12 stops and 3 hours. Sounds easy right? I thought it would be until I realized how popular this Charity Coffee Crawl had become. I started the crawl off at the Basement where I grabbed my wristband and map of participating coffee shops.
The community came together last Saturday morning to support A Little Juice Project and The Eddy House whose objective is to alleviate the homeless youth problem in Reno.
A Little Juice Project is a non-profit organization that was inspired by the toothless smiles often seen at senior centers. This sight brought on an idea to provide an option for these individuals whose diets were typically composed of bland foods lacking all of the vitamins and nutrients that are found in fresh fruits and vegetables that can easily be juiced.
Located in the Basement, a collective experience of local concepts coming together all under the historic roof of the 1933 U.S. Post Office.
They were serving two variations of coffee, the Reno Mocha which was their cold brew coffee mixed with both light and dark chocolate. On the simpler side they were also offering the Hell Ya coffee blend by Drink Coffee do Stuff. Which was brewed with GINA, a smart coffee instrument which allows you to measure and brew your coffee precisely.
Impressions: The mocha was different from most, being iced it was very light and not heavy which was nice considering a lot of mochas tend to be on the heavier side. The chocolate flavor was not overpowering and complemented the coffee well. The brewed hot coffee was very smooth with a sweetness encompassing chocolate and macadamia nut.
Located in the newly established Reno Renaissance Hotel, serving delicious brews to travelers and local visitors. Upon arrival there was a lofty line winding through the entrance to the hotel.
They were serving up Gibraltar which is essentially a mini latte. In a 4 ounce drink composed of 2 ounces of espresso and 2 ounces of your choice of milk, and an optional dash of cinnamon steamed into the milk which is definitely recommended!
Impressions: The Gibraltar was very smooth allowing you to admire both the taste of the espresso, which is sourced from grade A farms all over the world and roasted locally, and is perfectly complemented by your choice of milk.
See See Motor Coffee Co.
Located a short walk from the Renaissance at 131 Pine St.
They were serving a brew called Rwanda Huye Mountain by Stumptown Coffee Roasters. This was a very interesting blend with notes of melon and clove.
Impressions: The coffee wasn’t one that I would necessarily reach for, however it was not super bitter due, thanks to the fruity notes of melon.
One of the furthest locations from the central downtown starting location, positioned on the corner of Mt. Rose St.
They had a variety of things they were serving and had their large communal table set up for brewing demonstrations and displaying their coffee. For those who don’t drink coffee, or felt like they had already overdosed on caffeine the iced lavender latte was a good option. They were also serving up some of the different brews that they offer and showcased the different ways you can make coffee.
Impressions: I first sampled a traditionally brewed coffee called Vertical Reserve which had notes of red apple, vanilla and brown sugar. I didn’t really taste the sweet notes from the brown sugar and vanilla but more so the tangy side from the red apple, it’s a very distinct coffee. The pour over coffee I liked a bit more because it seemed to be a bit more of a mellow overall taste, although I didn’t get the exact roast. And of course I am a fan of the lavender latte it is light and refreshing with a hint of lavender, definitely not overpowering.
Magpie Coffee Roasters
This little shop has been open for about 3 years and I had not ever heard of it until this crawl. Shocking right?! This one was a bit trickier to find because of the location which is on the corner of S. Wells Ave.
Their roasting machine was put on display at the back of the open concept shop.
They were serving a hot coffee brew which was good, a little bitter and tasted similar to a classic French roast.
Another drink that they were serving up was their cold brew mixed with Mexican Coca Cola. The barista explained to us that this drink they specifically use the cola bottled in glass jars because there are not artificial sweeteners in it and it tends to blend with their smooth cold brew better.
Impressions: I was shocked that I had never even been to this cute little spot, the interior was quite open, very minimalistic and the coffee combos were different from the run of the mill coffee shops. The brewed coffee itself was pretty good but the thing that really got my attention was the cold brew coke combo. It was sweet and slightly bubbly but also had an aroma of coffee, so strange but definitely worth trying!:
Bibo Coffee Co.
Even though by the time I got to this location the event was almost over it was still packed on the inside. This is the newest Bibo location on Center St, which is in walking distance to a bunch of local shops and restaurants.
They were serving up one of their roasts, not sure which one. In the back there was a live demo showing how they roast from start to finish. It was pretty cool being able to see the green bean where coffee starts, to being a fully roasted bean.
Impressions: I have never seen that many people inside of that Bibo ever in my whole life, they were struggling to keep up with the demand but the coffee was classic and good, and I loved being able to watch the roasting process from start to finish. They also had a cool chart which was like a color chart but showed all of the different flavor profiles found in coffee.
Nameless Coffee and Tea
Located just a short walk down the street from Bibo, Blue Whale Coffee, which has just recently gone under a name change and rebrand to Nameless Coffee and Tea, offers a cute and airy patio and indoor outdoor seating for those looking for a productive workspace. Located on Center and Cheny St.
They were offering 3 different samples, and three different brews of one coffee. An over brewed, under brewed and balanced version of the same type of coffee. The line when I arrived was quite lengthy and since I wanted to visit all of the shops participating I only sampled one of the coffees.
Impressions: The atmosphere of this shop was one of my favorite qualities of the location. Additionally the baristas were very informative on the difference in your brews when they are under, over and balanced when brewed. Coffee that is over brewed tends to be more bitter and also have the added benefit of more caffeine per serving. Under brewed coffee tends to have notes of sour and salty flavors. And lastly balanced coffee will have bitter, sweet and sour flavors making for the perfect brew.
Located on the corner of S.Virgina and St. Lawrence.
Upon arrival the shop was super packed. They were serving up cold brew and 3 other options which unfortunately I could not sample because of how high the demand was. Another nice touch was the fact that they were offering little snacks which complemented the coffee nicely.
Impressions: The cold brew was very bitter but very smooth, but then again I didn’t add any sweetener, the coffee cake that I sampled was also very yummy and would go back for that for sure.
Old World Coffee
Located on California Ave which is in the vicinity of a bunch of local coffee shops.
They were serving up their nitro draft latte. Which is a combination of a smooth cold brew and milk, having it on draft makes for an extremely smooth and distinct drink. Old World specializes in offering curated single origin coffee to its guests.
Impressions: Upon arrival it was much calmer in the store itself and I did not have to wait in a line to grab my sample. Also if you haven’t been since it was expanded it's definitely worth the visit. The coffee was delicious, cold and extremely smooth.
Too Soul Tea
Located right behind Old World this little charismatic orange shop is one thats hard to miss when driving by.
A refreshing change from the copious amounts of coffee I had consumed in the prior hours, they were serving up an apricot rooibos tea that was a welcome caffeine free tea. The shop is a primarily a tea cafe which serves 100 different teas and blends but also offers up coffee, sandwiches and baked goods as well.
Impressions: I was shocked at how sweet this tea was when I sampled it. There was no added sweetness besides from the natural flavor of the apricot. The tea also was very warming and had a licorice flavor which coated your throat and would be a great option for when you are feeling sick or just like that flavor in general.
Perk Up Coffee
Located a short drive from Old World on S. Arlington Ave
They were serving up something majorly different from the rest, a rose latte. The inside of the shop felt like I was walking into an old house, their location is a remolded house which makes for a cozy relaxing environment to catch up with friends or get some serious work done.
Impressions: The latte tasted exactly how roses smell, very fragrant, and if you aren’t a fan of the smell of roses I don’t think you would be the biggest fan of this latte. Nonetheless it’s worth a shot if you have never tried something that daring before.
And for the final stop of the Coffee Crawl, located on W 1st street.
This eclectic little shop is located in the heart of the downtown mix, offering up three different drink options, French roast brewed coffee, Mexican roast brewed coffee and a mild iced green tea. They also were sampling their cookies to pair with the coffee.
Impressions: I sampled both of the brews and the French roast was definitely more bitter and bold but that is to be expected with a French roast coffee. The Mexican roast was still bold but not as bitter and I would be able to drink that one without creamer. I didn’t sample the tea although it looked super refreshing. The cookies were a godsend and my stomach thanked me later for finally eating something after drinking that much coffee throughout the morning.
After the last stop I headed back to the basement to participate in the final raffle of the day. It was announced that The Little Juice Project had raised a lump sum of $5,000 during the event which would be donated to Eddy House. This event was a great way to incorporate Reno’s love for crawls but have it available to people of all age groups, this was the first annual event and the expected turnout was much larger than expected, showing how much this community really loves coffee.
They put together 4 gift baskets from participating shops and did a raffle at the end. I typically never win anything but I was so shocked that I won the last basket at the raffle. It was from Too Soul Tea and had a bunch of delicious teas, a cute mug, and some sticker swag included in the basket!