coma-inducing materialism, we thought it would be good to break into the New Year with a product review. I’ve noticed that lugging the myriad of coffee apparatuses I own to work raises quite a few eyebrows. Generally my coworkers find it rather customary for brewing until they see my scale. Introduce a scale into your brew ensemble and you might as well have rolled up with Jesse Pinkman and a 5000mL round bottom boiling flask. Regardless, if you’re looking for God in a cup, you’ll need a good scale. Home coffee brewers are similar to aspiring home chefs. When you’re in the kitchen, weight wins, as New York Times writer Oliver Strand recently defends in his review of the V60 Drip Scale from Hario (just before the ‘Ristretto’ blog series was discontinued). Admittedly I haven’t used Mr. Strand’s recommendation, but one scale I can fully endorse is the American Weigh SC-2KG Digital Pocket Scale. It’s worthy of the awkward stares and hurled insults. Let he who is without scale cast the first stone.
Post written by Jesse Harriott
As a coffee enthusiast, I am super delighted to see the ever increasing recognition that coffee producers (fincas, fazendas, estates, co-ops et al.) receive for their hard work. Much of this is due to the increased efforts of coffee roasters and baristas to highlight the transparency of the coffee chain, foster direct relationships with producers and …
I once read about a group of bicycle messengers in New York City who held weekly bike races at a local velodrome. I was struck by the fact that these men and women work long, grueling hours riding a bike all day, only to ride bikes for fun in their spare time. They clearly have a passion for what they do that few people share. But if anyone shares a passion for their job, it’s baristas at craft coffee shops….
Louisville is a city that was built by the craft beverage industry. In another era, its location on the Ohio River made it the primary port for shipping bourbon across America. Recently it’s seen the burgeoning growth of a craft coffee community, featuring a slew of latte art throw downs, eccentric home roasters, and even the premier of a comic short film about barista culture. But perhaps the coffee community’s biggest step forward is a new concept espresso bar in the heart of downtown….