Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Local Favorite

Some time ago, I gave a three-sentence plug for one of my favorite spots in Sioux Falls. While my timing is a little weird (apparently they just got a rather negative online review), I'd already had this post in mind for when the weather turned cooler ... so I'll write it anyway.

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I love coffee shops.

Love them. I love the atmosphere, I love the excuse to sit and drink and read, and I really do love coffee. With this in mind, I have no real bones with Starbucks. Truth be told, without Starbucks there wouldn't be the same demand for coffee shops in the first place -- they were among the first to make a store that focused on coffee a "thing" in a lot of towns across the country, and for that I have to appreciate them.

This doesn't mean Starbucks is my first choice. They're the McDonald's of coffee joints -- you go there if you want a really predictable cup of coffee, not necessarily if you want a really good cup of coffee. For the really good cups, you have to go looking for the smaller joints -- the tried-and-true, hometown-diner equivalent, if I am to stick with the burger metaphor.

Rapid City has Bully Blends. Wausau has Allister Deacon's. And Sioux Falls has Coffea.

Coffea sits on Louise Avenue, one of the busier streets in the city. Next to a hotel and attached to a wine store (they share a "common area," actually, which can make for an enjoyably distracting afternoon), it is a Sioux Falls anomaly: it is both locally owned and a non-chain, Sioux-Falls-only store. The owners -- who are fabulous humans -- are even Sioux Falls natives.

The cafe is an open, inviting gathering spot, the kind where I can take my tutoring students and (a) be able to chat with them without difficulty and (b) not disturb others, either. They have the cozy tables and comfy chairs that you expect in a coffee shop. There's wi-fi. It's clean. Really, there's nothing unexpected about the cafe itself.

What sets Coffea apart is the coffee.

The owners have a passion -- strike that. They have an obsession with the science behind a good cup of coffee, and oh, have they done their homework. They consider every detail, from the bean source to the roasting to the grinding to the water temperature and quality. And they are always perfecting, working toward that ideal cup of coffee.

Truth be told, it's almost intimidating. There are even multiple options for a single cup of coffee. Thankfully it's all laid out in front of you when you walk in -- and if you have questions there will be someone who's willing and able to answer.

When it's all said and done, you will be left with the best cup of coffee in Sioux Falls.

Even if you only drink decaf.

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