Sunday, April 11, 2010

Indaba Coffee

I like drip coffee. In my mind there's two kinds of drip coffee: the high-falutin' kind and the diner kind. Both can be great in their own way. I love the Farmer's Brothers (?) coffee up at The Chalet. Their coffee is simple and requires no commitment. It's like pop music or lager beer: simple and satifying.

As for the high-falutin coffee, for some reason the Spokane region is blessed with many roasters. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a roaster. So, of course the region is filled with high-falutin coffee drinkers that are very opinionated when it comes to defending their favorite. And many high-falutin coffee drinkers only drink espresso-based drinks. And they'll assume that if a roaster makes a great espresso roast, then they must have a great drip. I've not found that to be the case. Very few coffee shops appreciate this -- or, they just have different taste opinions than I do. But my sense is that they buy a roaster's bean based on the esspresso bean, and then just take whatever they have for the drip.

My opinion: drip should be served in small, hot cups. Not soup bowls with handles which act like giant heat-sinks.

Back when Bittersweet first opened, they had two coffee suppliers: one for drip (which was really good), and one for espresso. And they had free refills. What a great thing. Soon after though, they fell back to single-supplier mode and their drip became not rad.

I'll drink an Americano only if I'm not sure of the drip flavor. If I don't know the drip coffee, or if it's one of the many local roasters whose drip blends I don't like, I'll just go for the Americano.

And let's not even talk about Joe's Coffee. He introduced the "drip coffee can be insanely good" concept to me about 6 years ago. He used B&B out of Olympia and Joe was very very into his drip coffee. Damn good stuff. It was a crying shame when he closed his shop. Because that boy can bake too.

Today, my favorite drip coffee is The Scoop. They use Bumpercrop coffee. These guys are serious about their drip coffee. All of the drips that The Scoop sells are single-source beans (not blended). And free refills. One thing these serious-drippers do, is use small consumer coffee makers. It's more labor intensive, but it seems to make a difference.

I'm so thankful that The Scoop is just a couple minutes away.

Joe. Not baking or brewing coffee.

So, this is all the context, the preamble, to introduce the hands-down, best coffee in town. It's at Indaba. Which is down on Broadway.

These guys are geeks about their coffee. They French press their coffee. They time (with a little nerdy digital timer) each brew for 4 minutes, then they pour the coffee into a (pre-heated) carafe and serve it in pre-heated cups. They use Bumpercrop.

If you like drip, you'll love the French press. I rarely make coffee at home, but when I do, this how I make it. (Liza loves the old percolator -- which apparently in the coffee world is a crime, since it boils the water, but the perc is damn handy, and it's chrome!) Anyway, the Indaba coffee is just silly good. Stupid good. Great stuff.

Add to the fact that Indaba is the only place I know of that is open before 10 am on a Sunday in the downtown region that gives a hoot about good coffee. Since discovering Indaba, our Sunday morning rides have morphed into trail rides that always end at there.

If you hang at Indaba, you may see Patrick. On his way to The Scoop. Good coffee makers apparently hang together.

They've got some food there. The baked goods do not stand up to the greatness of their coffee, but they'll also make you a pannini-type sandwich deal with Bouzie's foccacia. Pretty good stuff. But it's the coffee that will keep you coming back.


Jason Gilman said...

Good post John. I wouldn't call myself a coffee connoisseur, but when Mary got a French press for Christmas a couple years ago it was a complete revelation. I actually didn't try it myself until a few months after she got it, but ever since then brewing a cup with it is how I start my morning- it's that much better.

Anonymous said...

Indaba is really good. All of us living in West Central are blessed to have these guys here.


alex wetmore said...

I was reading this whole thing thinking "why would you drink drip coffee when you could drink french press coffee?", then you revealed that Indaba uses a french press.

I guess I'll get to try it myself in about 10 weeks.

Barb Chamberlain said...

We've used a French press for years. This put Indaba on my list to check out for sure, although it was already on the list since it was started up by a couple of WSU grads (Go Cougs!).

However, we should discuss this dead-cat-swinging thing....


thedoorninks said...

INDABA will be participating in Bike to Work Week again this year as an Energizer Station. Free coffee for those biking to work.

Unknown said...

I'd like to say that 5/19/ am coffee from Indaba was an education in good coffee and preparation by French press. Sunday am coffee, wifi and other cyclists? What a way to start a Sunday!