Category Archives: coffee shop

Chicago’s Sawada Coffee and Its Military Latte

Chicago and its coffee scene has been on the mind a lot lately. Its been a minute since I last experienced. A coffee drink that is near the forefront of my thoughts is the Instagram friendly and visually appealing Military Latte.

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop, Military Latte

The Military Latte is the creation of Sawada Coffee. I got my first experience of the West Loop neighborhood coffee gem on my most recent personal Chicago coffee crawl.

On an early morning I entered Sawada Coffee off North Green Street. I headed up a darken set of stairs that sat in the back of Hogsalt Hospitality’s Green Street Smoked Meats, for which this coffee shop is a part of. It’s kind of ironic that green is in the name of the restaurant.

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop

It was a happening West Loop scene as I waited my time to order from the true Americana themed counter. Sawada offers a variety of pour overs, other lattes, chais and espresso drinks. Those things hardly registered with me at the time though as it was going to be the Military Latte all the way.

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop

Tea-based latte? Coffee-based latte? How about both. Espresso and matcha working together. Add some vanilla syrup for sweetness, cocoa powder and with the green tea sitting amongst the foam you had a coffee presentation unmatched in the city. Back to the word green it is!

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop, Military Latte

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop, Military Latte

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop, Military Latte

I enjoyed the unique goodness amongst all the twinkling lights hanging from the ceiling in the aesthetically pleasing coffee shop.

Sawada is named after its founder Hiroshi Sawada who also owns five coffee chops in Japan (making note) and is a World Champion Latte artist. I can easily see why. The Military Latte is not all looks though. It has all the substance and the unique flavor one could only want in a latte. I sipped slowly after my photo shoot. No worries I did drink it hot!

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop, Military Latte

I look forward to getting back to Sawada Coffee, other favorite spots and exploring more of the Chicago coffee scene again soon. Military Latte cheers to all!

Sawada Coffee, Chicago, West Loop, Military Latte

You can find Sawada Coffee on Instagram.

Which Chicago coffee shops do you have fond memories of and would recommend checking out?

Tech-ing It up at Octane Coffee Bar in Atlanta

My brother and I were driving around the Buckhead part of Atlanta in the early evening recently and were looking for a coffee shop to check out. I knew there was an Octane Coffee / Bar in the area, and having been to their Grant Park location on several occasions, knew I could expect a good coffee and experience.

Octane Coffee Bar in Atlanta Tech Village, Buckhead, Atlanta

This Octane Coffee location sits on the first floor within the happening Atlanta Tech Village. We could feel the entrepreneurial and tech startup vibes both in- and outside of the brightly lit shop. There were lots of open laptops throughout the first floor and a mixer starting next store, as we walked into Octane right before close.

Octane Coffee Bar in Atlanta Tech Village, Buckhead, Atlanta

Octane Coffee Bar in Atlanta Tech Village, Buckhead, Atlanta

Octane Coffee Bar in Atlanta Tech Village, Buckhead, Atlanta

Being Happy Hour my brother enjoyed one of their cocktail offerings. I of course went the coffee route, going with a basic latte. Just what I came to expect!

Octane Coffee Bar in Atlanta Tech Village, Buckhead, Atlanta

Octane Coffee Bar in Atlanta Tech Village, Buckhead, Atlanta

Octane Coffee Bar in Atlanta Tech Village, Buckhead, Atlanta

Octane was recently bought by southern based coffee roaster and retailer Revelator Coffee. Thus I saw ready to purchase coffee beans from both brands. Think that might be enough to last me a few days.

Octane Coffee Bar in Atlanta Tech Village, Buckhead, Atlanta

Additional tips:

  • This location follows more traditional business hours closing at 5pm or earlier each day.
  • Deck parking, which is connected to the village, is available for Octane Coffee customers.
  • If Espresso Cola is on the menu, order!

You can find Octane Coffee in the Atlanta Tech Village on Instagram. Likewise for Revelator Coffee. It was a great first experience at this Octane Coffee / Bar location.

Octane Coffee Bar in Atlanta Tech Village, Buckhead, Atlanta

What are some of your favorite coffee shops in Atlanta?

Back to Condesa Coffee in Atlanta I Go

Whenever I am in town a must visit Atlanta coffee shop is Condesa Coffee in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. I highlighted Condesa Coffee in a post years ago having spent time there with my dad. I went there with my brother recently and captured a few more photos I’d like to share.

Condesa Coffee, Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta coffee shop

Condesa Coffee, Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta coffee shop

Condesa Coffee, Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta coffee shop

Condesa Coffee, Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta coffee shop

Latte at Condesa Coffee in Atlanta

Latte at Condesa Coffee in Atlanta

Latte at Condesa Coffee in Atlanta

A Latte and Cortado made from Counter Culture coffee beans, along with an almond croissant were enjoyed by my brother and I on this visit. Delicious as always. He was impressed as we hung out amongst the moden and cozy atmosphere. A little time on the large outside patio was had as well.

Tip: Parking can be tricky. I usually park along John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE which runs alongside.

Latte and Cortado coffee at Condesa Coffee in Atlanta

Condesa Coffee, Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta coffee shop

Condesa Coffee, Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta coffee shop

You can see part of Atlanta’s skyline just outside of Condesa Coffee, which is what I have captured in the past. I took that one step further this time. Before or after you visit this Atlanta indie coffee shop, make sure to walk one block over to one of Atlanta’s most Instagramable places, Jackson Street Bridge. The heart of the Downtown skyline and a scene familiar to Walking Dead fans will be front-and-center.

Downtown Atlanta skyline, Jackson Street Bridge, Old Fourth Ward neighborhood

See you again soon Condesa Coffee. Still need to check out their other location in Downtown. Who knows what fellow coffee lover I’ll take with me next time!

Checkout my previous post on Condesa Coffee: An Atlanta Coffee, Skyline View and More at Condesa.

You can find Condesa Coffee on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What other Atlanta coffee shops would you recommend checking out?

Coffee-ing it up at Spiller Park Coffee in Atlanta

It was a recent early morning in the ATL as my brother and I headed to the Toco Hills part of town. The destination was a recent addition to the rapidly expanding Atlanta coffee shop scene, Spiller Park Coffee.

Spiller Park Coffee, Toco Hills, Atlanta

Upon arriving in this northeastern Atlanta neighborhood we immediately noticed the vast and colorful outdoor seating. The shop sits within the Toco Hills shopping center so parking was aplenty. I noticed the vast garage door in front, which provides a lot of fresh air and light on warm sunny days. We were bundled up this morning so.

Spiller Park Coffee, Toco Hills, Atlanta coffee shop

We sat amongst the modern shop and quiet vibe. You had a mix of people working on their laptops and others enjoying breakfast. This was a true neighborhood shop, with most people were getting their order “for here”. The baristas were nice and engaging. We talked about coffee and other shops as our coffees were coming to life.

Tip: Spiller Park Coffee’s original location is a permanent kiosk, more for the to-go crowd, within Ponce City Market. On the list to experience soon!

Spiller Park Coffee, craft coffee shop in Atlanta, Georgia

Up first was a Macchiato. Creamy, smooth and picturesque!

Spiller Park Coffee, latte, Atlanta

Spiller Park Coffee, latte, Atlanta

Spiller Park Coffee offers a variety of rotating seasonal beans. I next went with a Guatemalan pour over made with San Francisco based roaster The Tide Coffee (Four Barrel Coffee) coffee beans. My experience was both flavorful and balanced. In general I highly recommend a pour over no matter the roaster. The extra few minutes it takes to make are so worth it.

Spiller Park Coffee, pour over coffee - Atlanta, Georgia

Spiller Park Coffee, pour over coffee - Atlanta, Georgia

I went with a liquid, coffee only breakfast getting properly caffeinated! My brother decided to experience the infamous toast. He topped it with avocado and fried egg and was thoroughly impressed. Just seeing the presentation alone was enough for me to know the quality of.

Spiller Park Coffee, toast with avocado and fried egg - Atlanta, Georgia

Spiller Park Coffee offers a variety of espresso and tea drinks, along with hot chocolate, chai lattes and more. THe food menu varies between the two locations. Here in Toco Hills you can get a variety of their toast offerings along with yogurt and fruit.

Spiller Park Coffee - Atlanta, Georgia

Spiller Park Coffee, latte, Atlanta

You can find Spiller Park Coffee on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you are ever around the Toco Hills neighborhood, I highly recommend checking out this Atlanta coffee shop.

The 2017 Coffee Moment(s) for Me

Happy Holidays everyone! We have almost reached the end of another calendar year. 2017, as with every year before it, brought a lot of coffee consumption and time in coffee shops. Siphons, Ethiopian V60 pour overs, flavored lattes, coffee cocktails and a lot more coffee was consumed from all around Ann Arbor and Michigan, Northwest Ohio, Atlanta and Las Vegas.

The year in coffee is highlighted in the short Flipagram video below. I love the song I used last year, “Coffee Shop” by Gorilla Zoe, so it is making another appearance. The cover photo honor this year says it all. “Coffee” is spelled out front-and-center on the building upon approach. I get goosebumps every time I see that magical word like I did here at Milan Coffee Works in Milan, Michigan.

As I mentioned a lot of time was spent in Ann Arbor drinking coffee. This year to go along with The Adventures of elATLboy Instagram, many of the photos come from Coffee Ann Arbor. I started this venture on January 1st. The goal is to highlight everything that college town Ann Arbor and the surrounding area has to offer to terms of coffee.

Too many more coffees in 2018! I look forward to seeing you all in Ann Arbor and out on the caffeinated open road. Cheers! Aaron

Check out the great coffee moments from last year in The 2016 Coffee Moment(s) for Me.