Photos and Video By Jason Dixson, Words By Morgan Day
Cory Andreen of Mockingbird Hill recently made an addition to the existing restaurant/bar by extending daytime hours to house his coffee program. He’s brought the experience of drinking whiskey to coffee, and removes the “fast-food system” seen in top commercial coffeehouses. Essentially, crafting the “anti-café”.
Which is perfectly coined when you’re seated at a full bar doing work on your laptop. Coinciding with the environment, the menu includes flights and mixed drinks. Their version of a White Russian is the “White Columbia” and is a popular treat among customers. If that’s too heavy they offer mixed drinks that are more refreshing and ideal for summer times.
The uniqueness isn’t just in the setting but that you’re actually drinking fantastic coffee. Andreen explains that most people don’t realize they’re drinking horrible coffee because temperature tends to mask the taste. Hence, why you’re disgusted by and throw out your coffee once the temperature is no longer numbing your mouth.
The coffee program transpired after noticing the ineptitude of the general coffee drinking industry. There is a split of coffee drinkers that view the beverage as utilitarian and are only there for the caffeine kick. Then, there are the people interested in learning about the coffee and recognize it as more than a just a necessity for getting through the workday. Andreen labeled the current coffee industry as a “fast food system” because it caters to the people looking for a quick fix. The baristas aren’t invested in the experience of the customer, and he picks up, “I can’t even get through my order without being asked four questions.”
At Mockingbird Hill they talk to each customer about where the coffee comes from—always exotic—and the eccentricities of each kind. “The Columbian coffee tastes like toast with butter, or sometimes butter with Nutella.” The Ethiopian coffee has tea characteristics, infusing flowery tastes like Jasmine.
There is purity in their coffee, but they never shy away from a customer’s request for inordinate amounts of cream and sugar. They are creating a space that revolves around shaking up the routine of drinking coffee but not forcing the customer to break from their drinking habits, besides giving them quality coffee. Because “bad coffee can taste like cheddar cheese” and nobody wants that.