Toledo Talk

Sip Coffee at Cricket West: Go There Immediately

I checked it out today and thought I had died and gone to heaven. The front service area has a bakery case with 20 different types of treats, all from local bakers. All Crumbs pastries are available there -- and lots of them -- none of that "ran out by 10 a.m., sorry" business. Two-packs of shortbread cookies, lemon bars, Chobani yogurt, many other nice things to go with your beverage of choice. The interior is modern and beautiful, with some interesting little nooks that seem very private.

I wasn't there at my permitted java time :) so I didn't try the coffee or tea. But I will be going back very soon.

For goopy cupcake fans, Cake in a Cup will be open in the same center just a few doors down.

Sip is serving exactly the type of artisan pastries I had hoped to find at 365 Whole Foods, back when we were getting one ...

created by viola on Apr 04, 2017 at 05:25:50 pm     Comments: 13

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thanks for the review! The owner is a life long friend of mind so I'm very excited to see her do well. I'm looking forward to checking out some of those pastries!

posted by upso on Apr 04, 2017 at 06:53:50 pm     #  

Sure, but the coffee there, meh. Not even sure the staff knows how to make any of it. I'll give it another shot, but it may take a while.

posted by westsidebob on Apr 05, 2017 at 10:45:30 am     #  

hmmm... what kind of beans are they using? Local brand?

posted by upso on Apr 05, 2017 at 11:36:11 am     #  

Ooh- begs the question-

What is the best coffee in Toledo? Not cupcakes, not yogurt, not music, coffee. Beans or brewed?

posted by ahmahler on Apr 05, 2017 at 12:48:03 pm     #  

That's a tough one - we have a lot of good stuff happening right now.

I love Maddie and Bella's beans for home use.

If I'm out and about and want a cuppa.... I think either Flying Joe or Bleakhouse wins best pourover. M+B is good too, tho they only have their own beans and I like some variety. Bleakhouse had some killer inteligentsia when i last went.

posted by endcycle on Apr 05, 2017 at 01:25:50 pm     #  

Oh, and a huge shoutout for Actual Coffee's subscriptions - I love his stuff.

posted by endcycle on Apr 05, 2017 at 01:26:19 pm     #  

Well, I knew what YOU thought...I was asking everyone else.


posted by ahmahler on Apr 05, 2017 at 01:34:41 pm     #  

Mrs. Ace went to Sip and had nothing but good things to say.

So far, Plate 21 has the best coffee hands down. They brew Madcap Coffee (out of Grand Rapids) and know what they are doing. I haven't been to Bleak House or Flying Joe in a while, but they were good last time I was there. I think both bring in legit beans like Intelligentsia and Actual Coffee.

There are no shortage of coffee shops right now but I have found them mostly to be meh: Rustbelt, Flying Rhino, Maddie & Bella, Black Kite. Certainly better than Speedway or McDonalds though.

Been meaning to check out BREW on Dorr St. or that hipster shop on Adams near Handmade Toledo.

posted by Ace_Face on Apr 05, 2017 at 02:04:34 pm     #  

ahmahler posted at 12:48:03 PM on Apr 05, 2017:

Ooh- begs the question-

What is the best coffee in Toledo? Not cupcakes, not yogurt, not music, coffee. Beans or brewed?

I enjoy supporting the local roasters and coffee shops, but like other things, such as bread, pizza, beer, yogurt, kombucha, etc., sometimes the "Best of" can be what you produce at home, provided that you have the time and desire.

I occasionally roast coffee beans at home, using an old air popcorn popper, which is a lot cheaper than buying a drum roaster. I've been pleased with the results of roasting in the popcorn popper. But roast outside.

I buy the green coffee beans online at Sweet Maria's. Match the bean with the type of roast and flavors that you want.

I roast 2/3 a cup of beans at a time. It only takes a few minutes to roast. I use a stopwatch as a guide, but I roast mainly by sight and sound. First crack and second crack.

If you like a French roast or a dark roast, then you will roast until or through the second crack. I tried that once, and I didn't like the taste. It tasted burnt, which would probably satisfy Starbucks fans.

I stop roasting during first crack or shortly after first crack ends for a medium roast.

Sound is a good indicator of temperature during roasting. There are two temperature thresholds called "cracks" that roasters listen for.

Light roast ... immediately at first crack ...

Medium roast ... developed during first crack ...

I have never liked decaf coffee produced by anyone. My wife wanted me to roast decaf beans to mix with the regular coffee during brewing. I reluctantly roasted the decaf beans, and I was shocked at how well it tasted by itself. Decaf beans roast differently than regular beans.

We store coffee beans in a glass jar that sits on the counter. We grind the beans using the whirly blade grinder, which, apparently, is not the best way to grind beans. A burr grinder is recommended.

As to brewing, I think that the Aeropress produces the best tasting coffee, but it's a single-cup brewing device. At times, my wife will make herself a pourover. I brew mainly in a large French press pot.

Numerous brewing methods exist. The exact same beans with the same roast can taste differently, depending upon the brewing technique.

I like the muddy coffee produced by a press pot. A chemex will produce a "cleaner" and maybe smoother cup of coffee.

Since we have broken so many glass press pots over the years, we switched to a steel Bodum press pot that's also somewhat insulated.

A key piece of equipment is an electric tea kettle that permits programming the desired water temperature. We use a Bonavita.

I use the tea kettle and the press pot to brew tea too. That's one advantage of the French press pot. And no filters are required for a press pot.

The Sweet Maria's website contains info and links about buying and roasting coffee beans.

These were some of the green coffee beans that I have roasted. You can buy larger bags of beans if you find a favorite.

posted by jr on Apr 05, 2017 at 02:35:14 pm     #  

Like jr, I am a home roaster. I also get beans from Sweet Maria's, but discovered that you can get green coffee beans from Glass City Roasters on Sylvania Avenue for a fair price. They will even deliver them to you if you ask! Get a hot air popper at a thrift store for $3-4 and you are in business for less than $15.

posted by Ace_Face on Apr 06, 2017 at 10:03:40 am     #  

Well, looks like i might need to add roasting beans to my repertoire.

posted by endcycle on Apr 06, 2017 at 03:15:04 pm     #   1 person liked this

haha yeah. for real!

posted by upso on Apr 06, 2017 at 04:59:15 pm     #  

If you are downtown and want a cup of good coffee, go to the Park Inn Hotel on Summit & Monroe. The java has a rich aroma. The restaurant closes at 10:00 in the morning so get there early.

posted by flinty on Apr 06, 2017 at 10:37:04 pm     #