VELO COFFEE CHATTANOOGA

I’m not a *huge* coffee drinker. That’s almost sacrilege to say, right? Being a cyclist I should have a deeper than usual understanding and respect for coffee, beer, and facial hair. I can grow a mean moustache but I stay away from wax, I’ve had a lot of beer and they haven’t all been micro-brews, and believe it or not, I quit drinking coffee (along with other caffeinated beverages) for the better part of a decade. This was before the roasting renaissance so I know I didn’t miss much. Starbucks had already made it’s way into every city and many people thought they were getting better coffee but Starbucks is a place, not a coffee. Fortunately several of my friends are into coffee (like weighing and specific temperature pour-over “into” coffee) and one shared some Velo Coffee with me. I thought it was good; good enough to check out their facility on a recent trip to Chattanooga.

My friend John Paul and I rolled about 4 blocks from our hostel and into the courtyard of Velo: picnic tables, fresh herbs, and a rando’d-out LHT. This was already more my kind of “third place” than any other coffee shop or bar I knew. Hanging from the rafters inside are a polo bike, a Rasta colored Sting-Ray, and a longtail cargo bike (xtracycle free radical, natch.) Ample bar space for patrons plus a little nook that housed a turntable and some crates (minus points for no Prince albums.) The full name of this place is Velo Coffee Roasters and they do their roasting, packaging, and mailing all here. It may sound crowded but the large garage doors bring the outside in.

About that coffee: yes. This was the first time that I’ve had Nitrogen coffee which is essentially draught coffee. Like draught beer. The barista gave us samples of the two Nitrogen brews available. John Paul chose Niterider while I went for the newer Bunny Hop. It’s brewed with single origin cold brew, centennial hops, raw mountain honey, and lightly carbonated. Like beer. And it was the perfect preamble to an evening of bicycle riding, friends, and other libations. Like beer.

I picked up a bag of Buena Vista Caturra before I left and I’ve been sipping on that all week. I got it for my wife because of the candy flavor profile but I think I’ve been enjoying it more than she has!

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