Since moving back to to my home state of Wisconsin, many people have been asking me about my opinions of Wisconsin coffee roasters and coffeehouse. Most of all, they wanted to know if I thought there was any 3rd-Wave coffee being offered here. Rather than just giving random thoughts on the matter, I decided to set out and explore the coffee-culture in Wisconsin so that I could give a more informed answer.
After visiting, sampling, and reviewing the roasters, their coffee, and the coffeehouses of 16 of the 24 roasters in the state I found 3 that I thought were legitimately 3rd-Wave, 3 others that I am calling New-Wave +, and 4 that are New-Wave. This is all based on a Coffee Roasters Continuum and Coffee Roaster Evaluation Criteria that I developed for this project, as I wanted to base my results on observable fact that could be confirmed by others. Looking mainly for a PASSION for higher quality, fruit forward, single origin coffee... roasted lighter and omni roasted beans beans that could be pulled as SO-Espressos and poured on the bre bars. Looked at equipment and saw many Probat and Diedrich roasting machines, Mahlkoenig grinders, and La Marzocco espresso machines at the roasters. In addition, I also considered green coffee storage and social responsibility.
Along the way, I also visited 30+ popular coffeehouses across the state, out of which I could only consider 15 of them either 3rd-Wave or New-Wave. La Marzocco espresso machines and Mahlkoenig Mazzer and Mazzer grinders were the most common. Watched the barista brewing techniques and interacted with them about the coffee they were serving me.
In the end, this was an educational project through which I fell like I know Wisconsin Coffee-Culture much better and can give a more informed answer when people ask me what i think of the coffee in my home state.
Visit my Wisconsin Coffee-Culture Project to see the results.
Special thanks goes out to Kickapoo Coffee, Ruby Colorful Coffee, JBC Coffee, Luna Coffee, Kin Kin Coffee, Hawthorne Coffee, Yes Coffee, Anodyne Coffee, Valentine Coffee, Wilson's Coffee and Tea, and Stone Creek Coffee for allowing me to tour they roasters and interview them for this project... as well as Alderaan Coffee, 5th Element Coffee, Johnson Pubic House, Bradbury;s Coffee, Si Coffee, Timshel, Seth's Coffee, and All Seasons Coffee for helping me with the coffeehouse side of this project.
Next month I am starting on my Chicago Coffee-Culture Project and as I do not know many of the plays, I am excited to explore that coffee scene. After I complete the Chicago project, I planning on starting a Twin Cities Coffee-Culture Project.
Please feel free to offer any corrections, tips, or pointers so long as they are helpful for me to develop and improve these coffee-culture projects.