Chicago was the hardest city for us to work in so far.
I'm not sure if its being on the road for a while now, just one of those days, or the way the city is, but day 3 was the hardest of the trip. It was hard to wake up, hard to get out, hard to get into the city, and hard to get places into the idea. I realize that we are popping in unannounced and asking for precious time from people who are in the middle of work, but we just weren't feeling that same southern hospitality that we have been during the trip.
We decided to start out at Wormhole, a Chicago staple for baristas and coffee enthusiasts alike. Once you are inside you realize you are more inside of a 1980s museum than anything else. I spotted really cool bar seating where they prepare their pour overs, took a seat, and waited for the baristas to great me. Once the ice was broken and we got to talking the baristas seemed to open up, but it wasn't until Andreas, their educator, was introduced that filming for Coffee Scene began to become a reality. He ended up making us a an aeropauses of their espresso blend and talking about both Wormhole and the scene in Chicago as a whole.
From there we had planned with Dark Matter to partake in a cupping while we were at Coffee Fest. We arrived to their roaster and store front for a cupping with their QC, Nicole, and roaster, Dennis. The cupping was great, inciting, and delicious! The people there are so chill and we got some great footage of what an ideal cupping looks like. While it wouldn't be my hang out spot in Chicago, it would be the people I'd kick it with and go grab coffee at other places with. If I could compare it to anywhere in Phoenix, I'd say it's like Jobot, except they are way more into their coffee.
Everyone had been talking about Caffe Streets and the owner, Darko, so we knew we had to check that out. Walking up you can already tell its a slick set up. Inside, it becomes clear that this spot was well thought out, designed, and executed. The service was outstanding and personable, the coffee was the best in we had had in the city, and the customers were plenty and super chill as well. This is the place I would hang out at all the time if I lived in Chicago. They use Metric, the owners new roasting project, and have a phenomenal setting and vibe. If I would compare it to anywhere in Phoenix, I'd say it's like Giant if Matt started his own roasting company.
Finally, we dropped by Gaslight to scope things out and see if we could get any filming to cover that part of the scene in Chicago. This was the first place in the entire trip that sent us weird vibes. The roasting in the back was not into the Coffee Scene idea and the store itself was too hesitant to get involved as well. The setting was nice, hip, and popping, but the coffee and service did not back it up. If I could compare it to one place in Phoenix it would be Cartel.