The minimalistic decor — white subway tile backsplash, midcentury modern furniture and Edison light bulb chandeliers — allows the coffee to be the star.
What they're brewing Four rotating pour-over coffees, including one decaf option, are front and center on its menu.
Owner Charlie Eisenstat buys his beans from Counter Culture, a direct-trade roaster in Durham, N.C., that encourages farmers to use ecologically responsible cultivation methods. "We met with a bunch of roasters,"Eisenstat says, "and it was really important that we chose one that is socially responsible."
Eisenstat's favorite brew, the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe ($3) smells like oranges and tastes like sweet, tart cherries.
Troubadour Coffee Roasters
Warm red and yellow walls welcome you to the wide bar, covered in coffee sacks from the shop's bean suppliers.
The menu rotates weekly, with four to eight coffees available in pour-over, siphon pot and French press methods. The drinks are served without cream or sugar. "We want to show respect to our growers," says owner Tony DiCorpo.
DiCorpo hosts two-hour tastings on Saturday for up to 10 people.
An Ethiopian Illubabox ($3.75) sits on your tongue like peach preserves — fruity and full-bodied with a sweetness that increases as the cup cools.
Rising Star Coffee Roasters
Nestled in the lower level of Ohio City's restored firehouse, it offers a historic ambiance and a clear view of the roasters just behind the bar.
Rising Star specializes in lighter roasts. "You taste everything," explains general manager Erika Durham. Try one in three pour-over options, AeroPress or vacuum pots, plus a bevy of espresso beverages.
Rising Star only buys beans with a score of 85 or higher on the Specialty Coffee Association of America's rating system.
A Panama Emporium Estate ($3) is complex, with floral notes and a strawberry finish.
Phoenix Coffee Co.
The Lee Road spot offers red-cushioned seating for at least 50 and walls adorned with flora artwork made from coffee sacks.
The store's six rotating, single-origin coffees are available by pour-over or in espresso beverages, cold brews and French presses. "We're really proud of our Euro short lattes," says coffee director Christopher Feran.
Baristas take education seriously, explaining how patrons can repeat the process at home.
A New Guinea Kimel peaberry ($2.95) smells like honey but has a twinge of tangerine.