If you stumbled upon this review (Thanks for reading) I would strongly suggest checking this place out if you haven’t already. It is Located out in Arvada off Wadsworth and nestled in a strip mall next to local Farmers Market, Sprouts. Last time I was here it was just Two Rivers Coffee but I’m glad the name has changed or got a facelift, if you will. The new name says it right, Crafted coffee.
As you walk in, the place opens up into a large seating area with lots of local artwork hanging on the walls. A wide open coffee bar area makes it easy for the Barista’s to greet you and assist you on your coffee journey today. First machine on the counter you notice is a clover which makes one cup at a time as opposed to a commercial brewer pumping out a gallon to only sit in a pump pot (opposite of fresh, unless you happen to come right when it’s done brewing). The clover will allow the Barista control of the water temp and brew time so you could literally cater to anyone’s taste buds for every cup. Today’s offering was an El Salvador (Bella Vista) Cup of excellence coffee. Tasting notes below
Not too far away sits a manual lever Rancilio espresso machine awaiting its commands. This is another bad ass machine as it allows complete control for the Barista in making a properly pulled shot. Instead of an electric pump pushing water over the grounds the Barista uses the lever to manually pull the water through the properly dosed and tamped grounds. This takes a bit to master but when done properly it creates such a great shot. For those that don’t know the difference between stove top, automatic, manual, semi-automatic and super automatic espresso machines I encourage you to read this article by espresso machine central.
So I decide on a shot of espresso, a cup from the clover and a Toddy brewed coffee. What’s a Toddy you ask? It’s a cold brew gadget that allows you to steep coarsely ground coffee (freshly roasted of course) in cold water for up to 18 hours. The end result is a smooth, rich coffee extract that is then served and cut with 2 parts water, milk, soy, or whatever you fancy. This by far trumps the old fashioned way of double brewing or pouring hot coffee over ice and hoping for the best. Tasting notes below.
Talking with the owner Eric about coffee, art and community made me realize this place stands out not only for its efforts to craft quality coffee but the pleasantness of the vibe. I will chalk it up as a quality trait that sets the standard for the place. Too many times you hit a spot that may make killer drinks but serves up a bit of snobbishness with it. Don’t get me wrong, if you have fully immersed yourself into the Barista scene and mastered the skills you deserve an ego. It’s tough to do it right! I consider it money and time well spent when you are served up some great craftsmanship by a passionate individual taking your experience to the next level. I also like the fact that they take the time to educate the consumer a bit about coffee and it’s nuances. This is how a coffee community develops, one indie shop at a time!
Drinks sampled today:
Shot of espresso: Used Espresso Novo (Panamanian, Colombian and Ethiopian blend)
Thoughts: Should be called smack you in the face espresso. Aroma was nutty after a quick stir and definitely a full bodied shot. Was a brighter than expected coffee and the finish on it was super long with a mouth tingling kick. Served with an excellent mini biscotti to compliment.
Cold brewed (16 hours) Toddy: Used a Kenyan by Corvus Coffee
Thoughts: Typical bright African coffee here but the cold brew extraction made it stand apart. I had this over ice so it was smoothed out and left a nice caramel taste on the tongue. It also had a natural sweetness to it that should stop you from hitting that little counter with all the artificial goodies on it.
Clover: Used a Cup of Excellence crop from El Salvador (Bella Vista)
Thoughts: This was a nice clean well balanced cup. With a Clover the Barista dials in the settings for the type of bean you chose or the shop is offering that day. Settings like cup size, water temp and brew time (40-50 seconds, can have a longer dwell time if needed) all have to be factored if it’s an African, South American or maybe even an Indonesian. I think the Clover got a bad rap initially when Starbucks jumped on board with them but it definitely deserves your attention. When you stop by try a cup and maybe first discuss what you like to drink and see if that can be accommodated with the Clover. Don’t expect charcoal or burnt to be among the flavor profiles offered though.