I took the day off work to spend the day with my wife on her birthday. We started the day off with breakfast at Kneaders, which is awesome by the way. (Side note: they serve LaVazza coffee, so the drip's not bad either.) Then we were off to the Children's Museum in downtown. We played for a good long time and once my daughter was utterly exhausted we called it a day. I noticed Street Coffee would be on our way home and was able to talk my daughter (who was the crabby one) into stopping.
Street Coffee (http://www.streetcoffee.net/) has an interesting presence in downtown. It is off Roosevelt Row, but holds is a re-purposed house. It is a stark gray building with a black and white sign. To be honest, I think you could drive by it 100 times and not notice it. Also, the parking is all in the back, so it is hard to tell if it is open or not, which is why I haven't made it in yet.
We pulled around back and the first thing I saw was an orange sign that said "Coffee Roasting." Since it was the only piece of color my eye was drawn to it. I walked all around the building but there was no way in. I could see the roaster through the window, but wasn't able to see the operation. It would have been nice to get a better peek.
We entered the coffee shop and really enjoyed the industrial sheike. There was plenty of room and the environment had a nice feel to it. This shop is right smack off one of the busiest streets in downtown, so the quiet interior was a pleasant surprise.
I made my way up to the bar and was a little underwhelmed. I was really hoping that this place would be brewing at a specialty coffee level, but they aren't. They had an old Bunn brewer and some air pots. It made me feel like the coffee was not the most important aspect. Probably not true, but that's the impression I got.
I spoke to the man behind the bar, who happened to be the owner and roaster. He chatted a little. He does equipment repairs and bean sales for other shops (which supports my theory that his own coffee isn't priority #1). I ordered a small house blend, which he advised was a mix of Colombian, Ethiopian, and Brazilian beans.
The coffee was good. Surprisingly good. I think I have been pretty consistent on my preference for single origin vs blends; but every once in a while, there is a blend that competes. The problem I have with blends is that it makes it hard for me to determine what I'm tasting. There are so many different flavors competing and what happens (to me) is survival of the fittest. The strongest flavors win out. This leaves me with one or two big flavors, but lacks a lot of the nuance. This coffee was good, but I can't say it was unique. I can say it had a nutty aroma and hint of chocolate at the front, but then it was just a good cup of coffee.
Overall, this place is pretty cool. I really like the interior and the coffee is good. The location is awful, but if you happen to be driving south on 7th St, its not a bad place to stop.