I’ve never been a big coffee drinker and that’s a good thing for me because my body does not handle caffeine well. It has a tendency to make me feel jittery and wired and stays in my system for a long time but more than that, I never took to coffee because it didn’t taste that good to me. I couldn’t understand why people like it so much; too often it tasted like burnt water. My taste buds are smarter than I gave them credit for – they were just holding out for the good stuff. No wonder coffee shops add things like pumpkin spice, mocha, peppermint, caramel, whipped cream or sugar to coffee. You don’t need any of that stuff when you get the coffee right.
Enter Sump Coffee. It’s what coffee is supposed to taste like. I found a few coffee shops in Chicago that serve great coffee without the bells and whistles, but it took a trip to St. Louis’s Sump coffee to find a coffee shop that one-ups even these places. The owner (and barista who made my cofffe) Scott Carey has perfected the art of coffee so much that he doesn't need to have sugar in his shop. Sure, I've seen places with no flavored syrups, but this place doesn't even have cream, sugar or sweetener packets on the bar to add to your coffee if you want it. Oh, and they don’t serve Americanos either. Their entire business is built on the flavor of the coffee standing alone, so much so that they save customers from themselves by not allowing them mess it up. I knew I was in for a treat.
Their perfectly crafted espresso shot was like none I have ever tasted before. It was a light roast which brought out tons of flavor without being bitter. They only use light roast beans and they employ different brewing methods to bring out the unique flavors of each coffee variety. All those “notes” that people tell me about were actually discernible and not covered up by over-roasting the beans. The only thing that could make it better in my opinion was milk, so I ordered the latte which was an excellent choice. It was absolutely fantastic; best coffee I’ve ever had, and it looked just as beautiful as it tasted.
Luckily I don’t live too close to Sump Coffee. If I did, I would certainly be tempted to become a coffee drinker.