Slain Yet Soaring: New Strides For Sunergos
Who Else Is Excited About a Slayer in Louisville?
For most, a conversation about Kentucky doesn’t conjure images of chic coffee shops and young connoisseurs sipping espresso. Things like horse racing, fried chicken, and college basketball have obscured the complex identity of the Bluegrass State, but there’s actually a bit more to it. As a fledgling Louisvillian, newly arrived from the West Coast, I’ll confess arrogance and admit that my expectations of Kentucky’s coffee scene weren’t high. I wondered, "What could Louisville have on San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, or Los Angeles?" But to my surprise and delight, the quaint collection of coffee shops around here is really taking flight.
And with the addition of a new cafe, the community continues its climb to higher heights.
Sunergos Slayin' It
Sunergos Coffee has been a cornerstone in local coffee culture since Brian Miller and Matthew Huested opened the first of their three espresso bars in 2004. As a micro-roastery with a macro-reputation, Sunergos has made a splash, even outside of Louisville. At this year’s Coffee Fest Chicago, Sunergos’ own Kenny Smith took second place in the latte art competition (with this pour). And now, with the opening of their third cafe, Sunergos brings the legendary Slayer espresso machine to Kentuckiana.
Pour-over brewing demonstrations are in the works, but this location is centered around one trusty elixir: espresso.
The Slayer offers baristas intuitive control of pressure during the brew process and has been praised for extracting tasty espresso from single origin beans, which tend to be less hardy than their blended brethren. The emergence of pressure profiling has paralleled a reinvigorated passion for experiencing the unique qualities of beans from single origins, and Sunergos has joined the parade.
The 3rd Wave of Sunergos Hits Downtown
Their offerings are simple, yet intentionally selected and carefully prepared. The diminutive shop — a small, high-ceilinged room with little counter space and no chairs — boasts a menu with three espresso options, all typical configurations of espresso with milk, a limited stock of syrups, and a handful of teas. Many of us have already made our pilgrimage, and can speak highly of the espresso, cappuccino, and iced mocha (shaken, not stirred). For patrons who are thirsty for a cup of drip, the staff recommends either a cup from the batch brewer or an Americano. Pour-over brewing demonstrations are in the works, but this location is centered around one trusty elixir: espresso. And with the Slayer on their side, Sunergos isn’t likely to disappoint.
Welcome, Sunergos number three. I’m downing a demitasse in your honor.
Have you been to the new Sunergos location yet? What were your impressions? Or, tell us about your favorite Slayer experience in another shop in the comments below!
Sunergos’ new espresso bar is located at 231 South 5th Street in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Images used with permission by eMarie Photography of Louisville, KY.
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$81.98It can be difficult in the world of specialty coffee to find a brewer that not only looks fantastic but also produces a fantastic product. Eva Solo has done an exceptional job of combining both elements into the Cafe Solo. The Solo seems a little strange upon first glance for the very reason that it may be the first coffee brewer of its kind: one that is clothed. The designers at Eva Solo had the ingenious idea of using the same material that keeps divers warm (neoprene) and wrapping it around the glass carafe... thus keeping the coffee hot during the 4 minute brewing period.
Not only are its looks something to take seriously, but the Solo's coffee is not to be underestimated. Because of its use of "total immersion" brewing (similar to that of a french press), the grounds are evenly and completely submersed in water. This provides extraction that is difficult to achieve by other methods of brewing. It is advisable, however, that once the 4 minutes of extraction is complete, the coffee should be immediately served or transferred into a thermal pot (we recommend one of the Zojirushi carafes). This will prevent over-extraction from taking place which results in a bitter tasting coffee.
The Cafe Solo is unquestionably a unique and exceptional specialty coffee manual brewer. Because of its simple usability and superior design, the Cafe Solo is a force to be reckoned with in the specialty coffee world.
Small, lightweight, and portable, the Skerton is the ideal hand grinder for the traveling coffee enthusiast, or the home enthusiast on a limited budget. The Skerton employs adjustable conical ceramic burrs for grinding any of the wide range of grinds employed in today’s coffee market. It can easily handle anything from fine espresso to a coarse French Press setting. The Skerton’s detachable 100 gr. glass jar is perfect for collecting the grounds, and in combination with the plastic screw-on lid (included in order) can even double as a storage unit for whole beans on those long trips. After grinding is finished, cleaning the Skerton is as easy as placing the unit in the dishwasher since the entire grinder is dishwasher safe. Whether you desire a quality, handy grinder for the road or enjoy the fine art of manual coffee preparation, the Hario Skerton is the ideal candidate. For an even more portable hand grinder from Hario, check out the Mini Mill (for a more detailed comparison of the two grinders, check out this blog post: Hario Skerton vs. Mini Mill).
For most companies it's hard to find motivation for pushing out new products if you find yourself on top already. This is not, however, the case with La Marzocco. The Italian based espresso machine manufacturer continues to push the envelop when it comes to innovations in espresso machine technology. The newest line from La Marzocco continues their progression in the specific areas of temperature stability and pressure profiling. We've discussed the Strada Electronic Paddle version in detail in our Strada EP blog post and listing for the 2 Group Strada EP. The Strada Mechanical Paddle employs technology similar to the Mechanical Paddles on other La Marzocco models but with a few new features including individual pressure gauges, digital PID control, and dedicated group boilers.