I read about this joint awhile back but actually had the time to swing by today. The owners Doug and Saadia Naiman have reopened this gem at 3031 East Second Avenue and have created a coffee experience like none other in the area. Walking in your eyes are drawn to the espresso bar and a separate coffee bar that rests in front of an exposed brick wall. Further observation reminded me a lot of a pier one setup as far as décor goes with lots of woodwork and furniture throughout. This isn’t a bad thing as it’s very easy on the eyes. We spent 2 hours here watching lots of people come and go as well as people relaxing and enjoying the free WiFi. The crowd was mixed, but definitely the place to go in this area. An entire side wall is devoted to merchandise for sale ranging from pour over’s, Eva solos, mugs, Bonavita kettles, Toddy’s, and a large selection of Chicago based Intelligentsia coffee. Basically everything you would need to make great coffee at home. Next to the register you will notice lots of fresh baked goodies enclosed in a glass case calling for you. Give in for sure!
Unless you’re on the go most drinks are served on bamboo style trays in ceramic mugs or glass depending on the drink ordered. All drinks are made to order so there was no stale coffee sitting around in pump pots or commercial brewers here. Espresso is ceramic only, no paper cups (Thank you). The staff was knowledgeable and explained the daily offerings and even offered up some suggestions for me. The gentleman manning the espresso machine seemed like the coffee-geek type that I needed to meet today. I watched him extract my shot with great detail to attention and it was served properly with a spoon and glass of water. More on how this tasted later. Right now I’m still impressed with his “skills” and the beast with which he seems to have mastered.
This espresso machine in use is for the serious Barista wanting to take it to the next level (Barista’s aided in the design of the La Marzocco Strada). Its sleek design and functionality allow direct control of the pressure at any point during the extraction giving him freedom to adjust for various espresso offerings. Impressive I must say.
I can’t believe I’m in a Denver area coffee shop and can order a Chemex, pour over, siphon and other manual brew options on top of getting quality espresso. This reminds me of why we started this blog, a never ending journey to find the best coffee experience in town that puts quality and craftsmanship first. These guys at Aviano Coffee are killing it as far as I’m concerned with the attention to detail and the desire to put forth the best cup possible with tomorrow’s standards. Denver coffee life is alive and well.
Drinks sampled today:
Shot of espresso: Used Black Cat Classic espresso from Intelligentsia
Thoughts: First look and accompanying side note from Barista was a bit gassy, so give a stir. In my experience this helps create uniformity with the heavier and lighter notes. Speaking of gassy, it is possible to have too much Co2 in a shot pull leaving you with a “gassy, bitter” taste (quite a science). Sitting on top of my just pulled shot was a perfect reddish-brown crema giving off a glorious aroma of freshness, but not too fresh. Sometimes coffee fresh from the roaster (couple days) may give too much crema creating an undesirable look and flavor. Not the case here. I won’t go into details about dosing, grinding, temp or time here because this shot was just a perfect balance of flavors for me. This Barista knew his machine and coffee, and with great skill created a stellar coffee experience.
V60 Pour over: Used la-perla-de-Oaxaca-Mexico from Intelligentsia (Direct Trade)
Thoughts: Typical of a pour over this cup was clean and sweet with some definite floral aroma going on. Was a little on the bright (acidic) side, but I love that since I grew up on the east coast. A well made manual brew like this shouldn’t leave you with an astringent taste in the mouth…and it didn’t. Nice and smooth with a long finish creating pure happiness for anyone that dares venture outside of the norm.
Chemex: Used limu-union-Ethiopian from Intelligentsia
Thoughts: I pretty much love anything brewed with a Chemex. Unless you didn’t grind or measure right it’s hard to make a bad cup.
The Chemex is known for its really thick filters which filter out some lipids (or oils we can say since it’s a liquid) and create a smooth, clean and balanced cup. This coffee would taste completely different in a French press since you are not filtering out the oils. I say this to only show the difference in brew styles, I happen to love both. If you prefer a cleaner cup ask for a pour over, Chemex, or siphon (full immersion brewing, but a lower pressured extraction). If you like a heavier bodied and silty tasting coffee, spring for a press. I will be back for sure but I don’t think you can go wrong with any drink here.
Follow them on Twitter @Avianocoffee
Looks like their BlogSpot is under construction so keep it bookmarked.