Coffee Emporium – Over-the-Rhine

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The Coffee Emporium is all about coffee. Really good coffee. The Coffee Emporium buys their coffee beans from family owned and operated farms who practice sustainable agriculture and grow high quality beans. Those beans are then roasted at the Coffee Emporium’s roastery, right here in Cincinnati! In addition to selling high quality coffee and coffee products, the staff at the Coffee Emporium are enthusiastic about coffee and coffee preparation. I saw an ad for jobs at all four locations that said “baristas submit your credentials, coffee geeks get extra credit.”

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I got my first taste of their coffee from their Pop-Up Shop at the 4th of July festivities in Ault Park (read my review of the Ault Park Fireworks here). I was looking for coffee amongst the food trucks assembled at the park (I’m not a night owl by any stretch of the imagination), when I noticed the “COFFEE EMPORIUM: REALLY GOOD COFFEE” wooden plank sign. I loved the handmade sign and the fact that their drinks were blended with actual man-power (one of their baristas rode a stationary bike hooked up to their blender to blend each drink). The coffee wasn’t just really good, it was delicious!

inside

After trying an iced coffee at Ault Park, I was excited to check out one of the brick-and-mortar locations. Last week my Aunt Susie and cousin Emily invited me to see the IMAX movie, Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, at the Cincinnati Museum Center and to have lunch at the Coffee Emporium afterwards.

In addition to coffee, the Coffee Emporium also serves a large menu of breakfast, lunch and snack items. The cafe offers plenty of seating for folks stopping in for a quick lunch and quiet corners for those wanting to study with a big cup of coffee. The walls are painted in earthy colors and some are covered in local artwork. I loved the large frame covered with post-it notes where patrons could write a “Note to Self (… or someone else)!”

notes to self

After admiring the numerous cool mugs, travel thermos, tee shirts and bulk coffee near the entrance to the Coffee Emporium, we tried to decide what to order. Everything sounded so good! We eventually figured out what we wanted, placed our orders and grabbed our coffees before finding a table.

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Susie and Emily both ordered breakfast burritos which came with salsa. They looked delicious, which made me slightly jealous that the burritos are made with flour tortillas.

my lunch

I had my go-to drink when trying a new coffee place, a plain latte. I love drinking mochas and other sweet espresso drinks, but sometimes it’s hard to tell what the espresso tastes like. The latte was delicious! Next time I might try a plain coffee, or a different espresso drink.

For my lunch I enjoyed the goat and berry mixed salad with a side of avocado. The mixed greens came with crumbled goat cheese, fresh strawberries, almond slices and house made raspberry vinaigrette dressing. In a word: amazing! I need to add dried blueberries to my salads at home!

chocolats latour

For dessert I had to try Chocolats Latour. I have seen this locally made chocolate around before, but never bought it (it’s a tad expensive). Now that I live in Cincinnati (where the chocolates are made), I figured I needed to try it, for the sake of research.

I bought the Chocolats Emporium (appropriate, right?): a delicious chocolate bar covered with crunchy cocoa nibs and filled with delicious Ethiopian Amaro Gayo coffee beans from the Coffee Emporium. I should have made the bar last a while, since it costs more than the chocolate I normally buy, but I must confess I had half of it at lunch and the other half later that day!

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I will definitely be back to the Coffee Emporium. I loved the coffee and the food, but even more than that I love the dedication to sustainably and fairly harvested coffee beans and the obvious care that goes into roasting the beans. I adore the coffee themed murals on the wall, which show just how much work goes into making my daily cup of joe. Coffee is an extremely labor intensive crop, one that we wouldn’t have if not for the 500 million people who work in the coffee agriculture industry. Twenty percent of these coffee farmers live and work in substandard conditions and are not paid fairly for their work. Coffee shops and roasters like Coffee Emporium work with coffee farmers who are paid well for their beans. These farmers are then able to take care of their families and the rainforest environment in and around their farm.

If you’re interested in learning more about sustainably harvested coffee, I recommend some of the sites below, and of course, visiting Coffee Emporium!

National Coffee Association USA:

Fair Trade USACoffee

Equal ExchangeCoffee

Rainforest AllianceCoffee

International Women’s Coffee Alliance

Long Miles Coffee Project

Coffee Harvest – A field journal from Burundi by Kristy J Carlson

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ohio-120x120Coffee Emporium – Over-the-Rhine

Address: 110 E. Central Parkway Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Phone Number: 513-651-5483

Hours: Monday – Friday 6:30am – 8pm. Saturday – Sunday 7am – 8pm.

Social Media: FacebookInstagramTwitter

Coffee Emporium has four locations. The other three are located in East Hyde Park, Queen City Square and Xavier University.

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