Oh Indy.. While we were in Chicago, people were talking up this town a bunch. We wanted to end up in DC and looking at the map it made sense to use as a half way point after an extra half day of shooting in Chicago.
We found a cute, lakeside camp ground and crashed for a busy following day of filming and more driving. As we went to bed a few folks recommended we pay a visit to Milktooth, which we weren't yet purvey to. It looked like a place we could start at, get breakfast, ask for more recommendations, and continue on from. We also spotted a new roaster called Tinker that we wanted to drop by at and after meeting the Quills and Bee guys at Coffee Fest, wanted to check out their locations as well.
Getting to Milktooth, you drive into the Fletcher neighborhood which appeared to be the yuppie part of town. As you walk up you can tell that this place is going to be sweet. The person who greeted us was a guy that I had met in LA through Bar 9 and SCAA organized competitions and the other barista working had been at Coffee Fest as well. We did a little filming for the project and thoroughly enjoyed our beautiful breakfast and coffee there. If I could compare it to anything I would put it next to Superba in Venice Beach.
We had a great espresso of a Tinker roasted coffee at Milktooth so we were pretty sure that they were going to be legit. A short drive away in a sweet location and space was Tinker where we found a dope parking spot. Again, walking up you could tell this place was legit. At first we were bummed that they had just dropped their last roast for the day, but it just so happened that they were about to cup, so we had something cool to shoot still. It was a laid-back cupping where we got to get to know the owners and a young fellow coffee nerd.
Quills is another new place that opened at the lobby of a condo/apartment complex. The guys working seemed to know we were coming and took really awesome care of us. We did a little coffee exchange, filming, and chatting. I started to realize at this point of the trip how people were moving from city to city in a way that I was familiar with, but not so used to the same cities.
On our way out of town we hit up Bee Coffee, owned and run by BJ. We hear that this was the first place to bring “specialty” coffee to Indy. Walking in, you do not get the third wave vibe. In-fact their roaster location feels quite the opposite. But, the drawing point to the place is BJ and her story and experience with the industry. She had worked at a crummy coffee joint for years, but started to get involved with the SCAA and the competitions that they organized for baristas. It was there that she learned about “specialty” and the bigger meaning of being a barista. When she bought a different roastery/store she implanted that new world and roasted lighter, offered less flavorings, and considered the farmers in their operations. It almost kind of reminded me of my days at Urban Beans and the owner there, Virginia.
Overall, I would have to say I really enjoyed the vibe of Indy, being surprised that it had some options to offer, and that there was a budding coffee scene there which is pretty exciting!