The town of Truckee has always been the home of the “get-it-done” coffee, brew that fuels the famous outdoor lifestyle of its denizens.
But in honor of our mountain mothership’s next decade, we’ve decided to disrupt caffeine-as-usual and raise the coffee bar with a new single-origin espresso program. Better yet, Coffeebar Downtown Truckee is getting an interior update and a fresh infusion of local spirit.
Since 2017, the lab for our mad coffee science has been our downtown Reno Roastery. If you’ve never been there, the Roastery is like a church for the coffee faithful, an immersive artisan coffee experience. Not long ago we realized it was time to bring that higher level of Coffee Love to the rest of our stores--and we’re kicking it off at Coffeebar Downtown Truckee.
Single-origin espresso is the calling card of specialty coffee shops, showing off the skill of both roasters and baristas. Done poorly, the sometimes surprising and unusual flavor profiles of a single-o shot can bewilder customers who are just looking for a tasty coffee. But done well, it can offer a new perspective on something familiar as you discover wonderful (and sometimes totally unexpected) flavors in your cup.
Coffee, like wine, expresses “terroir”, the unique place in the world that it came from. And exploring single origin coffees is a lot like exploring wine, craft beer, or whisky. The origin itself is unique because of the soil, elevation, climate, and farming technique. And so is the natural fermentation that happens as part of processing, because those busy little microbes are different in each region. Then there’s the roasting method. And, oh yes, that whole brewing thing. There are a lot of different factors at play in the expression of each single-origin coffee.
Our new single-o espresso program is meant to help you discover the possibilities. But don’t bring your first-thing-in-the-morning Must. Have. Coffee. mindset. Approach it with a spirit of adventure.
How it works
We’ll be rotating through different single-origin coffees on espresso, just like we do with the single-origin drip. Over time, you’ll be able to try virtually all of our Vertical Reserve coffees as an espresso. Each one will have unique flavor characteristics, so the baristas’ recommendations will differ from day to day, depending on how they have the coffee dialed in. For example, certain origins will not taste great with cream or sugar. And just like a single malt whisky, that shot may need a little water added to achieve your desired level of intensity.
True to Coffeebar culture, we love to share our enthusiasm (no, it’s not just the caffeine), but we recognize that everyone’s tastes are different. Greg, our founder, has always insisted that “we don’t tell people how to take their coffee”--coffee snobbery is definitely not on the menu here. But in order to really let the magic of these single-o coffees shine through, we think the best way to try them is on their own, in an Americano, or in a small milk beverage like a Gibraltar (half espresso, half milk).
If you’d really like to understand the full potential of the single-origin espresso, you’ll want to try the Tasting Flights.
There are three ways to fly:
- One & One: a single espresso paired with a single-shot Gibraltar, so you can experience the espresso with and without milk.
- This & That: a double espresso paired with an 8 ounce drip coffee, so you can compare the effects of different brew methods on the same coffee.
- The Flight: a single espresso, a single-shot Gibraltar, and an 8 ounce drip coffee—so you can try all the things!
We’ll also be bringing you some single-o novelties, like the Espresso Tonic, a blend of espresso, tonic water, and citrus, which was invented in Stockholm at the legendary Koppi cafe. Our version is made with blood orange bitters and the espresso crema floated on top provides a sensuous first-sip mouthfeel. (Ahem.)
Coffee Love is different for everyone. Our Wholesale Manager Matt found himself smitten with a seductive single origin from Papua New Guinea.
“To many Americans this might not even taste like coffee, because of its sweet, floral/herbal and black tea-like tones,” he allows. “A drip coffee made with it takes me back to my time in Australia, where this flavor profile is very popular. It reminds me of sitting in a cafe along the northern beaches of Sydney, enjoying the smell and sound of the ocean. But transformed into espresso, it’s a revelation: viscous, much brighter, and very sweet. If you weren’t told, you’d never guess this was the same coffee!”
One of the most exciting things about the single-origin espresso program is that it creates entirely new conversations between our baristas and our guests.
“What’s on espresso today?”
“Come taste this crazy shot I pulled just now!”
“You should try the Colombia in a Gibraltar, it tastes like a creamsicle…”
Obviously, not everyone wants to deconstruct their coffee, and that’s just fine. We’ll make you something delicious and send you on your way with a smile. But slowing down, paying attention, and diving deep will deliver some entirely new experiences. And (fair warning) it may even shift your preferences.
If you’re ready to experiment with multiple o’s, consider this your invitation to come see us at Downtown Truckee—and let your coffee geek flag fly!