madcap coffee

Build-Outs Of Summer: Canary Coffee Bar In Milwaukee, WI

By barista guild, Build-Outs Of Summer, Cafes, Canary Coffee Bar, colin whitcomb, curtis, Emily Whitcomb, la marzocco linea pb, madcap coffee, mahlkonig, milwaukee, North America, Optipure, Places, SCA, Snowdrift Coffee, Staff Picks, USA, Wisconsin

canary coffee bar milwaukee wisconsin

If there was a race for best coffee cities in America that no one really talks about, Milwaukee would be up in the front of the pack. Sure, Los Angeles, Portland, and New York City have great coffee scenes worthy of the press they receive, but there’s some homegrown excellence in the MKE, which really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise in a town counting both Brew City and Cream City amongst its nicknames. And thanks to Colin and Emily Whitcomb of Canary Coffee Bar, there’s another cafe to add to the city’s already stacked line-up.

For many, the name Colin Whitcomb will ring familiar. Formerly with Madcap Coffee, Colin is a member of the Barista Guild‘s Executive Council and can frequently be heard giving live commentary of the US Barista Championships for the SCA. He’s even done a little live tweeting over on Sprudge Live. But even as a recognizable figure in the national coffee conversation, Colin, along with his wife Emily, are focusing their efforts locally.

With Canary, the Whitcombs are hoping to appeal to as broad a coffee audience as possible instead of dogmatically beating the light-roast drum. Their hope is by bringing more folks into the fold, a brighter, more sustainable future for coffee will lay ahead. Sustainability through approachability, it’s a worthy goal and it’s what Canary Coffee Bar in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is all about.

The 2019 Build-Outs of Summer is presented by Pacific Barista SeriesnotNeutralKeepCup, and Mill City Roasters.

As told to Sprudge by Colin Whitcomb.

For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?

We are a coffee bar owned by Colin and Emily Whitcomb, located in downtown Milwaukee.

Can you tell us a bit about the new space?

We are renting a space in what was originally the Hotel Wisconsin, open in 1913. The Hotel Wisconsin was a fixture in Milwaukee for decades before languishing into a residential-hotel. In 2003 is was converted to apartments. Our space has been empty since that time—west of the river in downtown Milwaukee has only recently attracted new businesses. We opted for a cosy (for MKE) 1,250 sq/ft. Half the floors have original terrazzo tile, the ceilings are 18ft high, but unfortunately there isn’t as much to retain of the original space as one might hope—the original wood paneling on the walls is long gone. We will have blue velvet stools at the counter, wood and resin cafe tables, black leather bucket chairs, and some fun hoop chandeliers. Our hope is to create a space that zigs when they zag, so to speak, looking to capture an aesthetic is that urban, yet comfortable. Nearby are offices mostly, but we have a park across the street, and are next to the old Grand Ave Mall, which is now becoming a food hall.

canary coffee bar milwaukee wisconsin

What’s your approach to coffee?

To make a welcoming environment first. Barista skills and coffee knowledge will be tools that we can use to help people connect to our product, but not our raison d’être. Our offerings will include coffee flavors that span the range of what coffee can display: dark, aromatic, fruity, balanced, etc. I’m completely exhausted with telling people which coffees I like, let alone which coffee they should get off a menu of light-roasted coffees when they expressed another preference. Instead, we’ll try to celebrate many coffee styles. I’m totally freaked about the future of coffee. I hope that a larger menu of coffees will allow us to convey the message that all coffee has value.

Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?

La Marzocco Linea PB, Mahlkönig EK43 and PEAKs, Curtis brewer and two Gold Cups, Optipure water filtration—good tools to get the job done. Madcap Coffee and Snowdrift are two roasters we will work closely with. Our hope is to work with Ant and Rita at Snowdrift to select some coffees that they will roast for us (that’s their model, not something we asked for).

How is your project considering sustainability?

Sustainability has many aspects. We will of course be looking to compost, and our roasting partners have commitments to sustainability in their operations. We’re also interested in the sustainability of coffee, and as naive as it may sound, we hope that by charging more and paying more for coffee we can contribute to a more equitable coffee supply chain. Finally, we have goals to try and make someone’s time as a barista as sustainable as possible. However, we can’t do any of that without a sustainable business first, so we will be looking to wow as many customers as possible, with the idea that without profitability we are unable to contribute to wider sustainability goals.

canary coffee bar milwaukee wisconsin

canary coffee bar milwaukee wisconsin

What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?

July 2019

Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?

Andrew and Marysol Whitcomb are our design team.

Thank you!

It’s super scary to put Canary, as we call it, and all these ideas out there. However, we hope to have a place in the specialty coffee world, and we’re excited to be part of a generation of coffee shops that are looking ever forward. I sincerely appreciate the interest.

canary coffee bar milwaukee wisconsin

Canary Coffee Bar is located at 720 N. Old World 3rd St., Milwaukee. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

The Build-Outs Of Summer is an annual series on Sprudge. Live the thrill of the build all summer long in our Build-Outs feature hub.

Photos by April Larson.

The post Build-Outs Of Summer: Canary Coffee Bar In Milwaukee, WI appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

The Sprudge Coffee Guide To Washington, DC

By A Baked Joint, Brandywine Coffee Roasters, Cafes, chemex, city guide, coava coffee roasters, Colony Club, counter culture, dc, district of columbia, Featured, Fox Loves Taco, Guides, Heart Coffee Roasters, Kalita Wave, Kintsugi Cafe, madcap coffee, Passenger Coffee, peregrine espresso, red rooster coffee, Sey Coffee, slayer, Slipstream, Small Planes Coffee, the coffee bar, The Wydown Coffee Bar, Tryst, washington, Washington DC

Washington, DC is a complicated city, the capital of a complicated country. But despite what lore may tell you—it’s not all politicians, diplomats, and monuments here. Indeed, it’s a thriving city with no shortage of diverse food, and more recently, coffee options. Whatever your pleasure, DC’s coffee scene has grown into a landscape where anyone of any leaning can find the right drink in the right place. Here are some of the options.

washington dc coffee guide


A comfortably hip coffee and cocktail bar, Slipsteam is the perfect place to grab a light meal, a pick-me-up, or a nightcap. Dimly lit and sleek in design, the busy pace of this cafe is betrayed by its intimate feeling. The folks at Slipstream aim to make specialty coffee accessible to everyone. The coffee menu is clear and concise, divided into four distinct categories: Comfort, Bright, Fruit, and Floral. Madcap Coffee provides the house beans and additional guest roasters appear on the shelves frequently. Expect the clientele to be hunched over laptops during the first half of the day and having lively conversations in the evenings.

Slipstream has multiple locations throughout Washington, DC. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


washington dc coffee guide

Colony Club

Capitalizing on cool, the Colony Club is an inviting coffee and cocktail bar with room to stretch out. The space itself is long and thin but boasts a second floor as well as ample outdoor seating. Most of the tables are communal which allows a more social experience than many modern coffeehouses. Sey Coffee fuels the batch brew and Heart Coffee Roasters the espresso. Pour-overs are available via Kalita Wave, or get a Chemex to share. If you’re a ping pong enthusiast, you’ll be happy to find a table upstairs for your enjoyment. Vibrant, energetic, and youthful, those lucky enough to live near the Colony Club have a stellar way to start and end their day.

Colony Club is located at 3118 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.


washington dc coffee guide

Fox Loves Taco

Earning points for having the best combination of things ever, Fox Loves Taco is a cafe with solid coffee and delectable tacos on the menu (featured here as part of Sprudge’s Build-Outs of Summer). Located by the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, this cafe offers its own divine experience.

washington dc coffee guide

The coffee program features Coava Coffee Roasters and Brandywine Coffee Roasters. The space is bright and cozy, and as makes perfect sense for an espresso bar/taqueria—is also shared with a bike shop. Sipping on an espresso while enjoying a smoked tofu taco will make you feel as warm and fuzzy as the shop’s namesake.

Fox Loves Taco is located at 716 Monroe St NE in Washington, DC. Check out their official website and find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


washington dc coffee guide

Peregrine Espresso

Considered by many to be the area standard, Peregrine Espresso carries the torch of Washington, DC coffee culture in a steady hand. The company was born from a cafe love story and since 2008 the married owners have grown the business to three cafes and a sister roasting company, Small Planes Coffee, whose coffee is served in many of the surrounding coffeehouses. If you need a good cup of coffee and Peregrine Espresso is nearby, know that you are in good hands at any Peregrine location.

Peregrine Espresso has multiple locations around Washington, DC. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


washington dc coffee guide

The Coffee Bar

As the coffee industry grows and changes, many are trying to shed the image of the surly barista. It sounds like a small thing, but bad customer service can make even the best of coffees taste sour, which is why The Coffee Bar’s friendly staff struck me. They greeted patrons with a smile and were engaged throughout each interaction. Their Shaw area cafe is eclectic and bright, full of reclaimed artifacts and whimsical decorations. A multi-roaster cafe that features up to four roasters at a time, those who frequent The Coffee Bar are unlikely to get bored.

The Coffee Bar has multiple locations around Washington, DC. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


washington dc coffee guide

A Baked Joint

High-energy A Baked Joint is a serious bakery with a serious coffee program. A spinoff of popular DC cupcake-and-coffee spot Baked & Wired, A Baked Joint is an experience all its own. The focus on food (there’s a full bread menu, along with breakfast, lunch, and pizza) is well met by a slate of quality coffee drinks, which includes a selection of boozy buzzes as well. The space is big, with tables and standing counters near the front and a comfy lounge area toward the back. It’s hard to pigeonhole the vibe of A Baked Joint, but you’ll find this place bouncing at all hours.

A Baked Joint is located at 440 K St NW, Washington, DC. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


washington dc coffee guide

Kintsugi Cafe

If you’re looking for a beautiful experience for both your eyes and your palate, this hotel cafe should be your next stop. Named after the art of repairing broken pottery with gold-infused lacquer, Kintsugi pays homage to creation through destruction. The design is sleek, with accents of black, gold, and polished wood—echoed in the Slayer espresso machine on the counter. Coffee is provided by Red Rooster Coffee of nearby Virginia. Treating yourself to an espresso here will make you feel both elegant and hip.

Kintsugi Cafe is located at 1201 K St NW 1st Floor, Washington, DC. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.


washington dc coffee guide


Known as DC’s living room, this 20-year-old institution has seen many a dissertation written, cured numerous hangovers, and been a home away from home to countless people. This huge, packed cafe is loaded with comfy couches and easy chairs, numerous laptops, animated conversations, and Counter Culture Coffee. Coffeehouses like this awaken long-forgotten desires to be a member of the Friends crew at Central Perk—but in DC, and real life. Equal parts cafe, restaurant, and bar, Tryst has all your needs covered.

Tryst is located at 2459 18th St NW, Washington, DC. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.


washington dc coffee guide

The Wydown Coffee Bar

Beautifully designed, hospitality-driven, and perpetually bustling, The Wydown Coffee Bar on 14th Street seems to be everyone’s pet favorite coffee shop. From the line out to the sidewalk, you might assume that a small coffee counter hides behind its doors, but inside you’ll find multiple baristas manning pour-over stations, dual espresso machines, and an appetizing spread of pastries. This multi-roaster cafe features Passenger Coffee Roasters and is quick and efficient. If you are lucky enough to find a seat, the people-watching is superb.

The Wydown Coffee Bar has multiple locations around Washington, DC. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Eric Tessier is a freelance journalist based in Providence, RI. Read more Eric Tessier on Sprudge.

The post The Sprudge Coffee Guide To Washington, DC appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News