Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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37 www.baristamagazine.com for every bag of coffee sold to its Social Impact Fund, which invests in projects aimed at bettering the community in Chiapas. S TAY I N G WA R M I N T H E W I N D Y C I T Y As you can imagine, having a warm cup of coffee in your hands is essential on the streets of the Windy City (although it's rumored that Chicago actually didn't get its nickname from how windy it is but rather from an embittered New York Sun editor who was angry that Chicago won the bid for the World's Fair over New York). Another longstanding member of the Chicago coffee scene is Caffe Streets, one of the original coffee shops in the Wicker Park neighbor- hood. Started by Darko Arandjelovic in 2011, Caffe Streets was one of the pioneers of the multiroaster concept. Walk into the beautifully designed space—and I don't say that ca- sually, because it's actually one of the most visually interesting spaces I've ever visited, and all you have to do is look up—and you see not just coffees from all over the country, but a playful menu of signature seasonal drinks. Today, Caffe Streets serves coffee by Metric Coffee, a roastery started by Darko and ex-Intelligentsia roaster Xavier Alexander. The partnership began in 2013, and they opened their fi rst brick-and- mortar store under the Metric brand in 2016. Design is also key to Metric's branding, with a gorgeously designed bar and a grab-and-go fridge full of the company's branded bottled cold brew, Hellion, avail- able in four-packs reminiscent of beer cases. As storied as the coffee scene is in Chicago, there are new pages being written every day. A perennial character in that tale is the Wormhole Café, nestled unassumingly off a busy intersection off the Damen L stop on the Blue Line. However humble it is on the outside, it pretty much knocks you over once you walk in. Yes, it's the café that has a DeLorean á la Back to the Future, but the quirks don't stop there. Posters of cult classics adorn the room, drinks have names referencing video games, and there's a shelf behind the baristas that is fi lled with containers of cereal. It's basically a 1980s teenager's dream come to life. Along with a seasonal guest roaster, the Wormhole serves coffee roasted by Halfwit, the café's sister company which has made a big splash recently in the Chicago coffee world. Along with roasting excellent coffees, Halfwit opened its fi rst retail location in Decem- ber in Logan Square, and was recently purchased by Dollop Coffee Co. Dollop Coffee is a Chicago chain with 13 locations across the city, and it acquired Halfwit to roast coffee for all its stores. Halfwit will still retain its independent brand, which touts a science-focused Neighborhoods are important in Chicago, and most coff ee shops in the city are neighborhood haunts. Although there are some busy pockets downtown, most cafés serve the folks living close by. Cafés tend to be busy on the weekends, off er lots of seating, and house locals having conversations, reading books, and doing work. Photo courtesy of Damn Fine Coff ee.

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