~ Madison's first Caffeine Crawl took the cake (& the coffee) ~
It was a drizzly late summer day in Wisconsin, and things started on a sweet note at Madison Sourdough's MSCo. Patisserie. Succulent samples of JBC Coffee Roasters' espresso cake, Cadence cold brew floats, and a mouthwatering butterscotch coffee pudding made before our very eyes set the bar high. We departed in a delighted, sugary trance.
Rishi Tea awaited us at Barriques - a lovely blueberry herbal tea, classic black tea, and calming Turmeric Ginger Chai plus matcha samples to take home. Barriques kicked us back into coffee gear with a cold brew demo and samples.
5th Element Coffee took us on an audible tour of coffee's journey from bean to cup, while emphasizing the 'human element.' Their direct importer relationship with 4 Monkeys Coffee Roasters in El Salvador provided several tasty brews to accompany a sweet dessert bite and smiles all 'round.
The Kin Kin Coffee bar is a sweet surprise tucked away inside the Festival Foods on E. Washington. A delightful multi-layered flavor experience awaited - they had our attention the moment they said "house made vanilla bean syrup & cream." Topped off with house espresso and chased with a candied orange peel? Perfection.
Cait stole the show at Crescendo Espresso Bar & Music Cafe, pulling shots of espresso for every Crawler, accompanied by a house made, lemon infused whipped cream and local honey.
We got up close and personal with the cacao bean at Infusion Chocolates - the chocolate making process explained (and tasted!) included several single origin offerings and truffles.
Colectivo finished rolling out their smooth new house cold brew recipe just in time for Crawlers to snag a sample, and we sipped with hearty approval. A Chemex brewed Costa Rican warmed us back up, and we went on our way with whole bean samples to brew at home.
A nod to the last days of summer was a welcome treat at Cargo Coffee - a frozen blended mocha was sipped in the classic coffee shop ambiance aside a hand painted world map.
Patrick welcomed us to The Victory with a genuine smile and the invitation to take our pick from the menu. We learned the history of the cafe - from Brooklyn to Madison, and 6 years strong connecting the community and bringing people together over Anodyne Coffee, SerendipiTea and good vibes.
More impeccable cocoa journey goodness awaited at Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier ~ we savored our way through a decadent espresso truffle while further exploring the alluring world of chocolate.
Kickapoo Coffee Roasters brought the good stuff to Tailgate, a unique concept spotlighting coffee, fashionable spirit wear, and kickass sugar cookies. We sampled 'The Rooster,' a tantalizing 40% natural Ethiopian blend, and the 'Summer Solstice,' a double Guatemalan blend, while learning the history of Kickapoo from the plaid-pillow lined bench seating.
A coffee spritzer and the sultry ambiance of Spain welcomed us to Sî Café, while a french guitarist serenaded us. Opposite a row of gleaming barber chairs, the founders of Yes Coffee Roasters answered our many inspired questions over Kenyan pourovers.
JBC Coffee Roasters threw a spectacular afterparty, with a latte art throwdown as the main attraction. Libations for every taste flowed freely - stellar coffee cocktails featuring Cadence Cold Brew Coffee, Bulleit Bourbon & maple syrup; 3rd Sign Brewery JBC coffee beer; or a latte fresh from the judges table. Treats from Rosie's Coffee Bar and Bakery & Madison Sourdough kept us going strong, and we wound down the evening with new friends, happily caffeinated and looking forward to next year!
A huge thank you to the remainder of our Madison sponsors: Wholesome!, Yelp Madison, Barista Magazine, Sprout Studio and Brewers Organics - and all the amazing shops that helped make the magic happen. Cheers to Wisconsin's first Caffeine Crawl!