It's Coffee Week! All week long, we're blogging about the booming Columbus coffee scene and what it means for visitors. Check out our new video all about coffee here, and once you're ready to visit, start out with this great coffee-centric itinerary here. Join us Thursday, Aug. 1 at 2 p.m. on Twitter for a chat all about - you guessed it: coffee - by following along, ask questions and give your recommendations using #CbusChat.
Sometimes it's hard to pinpoint the beginning of a movement. Luckily, for Columbus' coffee scene, it's very clear where good coffee in Columbus started: 25 years ago at Stauf's. When Stauf's opened its doors in 1988, coffee in Columbus changed forever. Now Columbus boasts dozens of excellent places to truly enjoy coffee, and many of them got their starts at Stauf's. Today, the Stauf's family of businesses includes the original Grandview shop, eight Cup O' Joe locations (including one inside Port Columbus International Airport, and four MoJoe Lounges, which serve coffee in addition to drinks and great food.
Mark Swanson of Stauf's sat down with us recently to talk about how coffee has grown and changed in Columbus over the years.
Experience Columbus: What trends are you seeing in coffee consumption in Columbus customers - what are they asking for?
Mark Swanson: Single-origin pour overs and espresso drinks. Coffee doesn't need to be fussy. Simplicity is the in the DNA of American culture. The best cup of coffee is the cup you love.
EC: What's different about the Columbus food and drink scene? What sets up apart?
MS: Columbus has such an independent spirit. There are so many food entrepreneurs here. We're not artisans - we're passionate people with big ideas. I give a lot of credit to Jeni Britton-Bauer (of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams) for starting the creativity and risk-taking. Columbus is about odd flavors that work. People's palates here are more adventurous for it.
EC: What's new for Stauf's, Cup O' Joe and MoJoe Lounge?
MS: We're experimenting with craft cocktails that include coffee for MoJoe Lounge. We're now doing cuppings (coffee tastings) for groups of five and less at Stauf's.