~ Talking shop with Caffeine Crawl Madison shops, round 2! ~
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? Our Deri Kochoha Ethiopia is a nice crowd favorite. Filled with lilac, stone fruit, honey, and spice notes this coffee earned a 94 pt rating at the Coffee Review as a coffee and a 96 pt rating as an espresso. It’s a pretty phenomenal cup. About the coffee: Around 500-600 farmers bring their coffee to the Deri Kochoha mill where it is processed with an age-old traditional Ethiopian processing method. A traditional disc pulper is used to remove the cherry skins. The coffee then undergoes a very long 72 hour under-water, traditional fermentation to break down the mucilage. The coffee is vigorously agitated in the fermentation tank with wooden paddles to work off the mucilage. The coffee then spends the night in the soaking tank and is later dried on raised beds. The classic coffee processing method of this region develops coffees that are known for being sweet, nuanced and clean.
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? While we are hyper-focused on amazing coffee, we are also super passionate about teaching people about quality coffee. We offer in-depth barista training on espresso extraction/café flow etc and community classes through Madison College where people receive in-depth instruction on espresso extraction, cupping coffee like a professional, manual brewing and the journey of the coffee seed from farm to cup. Coffee is such an exciting journey and we want everyone to experience that.
What's coming up that you are excited about? We are very excited to release a number of very special micro-lots from two growers in El Salvador that we work with very closely. These growers are super committed to quality coffee but they are also just really good people. They provide sustainable, year-round employment for their employees (as opposed to seasonal work) and work to minimize their impact on the environment. Good things happen when quality-driven roasters unite with quality-driven growers.
~ Laura Salinger Johnson, co-owner
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? I would recommend a cortado. It has a great balance of milk to espresso. In some drinks, there is so much milk that you can't taste the flavors that the espresso brings to the drink. The cortado gives you the creaminess of the milk microfoam, but also lets the espresso shine.
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? I think one interesting aspect of our company is just how many different things we are doing, and how the different departments work together. We have a grain mill, a french patisserie, a bakery with a pastry department and a bread department, a full kitchen making breakfast and lunch, a cafe, a market/wholesale business, and a special-events business. The mill grinds flour for the bakery, then the kitchen uses the bread to make sandwiches, the cafe sells the bread retail, and our delivery team takes loaves all over the city to restaurants and shops.
What's coming up that you are excited about? We are super excited to be using the nitro cold brew from Cadence Cold Brew Coffee (they get their beans from JBC Coffee Roasters) to make nitro cold brew floats with our house made ice cream. We have started selling them during our Thursday pizza nights, and they've been a hit.
~ Molly Maciejewski, Executive Chef & General Manager
What would you recommend ordering for first time customers? For customers walking in the door for the first time, I always suggest the mocha. It's sweet and delicious made with a chocolate ganache we make in house with Sassy Cow Whipping Cream, Askinosie dark chocolate and a touch of homemade vanilla simple syrup. If you're looking for something a bit more traditional, I would suggest one of our cappuccinos or a single shot of our espresso of the day.
What is one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? Tailgate Coffee Shop is a third wave shop housed inside of a clothing store. We're a pretty unique concept that is taking off, but it's still unusual, particularly in the Midwest. The shop itself was intentionally designed to be minimal but comfortable; to engage the community on a local level, and to serve the very best of what Wisconsin has to offer. We feature local, top quality products from Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, Sassy Cow Creamery and Batch Bakehouse.
What's coming up that you are excited about? When opening Tailgate Coffee Shop in Madison, we decided to partner with Kickapoo Coffee Roasters our of Viroqua, Wisconsin. They have direct, on-going relationships with coffee farmers through their importing cooperative called Coop Coffees, and they are entirely solar-powered, and known nationally for their commitment to quality. We are incredibly excited to feature their Rooster Blend next month. The Rooster Blend is a blend of Bolivian, Colombian and Ethiopian natural process coffees. The natural process component (making up 30-40% of the blend) gives this coffee notes of strawberry, dark fruits and toffee.
~ Lissy Matthews, Sales & Training Representative
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? Try a Cortado or a mug of our Featured Coffee with one of our many Troubadour pastries.
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? We have always believed in the power of creativity and artfulness.
What's coming up that you are excited about? We are launching our new line of Cold Brew products, Nitro-infused Cold Brew and our Session™ Cold Brew. We also always have unique coffees available from our small lot Featured Farm Series or Seasonal offerings.
~ Ramie Camarena, Events & Communications Manager
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? When customers visit us for the first time we like to get to know them a little. Are you adventurous? Then try our Fromage de Bleu truffle—it’s a one-bite fruit and cheese platter, with local blue cheese whipped into the center ganache. Or give our Thai Peanut Butter a whirl – it’s infused with curry, tamarind and pieces of crystallized ginger.
Are you a desert lover? If so, we have some Great choices in this category.Choose from Vanilla Crème Brulee, Tiramisu or our scrumptious Bananas Flambe. Or maybe the Caramel Apple Pie, our S’mores or the summer favorite Rhubarb Crisp.
If you tend to be a little more traditional might we suggest Cashew Caramel, Espresso Fusion (made with locally roasted True Coffee Espresso) or our extremely popular Hazelnut Praline.
Whether you’re a milk, white or dark chocolate lover, we have a fantastic selection of truffles waiting for you.
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? One of the most unique things about our company is our infusion process. We bring the contemporary and classic together by blending modern (and sometimes unexpected) ingredients with old world techniques. The result is a visually stunning and wonderful tasting truffle that is matched only by the stunning look of each chocolate creation.
What's coming up that you are excited about? We are thrilled to be launching a brand new website this fall. Now you will be able to send Infusion Chocolates to business associates, family and friends anywhere in the country quickly and easily. Customize a box with a selection of flavors hand-picked by you or have us fill a box with a selection of our top sellers. Make someone’s day a little sweeter…with a gift of Infusion Chocolates
~ Ann Culligan, President/Owner
Don't miss out...
grab your ticket to Caffeine Crawl Madison (August 27th) here!