Quite by accident, I recently found myself in the center of the Reno coffee world. What started out as a simple trip to see some potential customers turned into a guided tour of all the “happening” cafes in town. I learned that there are a number of stories about the burgeoning Reno coffee scene that are worth telling. Here are just three of them.
Magpie Coffee Roasters – Magpie has one location—a well-appointed cart inside the lobby of The Discovery Museum—equipped with a La Marzocco Strada MP and a Mazzer Robur E. They roast coffee on a small San Franciscan roaster. They were closed when I went by, but they have the ingredients they need to have a great product, and locals speak highly of them.
Homage Bakery – Homage Bakery, home to a Nuova Simonelli Aurelia and a surprisingly wide selection of bottled cold-brewed coffee, serves Portland Roasting coffee (for whom I totally work). In addition to their delicious baked-on-site pastries and baked goods, they offer no brewed coffee, opting instead to make Americanos for every black coffee customer.
Hub Coffee Roasters – The biggest story in town has to be Hub Coffee Roasters. Hub has three locations in the heart of Reno, including their roasting facility. Their newest location, on the banks of the Truckee River, is a beautiful café that any metropolitan area would be proud to host. Hub started out four years ago as a multi-roaster café offering a diverse range of coffees from the likes of Intelligentsia, Ritual, and Four Barrel. They started roasting for themselves 2.5 years ago, achieving local cred here in “The Biggest Little City In The World.” Their coffee can be found at a number of other cafes in town, and the owners, Mark and Joey Trujillo, are widely respected in the Reno coffee scene.
They pull delicious shots (their 32 Cheney espresso blend, named after the address of their original location, is as good as any I’ve tried), pour delicious cappuccinos, and do it all with a warm, infectious enthusiasm both for the coffee they’re serving and the city they’re serving it to. When you’re in Reno, they are a must-visit.
As a coffee professional, it’s encouraging to see the expansion of specialty coffee into every part of the country, even in those markets that haven't previously been known for their coffee scenes. We're fast approaching the day when every city in the United States is home to an amazing shot of espresso, a great cafe, or an exemplary microroaster. Reno has all this in spades.
Let's call it “The Biggest Little Coffee City in the World.”
Nathanael May is a USBC certified judge and trainer at at Portland Roasting Coffee. This is his first feature for Sprudge.com, though we've previously featured his writing on coffee cuppings in Araku, India.