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Guest Roaster Series Emboldens Weekend Brunch At Trenchermen

By Staff in Food on Jul 24, 2013 8:30PM

Coffee tasting at Trenchermen.
Coffee in Chicago is hotter than ever, and not just in the sense that it will scald you if you’re not careful. With so many independent coffee roasters setting up shop around town and as words like “pour over” become a part of our daily lexicon, people are thirstier than ever for quality coffee. While you can easily get your coffee fix at any number of killer cafes, Trenchermen has taken the plunge into craft coffee as well, implementing a guest roaster series as part of their weekend brunch program. Each month, the restaurant features a different artisanal roaster and one of their seasonal coffees served via pour over. The whole idea, explains Trencherpartner Kevin Heisner, was to make the restaurant a coffee destination, rather than just another brunch place serving standard coffee.

The guest roaster series is still in its infancy, with July marking its third month in operation. Last month the featured roaster was Stumptown, and the Portland-based coffee company’s Chicago rep Mike Horgan recently hosted a coffee cupping at Trenchermen to delve a bit further into the intricacies of coffee. On a trip to Costa Rica, Horgan says he learned how coffee is like food from coffee-grower Marvin Robles. The seasonality of coffee, apparently, is a big deal, with summertime being like the “Christmastime of coffee,” according to Horgan.

The philosophy dovetails perfectly with the kitchen sentiments at Trenchermen, where the menus are dictated by the seasons as well. Pour over coffee is a lot more meticulous than typical drip coffee. Sure, it takes a bit longer to prepare, but your thumb twiddling will be rewarded by first-rate brew made by pouring hot water over a filter filled with fresh coffee grounds, allowing the coffee to slowly drip down into a container underneath. The flavor is pristine, exhibiting unique flavors per coffee variety and proving how elaborate the art of coffee can be.

Brunch coffee pairings cost $7, which features the special pour over coffee and a special pastry designed to complement the coffee, courtesy of pastry chef Rebecca LaMalfa. For instance, last month’s duo featured an Indonesian coffee from Stumptown with an Indo-Dutch pastry called a klappertaart. On deck this month: Ipsento. The roaster provides an Ethiopian coffee whose blueberry notes lend themselves well to LaMalfa’s blueberry cake doughnuts. For Trenchermen, it’s all a part of going above and beyond the call of coffee duty on restaurant brunch menus, quenching the city’s thirst for great coffee.

Trenchermen is at 2039 W. North Avenue.

By Matt Kirouac