~ We feel like Omaha is KC's brother (or sister) city, and we drank with
some of our favorite neighbors in the O's growing craft beverage scene. ~
(not in order)
Beansmith Coffee's new Old Market location hosted 75 of us to start two different Crawl times. A lot to handle, but they managed it well with two different brew styles of their Burundi. One from the Gold Cup and the other from the Kyoto slow drip apparatus. A nice presentation from Ryan explaining the coffee and different brew methods while we totally dug the new space Chris Smith and team put together.
Aromas Coffeehouse gave each one of us a unique experience on the Caffeine Crawl. They hosted us at three different locations - their new roasting facility for Hardy Coffee, and their two shops. Besides their well known baked goods behind Autumn's magic, they had a coffee - root beer chai on ice, and at the roasting facility Kait brewed Chemexes of a Peru while Nick, the roaster, talked about the coffee steps.
This was Archetype Coffee's first year on the Caffeine Crawl, but they brought seasoned coffee knowledge to the table, literally. Isaiah didn't just talk about the importance of the variables in getting the most out of a coffee in a brew, but also made one of the most interactive Crawl stops for the year by using a Nerf-type gun and target to demonstrate how challenging it is to be consistent on brews. Jason passed out tastings of their Tanzania, that he roasts, and each one of us received an under-, over-extracted and Gold Cup brew for comparison.
Another newbie to this 2nd Caffeine Crawl Omaha was Mug Life Coffee Matt and Brenna tag teamed on their presentation and samples. They did the same Ethiopian coffee of theirs two-ways also, but one method was from the Chemex paired with a cupcake, and the other a nitro charged brew paired with an Askinosie Chocolate.
At Accelerando Coffee House, Cody took a real cool (and tasteful) approach to milk for all of us. They served up macchiatos using an espresso from PT's and explained foam and milk properties.
Luke mixed it up for our groups at Culprit Cafe and Bakery. Michael's route enjoyed affogatos using KC's Broadway Coffee while Jason's group had a coffee - tea combo brew from the Kyoto. It was pleasantly sweet and spicy, and worked well together. That was paired with what Jason considers the best beignets in the Midwest.
Tim, the owner of The Tea Smith did a great job getting us engaged with tea while pleasing our palates. He had two people from each group whisk up matcha and then serve it, plus a rooibos that was equally tasty.
We took advantage of the surprisingly nice weather in Omaha. Sarah of Omaha Bicycle Company had us out on her back porch area as we sipped on our choice of the lavender fog tea with either skim or almond milk. We talked bikes and community, plus she explained the bike shop's coffee program using Intelligentsia and local roaster Archetype.
Omaha has one of the best craft beer scenes in the Midwest. Michael and Jason made sure to keep up with stops at Benson Brewery for their kolsch and brown ale, and at Scriptown. At Scriptown we were able to sample quite a few as we had our team meeting there and they donated their Belgian Strong Ale collaboration with Archetype's Ethiopia Deri Kochowa. Both places also showcased great service.
Come on now, you know we aren't going to just explore coffee, tea and beer. Omaha isn't getting much attention for their cocktails yet, but it's coming. We had good drinks and times at Nite Owl and Mula. Two very different places, but both executing well. We had our share of gin, tequila and bourbon-based drinks. Same block even and we suggest a stop at both of these places!