Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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BOOT their local cafés, and many of the coffee shops that we visited seemed to be tailored to the needs of their particular community. Although our story started in Lakeview, the history of Chicago coffee really starts with a bright and colorful café called Café Jumping Bean, located southwest of downtown in Pilsen. Owner Eleazar Delga- do opened the doors to the café in 1994—just inching out Intelli—and the spot has become a community beacon. After almost 20 years in business, Eleazar opened a second café off the Damen L Pink Line stop, L' Cafecito, just a mile away from the home base. On its website, Jumping Bean makes it clear that the company is committed to the neighborhood, posting art on the walls for local art- ists for free, and commenting on the website that it's hard to get hired at the café because employees are treated well and stick around for years. "At the heart of its success, Café Jumping Bean maintains their focus and commitment on a loyal customer base who return for the good conversations, quality ingredients and low prices," the website reads. "Even in its toughest times, the Café's mission to serve this working-class community has held steadfast in the belief that prices must remain affordable to its cus- tomers, who at times have even been known to barter services in exchange for a tab." Just south of Pilsen is Bridgeport, which houses Bridgeport Coffee Company, a retail space and roaster that opened in 2004. Started by Mike Pilkington, the company's coffee blends bear names reminiscent of Bridgeport's past, like Hardscrabble, a nod to the neighborhood's original name, which was an Irish slum in the 1830s and '40s, or Bubbly Creek, a reference to the meat packers who used to inhabit the neighborhood and the deposits of lard that would end up in the river. Bridgeport has expanded to Hyde Park and the South Loop. Sip & Savor is another neighborhood favorite, which originally opened its doors in 2005 in Bronzeville. Sip & Savor is the passion project of Trez V. Pugh III, who wanted to combine his love of community with his suc- cess in real estate. Awarded the 2017 Man of Excellence by Chicago Defender, Trez makes it a point to create a space that feels like a "home away from home," and in his spare time, he mentors local youth and gives talks about entrepreneurship. Sip & Savor has ex- panded to three other locations in Hyde Park, Rosenwald, and the South Loop. Finally, we would be remiss if we didn't mention newcomer Sawada Coffee in the West Loop, which brings some Tokyo coffee fl air to the city in the form of barista Hiroshi Sawada, whose latte art prowess may only be eclipsed by his epic sportswear style. On a trip to Tokyo for coffee inspiration, Bran- dan Sodikoff and Jean Tomaro of Chicago's Hogsalt Hospitality found themselves at Hiroshi's wildly popular Streamer Coffee, and before they knew it, had partnered with the legend to open this shop in Chi-Town. Housed in a gritty black room with the kind of industrial vibes Hiro- shi loves, Sawada Coffee serves Metropolis Coffee and incorporates some of the Japanese coffee master's favorite edgy details, including the Military Latte (matcha tea and espresso), and "Sawada-style" cold brew, which pairs cold coffee with a shot of Japanese shochu. Rediscovering Chicago and its coffee scene after almost eight years away was enlightening. It was comforting to revisit the scenes from my late teens and early 20s, but also to see a citywide growth of the coffee community, reaching its most northern neighborhoods and expanding southward. Coffee has long since been a part of the fabric of Chicago, and it's never been stifl ed, nor has it ever plateaued—it continues to grow and invite more and more of its residents to sit down and enjoy a cup of something great with their neighbors. 39 www.baristamagazine.com

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