Six coffee shops you need to visit in Chicago

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Have you ever found yourself craving for coffee but ran out of your coffee beans? Alternatively, find out your mom borrowed your espresso machine and hadn’t returned it yet? Alternatively, let’s say, you happened to be in Chicago for vacation or simply stuck here for work, yet do not know where to go to get your daily dose of coffee, do not panic.

I understand how coffee can be very important, especially if you’re a coffee snob like me. I seriously and religiously consider it as a staple to my daily grind.

So to end your agony look where to get a shot of your coffee quickly but that is not instant you can get from a convenience store, here’s a list of where you can find the best espressos:

1. Asado Coffee Co

Asadocoffee

1432 W Irving Park Rd

Chicago, IL 60613

Asado takes espresso seriously – the Japanese way. Located in Chicago, IL, this shop makes sure their coffee is extracted right.

2. Bow Truss

bowtruss

1641 W eighteenth St
Chicago, IL, 60608

Also in Chicago, Bow Truss has become a trusted name when it comes to espresso. Ask the neighborhood!

3. Buzz: Killer Espresso

Buzz

1644 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

Bucktown’s Buzz: Killer Espresso has two stories to their coffee shop, literally! Their coffee also lives up to their name. Killer!

4. Cafe Jumping Bean

Cafe-Jumping-Bean

1439 W eighteenth St
Chicago, IL 60608

If you are looking for just the perfect place to drink coffee and have dinner when you get hungry in Chicago, go to Café Jumping Bean. It is one place you should not miss. Bring some company and it becomes a feast.

5. The Coffee Studio

The-Coffee-Studio

5628 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

Coffee studios has served delectable and flavorful espresso for nearly a decade. If you also get a little hungry or would like some donut on the side, try their Sour Cream. It’s a must have.

6. Gaslight Coffee Roasters

Gaslight-Coffee-Roasters

2385 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

This is an amazing place not only to drink a nice coffee or cup of tea, but also to do some work, with their lightning-fast WIFI connection. Definitely give it a go!

4 Healthy Reasons to Keep Drinking Coffee

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There has been a constant argument whether coffee is bad or not. Many would ask you to stop drinking while there would still be a million more advocates, like me, who would fight their way to encourage coffee drinking. Basically, like anything else under the sun, it has its pros and cons.

I do not intend to add more to your readings. However, here’s some reasons to help you decide. Let me highlight 4 of the top reasons why coffee is still good for your health.

  1. Coffee fights cancer.

Studies have confirmed that coffee is infused with antioxidants, which serves us a reliable weapon against those nasty cancer cells, even better than green tea or cocoa.

Recent studies explain that having approximately 6 cups daily won’t hurt you, and are actually best to reduce the risk of this dreaded disease.

  1. Caffeine backs up your fleeting memory.

A recent experiment with coffee drinkers has asserted that at least 100 mg of caffeine stimulates cerebrum action in the brain. This suggests that coffee helps you remember more, long-term.

  1. Coffee is your guard against intellectual decay.

Experts say at least three espressos a day fights neurodegenerative sicknesses away. Drink this much and you will reduce the risk by 65%.

Neurodegenerative diseases may include, but not limited to, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s which can further lead to dementia. I think it’s safe to say that coffee keeps you remember and on track.

  1. Coffee is good for your heart.

There were more than thirty thousand coffee drinkers who were sampled in the span of thirteen years. Results show that they have people who drink at least two cups a day, has a 20% lower risk compared to those who drink less or none at all.

There are many other debates and proof about how good coffee is for your health. My take here is for you to check it with your physician first. If he says, you are healthy enough or do not have any negative reactions to caffeine then drink coffee. Just remember that moderation is key.

Four Tips to Dramatically Improve Your Coffee

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Coffee has continuously satisfied many of us for the longest time and still does. Drinking a cup or two takes us to a different level, to either start our busy day ahead or just boost us in those times of need, for an extra kick of inspiration.

That distinctive taste you can never forget. The sharp delectable flavor and irresistible aroma make a coffee right. You may like your coffee now. However, I have listed some more ways to take your coffee up a notch.

1. Don’t settle with low-quality beans.

coffeebeas

Yes, access to ‘so-so’ coffee beans in the market is easy for you and may be on the pocket, too.

However, there is better-tasting coffee, all the time. Look around.

Make sure your beans are fresh and recently packed, in the same week if possible. You don’t want to serve cups of stale coffee, right?

2. Grind Those Beans Just Before Brewing

grind

Grind your beans with a burr processor minutes before you brew them. Doing so ensures flavor and aroma are kept locked in.

So make sure you buy whole beans, and then grind them later. If you can settle for a burr, then stick with it. Regular food processors are not made for coffee beans. If you have a blender, use it as your second best option.

3. Measure the Coffee and Water

measure

The proportion of your coffee to water plays a vital role to its taste. Some people end up putting too much coffee or less.

Go from 1:1 – 1:4 depending on your preference.

4. Drink it Black

blackcoofee

While milk might be a good addition to your coffee, I suggest you drink it black. You do not need to add so much to make it great. This makes your coffee with fewer calories than with milk, and less price!

So there go my four quick fixes to a more delightful espresso. Enjoy!

What’s the Best Drip Coffee Maker for Home or Office?

Coffee has to be the most popular drink on the planet – second to water, of course. This rich, dark, and bittersweet beverage is enjoyed by millions of people all over the globe every day, and has become the core of many different brands and businesses the world over.

Consumed as a morning pick-me-up, as a conversation starter, or as a simple way to relax and unwind, coffee is an essential part of daily living. That’s why fitting out your home with the best drip coffee makers eliminates the need to leave, just to grab a ‘Cup of Joe’.

The humble coffee maker is now a kitchen counter-top essential, allowing the creation of your own coffee concoctions in comfort of home.

But much like any other product, coffee machines aren’t all made equal. Want to find out which ones really stand out? Read on to learn more.

6 Top Rated Drip Coffee Makers

ProductServe Capacity
Self CleanBrew Time (Average)
WarrantyThermal Carafe
Footprint
OXO On 9 Cup9 CupNo
6-7 MinsVaries
Yes
14.2"
Mr. Coffee BVMC-PSTX9110 Cup
Yes
8 Mins
1 Year
Yes
10.8"

Cuisinart DCC-265012 Cup
Yes
6 Mins
3 YearYes
11"
Bunn MCU1 Cup
Yes
2-3 Mins
2 YearNo
13.5"
Bonavita BV1900TS
8 Cup
No
5 Mins
2 YearYes
10"
Zojirushi EC-YSC10010 Cup
Yes
5-6 Mins
1 YearYes
10.6"

Our Coffee Maker Reviews

#1 – OXO On 9 Cup Coffee Maker

The best drip coffee maker on the market today can be hard to pinpoint, but the OXO On 9 Cup Coffee Maker proves to be a worthy contender. This coffee maker features a microprocessor controlled brew cycle designed to render the perfect blend every time.

It comes equipped with a rain maker water shower head for even dispersal of water across the grounds or beans to properly extract the flavour from the coffee. On the body is an LED interface that presents the coffee maker’s status and the freshness of the coffee contained inside.

  • Pros: One of the features that sets this coffee maker apart is the fact that it can brew anywhere between 2-9 cups in a single sitting, which works great for people who like to serve coffee to guests or multiple persons in a single sitting. Operation is very straightforward, eliminating the need for a learning curve. It takes only 6-7 minutes for the coffee maker to render a full pot of coffee.
  • Cons: On the overall, the maker is made of plastic parts which might not seem high quality for those who are more meticulous when it comes to construction.

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#2 – Mr. Coffee BVMC-PSTX91 Optimal Brew 10-Cup Thermal Coffeemaker, Black/Stainless Steel

The best thermal coffee maker today has to be the Mr. Coffee BVMC-PSTX91 which features a state-of-the-art water filtration system that removes up to 97% of chlorine from water for a fresher, cleaner, more flavourful brew.

The maker comes equipped with a freshness timer which works to inform users how fresh coffee is based on the time it was brewed. Users who want to take a cup of coffee before brewing is completed can make use of the grab-a-cup auto pause function which temporarily stops brewing to allow partial coffee collection.

  • Pros: A feature that puts the Mr. Coffee BVMC-PSTX91 ahead of the rest is its cycle cleaning function which informs the user when it’s time to clean the machine. The machine reaches up to 205 degrees Fahrenheit which allows it to extract the highest level of flavor from coffee. This also makes it possible for the machine to brew up to 10 cups of coffee in just under 6 minutes.
  • Cons: The only complaint that some users have with this particular coffee maker is the fact that it does not keep coffee at desired temperatures for very long time. Just 3 hours after brewing, coffee can significantly lose heat making it cooler than desired.

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#3 – Cuisinart DCC-2650 Brew Central 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker

This fully automatic coffee maker features a 24 hour programmability, self-cleaning, cup quantity adjustment, and auto-shut off functions. Temperature can be adjusted to suit user preference, and Brew Pause function allows users to collect a cup of coffee before the brew is complete.

  • Pros: This coffee maker is considered among the best single cup coffee maker models because of its superior functionality and ease of use. The entire product is durable, designed with high-quality materials that resist staining and heat damage. The design is very contemporary, so users won’t have to worry about matching it with other kitchen décor. But the biggest takeaway has to be the fact that it can brew large amounts of coffee in just a short amount of time.
  • Cons: While the product does offer a brew strength adjustment option, some users complain that there actually isn’t much of a noticeable difference even between the extreme ends of the temperature spectrum.

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#4 – BUNN MCU Single Cup Multi-Use Home Coffee Brewer

Equipped with a pulse brew feature, the BUNN MCU Single Cup Multi-Use Home Coffee Brewer can extract maximum flavour out of beans and grounds for a rich, deep, dark taste. The product can be adapted to many travel mugs thanks to its removal drip tray that works to accommodate different cups and mugs.

  • Pros: The BUNN MCU Single Cup Multi-Use Home Coffee Brewer makes use of K-Cup packs which can be very convenient for those who prefer using these easy and convenient coffee packets. The coffee maker also doubles as a hot water dispenser for many other uses like instant coffee, oatmeal, and more.
  • Cons: Some users have trouble with the ground coffee drawer as it can clog and resist water passing through no matter how finely ground the granules might be.

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#5 – Bonavita BV1900TS 8-Cup Carafe Coffee Brewer

Developed with a one touch brew operation, users can concoct their favorite coffee creations with a single push of a button. The machine can reach temperatures of up to 205 degrees Fahrenheit which works for a fast and rich brew. A pre-infusion option can soak beans and granules before brewing to extract maximum flavour.

  • Pros: The machine is very efficient at keeping coffee at the optimal temperature even hours after brewing. A complete cycle takes no more than 5 minutes, ideal for those who are always on the go. Finally, the auto off function works great to save power and eliminates the need to keep checking on the machine during brewing.
  • Cons: The carafe isn’t too ergonomic, requiring users to practically turn it completely upside down just to get the last few drops of coffee.

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#6 – Zojirushi EC-YSC100 Fresh Brew Plus Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker

The 10 cup coffee carafe was designed and optimized to store coffee for extended hours without losing heat. The removable water tank makes the cleaning process easy and trouble free. A thumb activated pouring system makes for precise serving and optimal heat retention.

  • Pros: The coffee machine is very easy to use, and the big buttons eliminate the need to fiddle with controls or guess what each option is for. the carafe is very efficient and serves as a very worthy plus point compared to other carafes that other coffee makers come with. Finally, the entire machine comes with a battery back-up which continues brewing if you accidentally unplug the machine or if electricity goes out.
  • Cons: Some units might present with a manufacturing issue that causes leakage of liquids and fluids, so hold on to your warranty just in case.

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Best Coffee Resource Sites

Here’s are some of my favorite resources. Hope you find them helpful too.

Home Roasting

Sweet Maria’s: Covers practically any topic of home roasting.
Coffee Bean Corral: Hawaiian coffee beans site selling online.
Coffee Wholesalers: The latest coffee gizmos for home roasters.
Treasures Coffee & Tea Company: A family-owned Sun Valley, California micro-roaster with over 50 years of experience.
Coffee Bean Direct: New Jersey roaster
Stanton Coffee Roasters: Award winning coffees from their “Racing Roaster”; Stanton Coffee has been motoring since ’99.

Information and Review Sites

Coffee FAQ: Everything you ever wanted know about Coffee
CoffeeGeek: Features equipment roundups and consumer reviews
Coffeeholic Blog: Only a few years old but already a helpful source of Espresso machine and grinder reviews
Coffee History: The full history of Coffee…
Schomer’s Table: A comprehensive guide to all elements of the coffee world.
The Coffee Research Organization: Useful information site on coffee basics including espresso and roasting
Water FAQ: Write up linking water quality with coffee and espresso

Personal Blogs

A table in the corner of the cafe:  excellent site run by Drew Moody reviewing coffee and cafes you
FrshGrnd: Blog by Aaron which focuses on the New York coffee scene
Coffee in Denver: A small column that has some interesting coffee articles

Coffee Competitions

Big Eastern
Coffee Fest Chicago

Trade Organizations & Magazines

Roast Magazine: The go-to resource across the entire coffee industry
SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America)
Roasters Guild: Official Trade Guild of the SCAA