Hot roasters from across the country, a top-of-the-line manual espresso machine, hi-fi stereo equipment, all kinds of filter coffee-making equipment, and big plans for the future at M5 Espresso Lab, in Cincinnati, Ohio. This city’s got an exciting coffee scene centered around the hip Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, and M5 is hoping to bring some of that vibe to the city’s Hyde Park district. Ohio is in the middle of a specialty coffee boom, and here’s more wood for the fire.
As told to Sprudge by Alex Evans.
Please tell us more about your business for folks who might be unfamiliar.
The M5 Espresso Lab is a brand new coffee business in Cincinnati. We occupy part of the storefront at 2717 Erie Ave on Hyde Park Square, and are serving a rotating selection of coffees from roasters around the country, including Heart Roasters, Sightglass Coffee, Stumptown, and Wood Burl Coffee on our two-group Slayer Espresso machine as well as in various filter methods.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
This new space is super exciting for us. We’re sharing the building with Cinema Elements, a high-end home stereo / home theater company. While at first these businesses don’t seem to have much crossover, anyone who’s been in so far cannot deny that it’s an awesome experience to drink a cappuccino while listening to a pair of beautiful $15,000 speakers. Beyond our sister company in the space, this storefront is right on Hyde Park Square, opening us up to a bunch of foot traffic, and hopefully allowing us to share our craft with a whole new sector of Cincinnati. The coffee scene in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of downtown Cincinnati is really exploding right now, and we’re hoping we can bring some of that same culture up to Hyde Park. We also have a ton of space in the cafe, so will be hosting coffee and wine tastings and other events at M5 in the future.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Our approach to coffee is simple: coffee is seasonal, and so is our menu. We’ve starting building relationships with a small handful of roasters around the country whose coffees are really pushing the envelope, and our current hope is to feature a coffee from each of those roasters per month, along with a house espresso blend (currently Wood Burl Coffee’s Handyman) and a rotating single-origin espresso. While we aren’t too particular towards any one region, we are trying to stick to a fairly light, Scandinavian roast profile in all the coffees we bring in to highlight the quality of the crops these roasters are bringing to the table.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
Our bar is simple, but stocked with high-quality pieces that I’m hopeful will allow us to best showcase the awesome coffees we’re getting in. For espresso, we’re using a black and silver two-group Slayer, a Mazzer Robur grinder, and a Mazzer Kony grinder. For filter coffee, we have a Mahlkönig EK43 grinder, a Fetco hot water tower, and a selection of Hario V60 and Chemex brewing options. At this point, we will not be batch brewing any of our filter coffee. We also have a cold drip tower from Coffeega. Hopefully, we will also move into doing some siphon brewing in the near future.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?