Chicago: Metropolis Coffee Company 2011/09/26

清晨啜飲著來自萬哩外的 Metropolis La Cordillera 咖啡,不禁感慨世事的奇妙,原來跟Metropolis Coffee Company 可以是這樣的緣份:Wisconsin-Madison — Washington-Seattle — Illinois- Chicago

Jeff Dreyfuss (the father) was an Indonesian Language Professor at the University of Washington-Seattle who spent his free time learning the inside scoop on the coffee business from a friend who was the coffee buyer and taster at his favorite café. Tony Dreyfuss (the son) completed a Philosophy degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998. After trying many things, he landed on a job at Peet’s Coffee & Tea in Portland, Oregon as the lowest level floor sweeper  and soon worked his way up to join the management team. When it became clear that coffee wasn’t just a hobby, father and son decided to go into business together. On December 21st, 2003, Metropolis Coffee Company opened her doors to the public and quickly became one of Chicago’s most popular and one of the nation’s most critically-acclaimed coffee roasters. http://www.metropoliscoffee.com/

Metropolis Coffee Company is located between Loyola University and the Granville stop on the Red Line, and only spitting distance from the Lake Michigan. Named after Plato’s notion of polis, or city-state, this Edgewater coffee company believes that a coffee house should be a neighborhood center . . . a place that catalyzes relaxation, conversation, ideas, arts, and sometimes—revolution.

The Metropolis Coffee Company vintage 1950s limestone building, with three large adjoining rooms, utilizes black accouterments to frame frost-glazed windows. An insidious red door stands out, customers curl up with laptops on the expansive couches, rotating local artworks hang on the mustard yellow walls, and fresh pastries/sandwiches being prepared behind a big bay window, promises of the comfort that lies within. A mixed crowd of neighborhood locals come to this here to study, read the paper, meet friends, play board games, and even knit. Metropolis is obviously a coffeehouse that wants you to stay awhile.

Upon entering Metropolis Coffee Company you are immediately greeted with a smile and the aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans. The coffee of the day changes allowing the patrons to enjoy a new flavor everyday and to experience a coffee they might not have normally tried. The baristas at Metropolis are very friendly, well informed and are able to speak to the characteristics of their coffees without making the customer feel rushed into making a decision.

The thing that makes Metropolis so great, I think, is Jeff and Tony’s passionate loves for coffee and Chicago. Even though they’re a company that could very well go corporate and become a national chain, they keep it local and are totally devoted to their clientele here in the city. Furthermore, they even partner up with other local coffee shops and roasters, to do projects and promotions. June 2nd, 2011, Metropolis has even featured rival’s (Intelligentsia) roast at its own café! For that, something I salute.

p.s. If you’re genuinely interested in coffee, Intelligentsia or Metropolis is the places you want to get into. They dominate and saturate the Chicago market with their roasts—you’d be hard-pressed to go to any coffee shop in the city and not find their beans decorating the merchandise shelves or in their coffee urns or in their espresso grinders. It seems like no matter where you go in the city, coffee shops are pulling espresso shots with either Intelligentsia’s Black Cat roast or Metropolis’s Red Line roast. However, Metropolis Coffee Company association with a more collegiate crowd, noticeable by the decorations of the place and the fantastic prices, distinguishes it from Intelligentsia’s more corporate focus.

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