Wednesday, June 09, 2010

CC: Alterra Coffee

What's does "CC" mean?

Alterra Coffee
Location visited: Milwaukee, WI
(Alterra at the Lake location)
Free WiFi ? : sometimes
6+ [
see key]

How I love a warm day along a lake, especially when its relatively tranquil and I can count the number of noises on one hand. Aside from a chipper leprechaun handing me his pot of gold, the only thing I that could add to such a nice location would be a well-placed cafe.

Of course, Milwaukee (one of my new favorite cities) boasts an Alterra Coffee location in a converted flushing station along Lake Michigan. When I first laid eyes on its beautiful architecture, exterior park-like grounds and wondrous placement along the lake, I knew this place must be a gold mine even if they served aged puddle water and horse cheese. Inside it got even better, with a gorgeous atrium consisting of multiple levels of rustic furniture and the most merchandise I have ever seen for one coffee entity.

Alterra has been on my list to try for some time, as they've managed to elude me through my many travels. After waiting amidst the late morning coffee rush, I ordered myself an espresso (I believe of their Espresso Toro) and a drip of the Ethiopian. The espresso, pulled short with a nice marbled crema, held notes of blood orange, cocoa, a cranberry-based cocktail, a little portabello and a speckle of sage. To put it simply, it was good espresso, though it leaned a little sour. The Ethiopian coffee demonstrated a grassy cup followed with honey, grape, some earthiness, a bit of a saucy aura and some spice cake. As for my experience with Ethiopians, this coffee had much less acidity than I would expect, but other than that, it was good. The tea was free leaf.

Not able to hang out long, I would have say my trip to Alterra on the Lake was almost without blemish (their no free WIFI after 12 PM caught me at a slight inconvenience). While the selection of amazing coffee in Milwaukee is intimidating, if you don't need WIFI, this place has a location that will make you weep with elation, so do stop in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In as much as you are (seemingly) a huge fan of Alterra - I was wondering if you might know of a support group in Milwaukee for post-Alterra employees? There is no denying their coffee is topnotch. But I know firsthand that the 'public image & culture of Alterra" does not match the reality of what it's like to work at & for Alterra. The owners didn't get where they are by taking financial advantage of the poor coffee growers - instead, they got rich on the backs of all their local employees- past & present. That's the dirty little secret about Alterra- everybody equates how good their coffee is with how good they are as people, and as an employer. But they aren't. In fact, the only thing that matters to them is money- not loyalty, committment, friendship, or hard work. And there are plenty of former employees that HATE Alterra for screwing them over. If there isn't a support group for post-Alterrians, then there should be.