Drip, Drop, Drip

Half Moon Tea & Spice might specialize in the leaves, but they’ve also got beans roasted around the region for “pour over” coffee.

Thom Fountain, photos by Thom Fountain

Half Moon Tea & Spice manager Colin Carey pours a cup of Kickapoo coffee, measured precisely for optimum taste.
Half Moon Tea & Spice manager Colin Carey pours a
cup of Kickapoo coffee, measured precisely
for optimum taste.

For most, coffee isn’t a very complicated process. You throw some grounds into a pot and boom! You’ve got a little watery kick to get you through the day.

But, all you 8am coffee drinkers, have you ever thought about showing those beans a little respect?

Measuring the beans, grinding them fresh, slowly pouring the water yourself, eking every last great taste out of each cup. That’s what Half Moon Tea & Spice (formerly Infinitea) has dedicated itself to with its new coffee station, and it makes one heck of a difference.

Manager Colin Carey said the “pour over” method of making coffee is similar to tea-making, with each precise step affecting the final flavor of the cup.

Everything from the water temperature to the grind of the beans slightly alters and brings out tastes you may not be used to from your morning cup o’ joe.

All of this does make it more of a process, though, but Carey said people appreciate it. “Usually you go and sit down to coffee because you want to connect with someone,” Carey said, adding that now you can connect with your coffee the same way.

Half Moon has been featuring different Wisconsin roasters since starting the process earlier this year, including Big Water, Alterra, Stone Creek, and now Kickapoo – a Viroqua roaster with a number of single-origin and blend coffees. Next on the list is (barely) out-of-state: Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee, which has been consistently lauded as one of the best coffee roasters in the United States by everyone from The Huffington Post to GQ.

When choosing roasters, Carey said the beans are the most important thing. Knowing the source of the product and the roasters’ close connection to their farmers creates the ideal situation for a perfectly roasted coffee bean.

“People are so interested in where things come from now,” Carey said. “And we should care more.”

Carey said the strength of pour over coffee over other “gourmet” coffee preparation methods – like French pressing – is the precise control the brewer has over the process, affecting every little piece. The result is a cup of coffee that is “fruiter, cleaner, less busy and less ‘in-your-face.’ ”

So, sure, as you roll out of bed tomorrow morning, your zombie-esque walk to the kitchen will probably be all the energy you have before you get that quick fix of java, but if you’re searching for something a little more refined or want to have coffee like you’ve never had it, you know where to look.

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