Annual Coffee Review: The Passion Continues to Grow.

Last year my focus was more on savoring the coffee and the experience then just trying to visit x amount of coffee shops and drink as much coffee as I could. I still managed to checkout many new spots around home and while traveling and returned back to favorites like Octane Coffee in Atlanta, The Wormhole Coffee in Chicago, Koffee Café in Cleveland and Rowster Coffee in Grand Rapids. New favorites emerged like Strange Matter Coffee in Lansing, Michigan, while others unfortunately closed like Glassbox Coffee & Juice in Ann Arbor.

The goal of experiencing different coffee brewing methods was a success both at home and on the road. Moving past the single cup pour over on the road, many coffees made via French Press, AeroPress and with a clever coffee dripper were enjoyed. I found myself taking to outside the norm combinations like espresso and Coke as well.

Atlanta's own @CocaCola with espresso shots. What you get is Ameri-cola from @OctaneCoffee yum!

A post shared by Aaron Cruz (@elatlboy) on

At home the coffee pot and Keurig were more-and-more being rotated out by the Chemex and single cup pour over. I even broke out the espresso machine at home to enjoy shots and start the process of learning how to make lattes.

Latte anyone? Cranking out the Sunday morning #coffee. #ilovecoffee

A post shared by Aaron Cruz (@elatlboy) on

That helped to meet the goal of enjoying a variety of lattes at home, as well as at indie coffee shops. The Lavender Latte has become my favorite. Latte art is still something I want to explore soon.

I’ve started interacting more with baristas, the owners of coffee shops and other coffee lovers. Questions are usually being asked while my drink was being made, while also striking up random conversations with other visitors. The favorite thing from that has been getting tips on coffee shops and other places to checkout in the area, usually unsolicited.

Lots of interaction with the coffee community has been done on Twitter and Instagram as well. A lot more of my coffee knowledge and experience is coming from social interaction, versus me researching in a silo online and picking places to go.

Lots of people post pictures of their coffee online these days as with anything else. I have and continue to try to come up with unique ways to photograph and present the coffee that is in front of me.

Looking ahead to the rest of this year, I look to expand my love of coffee by:

  • Getting the latte making process down and venturing into the latte art world.
  • Starting to make coffee via French Press and introduce other gadgets at home.
  • Learning more about where the coffee beans I experience come from.
  • Trying coffee beans from a variety of places. I’ve gotten a head start thanks to Pola of JettingAround who is sending me bags from different hot spots in Chicago.
  • Making coffee in mass. I’ve already gone out on the open road with my coffee gear, making one latte after another for a large party.
  • Enhancing the section on the blog dedicated to coffee, continuing to post my unique way of enjoying coffee.
  • Interacting even more online and in-person with the coffee community.
  • Hopefully returning to favorites like Press Coffee Bar in Dayton, Ohio, Stauf’s Coffee Roasters in Columbus, Ipsento Coffee in Chicago and Fourbarrel Coffee in San Francisco.

The passion for coffee continues to grow. Out on the open caffeinated road I go!

Do you have any recommendations or ideas on things I should try to take my passion to the next level?

5 responses to “Annual Coffee Review: The Passion Continues to Grow.

  1. Have you been to Portland, OR in your coffee travels?

    • I haven’t, but it’s definitely on my bucket list. Heard great things about the coffee scene there. Any recommendations on must stops?

      • Well, of course you need to visit Stumptown in SW, which is featured on Portlandia. Extracto is also a great place to go because of their unique brewing methods. So many to choose from!

  2. Looks like a great year for you in the java and travel realm. Keep going, with all that coffee in your system, I know you will 🙂

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