5 Best Coffee Spots On The Chicago Caffeine Crawl

5 Best Coffee Spots On The Chicago Caffeine Crawl

Explore the most renowned coffee shops in Chicago.
99
views

If you are serious about your coffee (and I am not talking about you Frappuccino drinkers, cause well, that doesn’t count for anything), then you must go on the Caffeine Crawl in 2017. If you only do a couple of enjoyable things this year, then this needs to be one of them. While you are probably questioning my seriousness upon this lighthearted topic, just know that it is because coffee is so much more than just a caffeinated beverage to me.

If you are like me, and would rather spend your time in a quaint coffee shop reading and writing rather than doing basically anything else, then you will fall absolutely head over heels for this event. I know I did.

It all starts when a city is chosen. The organizers of the event pick a city and create an itinerary that will immerse you into the vast coffee culture of the city. There are usually about eight different itineraries that vary in transportation, date, and time. After you pick your route and pay for your ticket (usually around $25-$40) you are ready to start your tour. Upon arriving at the first coffee shop, you will be given a little gift bag full of coupons and samples and will get to pick out a cup of coffee from the menu. From there, you will travel to several other coffee shops where you will learn tons of new information and sample lots of different pastries and coffee. Along the way, you will meet new people, have incredibly advanced conversations about coffee, and experience delightful new atmospheres and beverages.

1. Dark Matter Coffee

The first stop for my tour group was at Dark Matter Coffee, located on West Chicago Avenue. I got a vanilla latte on the house and had the pleasure of listening to a very interesting presentation about how Dark Matter fermented and roasted their coffee beans. I was taken aback by the complexity of the coffee. You could definitely tell that their product meant everything to them. As I listened to the marketing director speak so passionately about the brand that he represented, I got a sense of just how much work and effort actually went into the little cup of coffee that I was sipping.

2. The Eastman Egg Company

I then drove to The Eastman Egg Company coffee shop located on North Wacker Drive. This was probably one of my favorite shops on the tour, seeing as the aesthetic of the shop is incredible. As you walk in you see large wooden tables that give the place an immense warmth. The black wooden panels lining the walls gives the shop its unique look. The aesthetic was only the beginning, though, as we were encouraged to sample little pastries and chocolates made in-house. It was here that one of my fondest memories of the tour occurred.

There was a tray of little bite-size lemon meringue pies and a pot of dark roasted coffee sitting next to it. I took a bite of the little pie and washed it down with a sip of the dark coffee, and something magical occurred. It was perhaps one of the best flavor combinations I have ever tasted, with the sweetness of the lemon meringue and the bitterness of the warm coffee. Absolutely delightful.

3. The Dollop Coffee Company

The next stop on the tour was The Dollop Coffee Company shop, which was a little cafe tucked between large buildings. It had a very clean modern appearance to it. I didn’t have much time to appreciate the aesthetic, as we jumped right into things. We tried three different roasts, from light to dark. The thing that makes this café really unique is their Kyoto cold brew coffee that drips one drop at a time. You can see the large Japanese contraption used to brew the coffee right as you walk in. The café employee told our group that they only make a couple of pots a day because it takes so long to brew. The Kyoto was unlike any coffee I had ever tasted before, it was so rich and dark that it almost had a bourbon flavor to it.

4. Bow Truss Coffee Roasters

After finishing up at The Dollop, we headed down to Bow Truss Coffee Roasters located in River North. This shop had a great vintage feel to it, as worn brick-lined the side of the entry and repurposed furniture filled the room. The shop and the coffee had an incredible boldness to them, that sets them aside from the rest.

5. Big Shoulders Coffee

We then embarked on our last stop; Big Shoulders Coffee, located on Chicago Avenue. This shop had a very cozy feel to it, and the staff was comprised solely of hipsters (which is always a bonus). The barista asked the group what we wanted to try, and then whipped us up a couple of different drinks. Their pour-over was incredible, and their staff favorite; which was a spicy chai latte, was surprisingly next level.

As I left the tour, I felt absolutely enlightened, and not just from all of the caffeine. I had met a ton of people who shared the same passion that I did. I got to try way too much of the best coffee that Chicago has to offer. On my ongoing quest tolearn more about the magnificent city of Chicago, I have found this crawl to be perhaps one of the best learning experiences.

I would HIGHLY encourage everyone to partake in one of the twelve Caffeine Crawls that will take place in 2017. So far, they have announced that San Diego, Houston, and Oklahoma City will have the privilege of hosting the event. They have yet to announce the nine other cities that will partake in the crawl. I am very hopeful that Chicago will be chosen as one of them.

To keep posted on the location of the next crawls, follow them on Facebook or check out their website.

Pro-Tip: Don’t drink all of the coffee that you are given, just take little sips to enjoy the flavor and avoid a huge headache.

Cover Image Credit: What Weekly

Popular Right Now

8 Struggles Of Being 21 And Looking 12

The struggle is real, my friends.
10940
views

“You'll appreciate it when you're older." Do you know how many times my mom has told me this? Too many to count. Every time I complain about looking young that is the response I get. I know she's right, I will love looking young when I'm in my 40s. However, looking young is a real struggle in your 20s. Here's what we have to deal with:

1. Everyone thinks your younger sister or brother is the older one.

True story: someone actually thought my younger sister was my mom once. I've really gotten used to this but it still sucks.

2. You ALWAYS get carded.

Every. Single. Time. Since I know I look young, I never even bothered with a fake ID my first couple of years of college because I knew it would never work. If I'm being completely honest, I was nervous when I turned 21 that the bartender would think my real driver's license was a fake.

3. People look at your driver's license for an awkward amount of time.

So no one has actually thought my real driver's license is fake but that doesn't stop them from doing a double take and giving me *that look.* The look that says, “Wow, you don't look that old." And sometimes people will just flat out say that. The best part is this doesn't just happen when you're purchasing alcohol. This has happened to me at the movie theater.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things People Who Look 12 Hate Hearing

4. People will give you *that look* when they see you drinking alcohol.

You just want to turn around and scream “I'M 21, IT'S LEGAL. STOP JUDGING ME."

5. People are shocked to find out you're in college.

If I had a dollar for every time someone had a shocked expression on their face after I told them I'm a junior in college I could pay off all of my student loan debt. It's funny because when random people ask me how school is going, I pretty much assume they think I'm in high school and the shocked look on their face when I start to talk about my college classes confirms I'm right.

6. For some reason wearing your hair in a ponytail makes you look younger.

I don't understand this one but it's true. Especially if I don't have any makeup on I could honestly pass for a child.

7. Meeting an actual 12-year-old who looks older than you.

We all know one. That random 12-year-old who looks extremely mature for her age and you get angry because life isn't fair.

8. Being handed a kids' menu.

This is my personal favorite. It happens more often than it should. The best part of this is it's your turn to give someone a look. The look that says, "You've got to be kidding me".

Looking young is a real struggle and I don't think everyone realizes it. However, with all the struggles that come with looking young, we still take advantage of it. Have you ever gone to a museum or event where if you're under a certain age you get in for a discounted price? Yeah? Well, that's when I bet you wish you were us. And kids' meals are way cheaper than regular meals so there have definitely been a couple times when I've kept that kids' menu.

So, all in all, it's not the worst thing in the world but it's definitely a struggle.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Collins

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

11 Tips For The College Vegetarian

Eating healthy doesn't have to break the bank and leave you rushing out the door to class.

378
views

Five years ago I decided to become a vegetarian. I have learned so much about healthy eating as a student, making meals cheap and quick yet still delicious. From dorm room smoothies to making the most of dining halls, this list will help you follow a vegetarian diet while attending college.

1. Smoothies are your best friend 

Drink your morning breakfast on the go easily by mixing up your favorite ingredients into a blender. Throwing frozen fruit such as strawberries and bananas in a blender with some milk and yogurt creates the perfect morning smoothie. Adding things like almond butter, almond milk, and protein powder will provide you with enough protein to get through your morning. I like to throw some granola on top of my smoothie for an added crunch as I'm drinking it.

2. Cook in bulk 

Pick a day during the week to cook in bulk. Most halls will have a kitchen somewhere in them and you can utilize it to make some food to eat throughout the week. Cook up a large quantity of rice or pasta on the stove top and keep it contained for eating throughout the week. For a quick healthy lunch take some pre-made noodles and heat them up with some vegetables in a microwave.

3. Research opinions on your campus 

College campuses have a variety of places to eat, but the key to finding places that will fit a vegetarian diet is research. You won't find a lot of opinions at commercial fast food chains, such as Chick Fil A or Mcdonald's, so it's important to know what spots to eat at. At the salad bar, you can load up on fresh veggies and dressings. If your campus has hot bar options, you can pick out things like rice, potatoes, vegetarian soups, etc.

4. Master the microwave 

You can make all kinds of meals in a microwave, which will save you time out of your busy college schedule. Amy's makes plenty of frozen vegetarian meals that you can stock up on at your local supermarket (shown in the video above!!) and Gardein makes tons of meat alternatives packed with protein that will satisfy your hunger.

5. Savor some soup 

Whether it's cold on campus or not, a bowl of warm soup is the perfect way to get a quick meal in. Supermarkets carry a variety of soups that only require water and a quick trip to the microwave that tastes great! Next time you're trying to figure out what to eat, try a hearty soup with some crackers and your stomach will thank you.

6. The power of snacks 

Don't neglect your snacks! If you're ever hungry in class, make sure to have healthy snacks with you so you aren't tempted to splurge on expensive unhealthy food. A hangry mind never makes the wisest food choices. Bring along granola, nuts, fruits, and your favorite snacks to munch on.

7. Drink lots of water 

Most health professionals would recommend drinking about half a gallon of water a day to stay hydrated. Water boosts your metabolism, helps your body break down food, flushes out toxins, and other many other health benefits. Vegetarians, vegans, and meat lovers alike all need to drink plenty of it to take better care of their bodies.

8. Talk to your doctor 

Doctors are the best people to talk to when going through a dietary change. They are educated and qualified to answer the questions you may have. For newer vegetarians, they have packets full of advice and recipes that can start you out. For long-time vegetarians, they often recommend a B-12 vitamin to make sure you don't become vitamin deficient while not eating meat.

9. Replace unhealthy foods 

Don't bring unhealthy food that is going to tempt you into your dorm. Try to avoid super sugary foods and instead eat some fruit if your sweet tooth comes calling. Replace candy with healthy snacks such as nuts, and opt for whole grain options rather than refined grains (white bread/rice).

10. Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.

Most colleges will have a fitness center that you can use to workout in. Part of taking care of your body is exercising it often. Find time in your schedule for a quick trip to the gym or maybe even consider taking a fitness class such as boxing or yoga.

11. Listen to your body 

The vegetarian diet isn't for everyone and there is no reason that you should let yourself go hungry ever. Maintaining it while living in a dorm, surrounded by fast food, makes it a difficult task to manage. So if it is something you want to do and believe in, go for it! If not there's no reason to beat yourself up over it.

Lastly, celebrate yourself. Maintaining a vegetarian diet is no easy task, especially for a busy student looking to save cash. Give yourself a pat on the back for eating healthy and contributing to the betterment of the planet. You deserve it.

Related Content

Facebook Comments