On the 5th of July I ventured into the unknown: IDAHO. Yep! The land of our very own Josh Belville. It had been a couple years since I’d left the state for more than a day. Joining my lady friend Lauren for the latter part of her family reunion was just the ticket I needed. I was overdue. Being the coffee fiend I am, duh, I needed to try out some coffee. I planned my coffee adventures weeks in advance. I had three places laid out that I wanted to set my sipping upon. Google searching and Instagram stalking lead me to District Coffee House (www.districtcoffeehouse.com), Dawson Taylor (www.dawsontaylor.com), and Guru Donuts who carry MAPS coffee.
Upon landing in Boise, my ride (my lady friend Lauren) and I went directly to District. Now, I had seen on their website that they present an atmosphere of “God’s perfect love”. I was in for a surprise. We walked into FELLOWSHIP. Eyes were glued to a projector, hands raised praising God. Honestly, this did not bode well for my expectations of their coffee. I was concerned that this might just be another almost good. In fact, the latte was actually quite delicious and the cold brew better than many. Unfortunately, there were no bags of beans in sight and I was feeling rather out of place. Rarely do I feel like the biggest hipster in a Portland cafe. Here I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb.
Next we headed to Dawson Taylor which luckily enough for us was just around the corner. Turns out actually that Downtown Boise is just a few blocks. Dawson Taylor was welcoming with an immediate greeting and friendly smiles from the baristas. They showed us their beans, maybe fifteen or so different roasts, and let us taste a few of their currently brewed coffees. We left with a half-plound each of their Colombian, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, and Vienna roast for Lauren’s father.
Unfortunately, Guru was closed for the holiday weekend. Everyone we chatted with said that it was the place to go and they had great coffee. Next visit!
I spent the next few days with Lauren’s family who marveled and chided me for my coffee obsession. I brought with me my trusty Porlex hand grinder and my Aeropress for brewing. I sleepily stood there grinding to my hearts content. Each morning I tested the best ways to make the coffee. Turned out that a shorter brew time brought out the best flavors in their beans.
In lieu of flying, I joined the family for the drive back to Portland. For sanity’s sake we split the drive into two days and stopped in at Wild Horse Casino and Hotel in Pendleton. The room had a Keurig coffee maker. No dice. Had to get creative. I made use of the mug offered in room and heated some water in the microwave. I rushed down the hall with the ice bucket. Voila! An iced Americano! Well, an approximation of one.
For lunch on the last day of travel we stopped in Hood River. Home of Stoked Roasters (http://www.stokedroasters.com). I’d never heard of them but their name will always stay on my lips whenever I’m near Hood River. A nice spacious cafe is home to beautiful San Franciscan roaster.
I had a deliciously balanced Guatemalan Americano. So good, in fact, that I went back in after lunch and grabbed another drink. A cold brew, which was perfect for the warm ride home. Even further, I couldn’t leave without snagging a bag of their Guatemalan beans for my own. They’ve getting lots of love the past few weeks!
Rest assured friends that wherever you travel there will be coffee. Not everywhere will have great coffee. But with a little foresight and ingenuity great cups can happen everywhere!