Friday, July 21, 2017

Big Shoulders Coffee

Subject: Big Shoulders Coffee
Location: Chicago, IL
WiFi?: yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

In the oppressive heat of summer, I like to look back to the chilly adventures of winter past. One of my recent favorites was to Chicago's River West section of town, over to a corner coffee roaster named Big Shoulders Coffee.

Billed as "no-nonsense artisan coffee," I was curious to see whether that meant a Popeye (the sailor man) approach (which would make sense with a name like Big Shoulders) or if it simply meant that they're aiming to do excellent coffee without any smoke and/or mirrors. When I arrived, I did not notice any gruff seamen or women with anchors on giant arms, so I assumed it likely meant they were just about the excellent coffee without the pretense. 

The cafe itself has a gorgeous wall of windows overlooking a six-point crossroads. Inside the shop is decorated in a clean, serene manner with warm lighting and a well-arrayed floor plan. As for the coffee, they roast right in the shop, offering seasonal offerings that have scored well with patrons and coffee snobs alike. That morning, I ordered up an espresso of their espresso blend (upon further questioning, I was told it contained coffee from Uganda and a few other origins) and a pourover of an Ethiopian Sidamo. The espresso, pulled medium/long with light brown crema, tasted of cream, chocolate, pepper, corn chip and a little tobacco, proving sweet and creamy, though also slightly astringent. The pourover proved nearly the opposite, resonating out bright, fruity cherry tongue fireworks as well as complimenting notes of wheat ale, hibiscus, cocoa, cream and black tea, all in a light body. 

In summation, I enjoyed the new experience with Big Shoulders and greatly look to revisit their coffee offerings in the future. If you happen to be in Chicago or you're looking to order some Chicago-roasted coffee, check out Big Shoulders Coffee.

These wonderful folks made this visit possible in part. Make sure to check them out!

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