3316 Erie Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45208
websiteWith a few locations around Cincinnati, the Coffee Emporium isn’t your average coffee shop. Not only does this shop roast its own coffee beans, but it also strives to present them in a way that is much more of a neighborhood dive, where folks drop in to pick up a cup of coffee along their way. Coffee Emporium tends to have relatively small shops around town, but it’s also implanted in especially active neighborhoods where lots of people like to come and go. The variety of coffees and baked goods to be tried is impressive.
I like the coffees I have tried here, for their variety and interesting origins. Some of my favorites:
- El Salvador Finca Santa Elena: Probably my favorite of the group, this one has a bit of a nutty forward taste with some hints of chocolate and vanilla providing more gradual notes after the fact.
- Tanzania Hope Project: This coffee has an interesting citrus aroma to it. Not any one specific dominant citrus flavor, though tangerine is described. Peach notes are great, too.
- Autumn Fest: A flavored coffee, this one has an assertively spiced taste; there’s a bit of a cinnamon and nutmeg taste forward, and the hazelnut flavor comes after.
- Sumatra Mandheling: This one is a decaf coffee, but there’s something to be said for that taste. The shop describes it as earthy and herbaceous, but the defining flavor to me here is a bit of a smoky flavor that permeates the coffee. That herbal taste is a subtle forward bit and the smokiness is a definite stronger aftertaste.
- Iced latte: A latte has a light touch, and finding that with iced coffee, which has to be made stronger, os difficult. Good on a warm afternoon!
- Iced mocha: Not too heavy on the chocolate, but still a nice balance, with the stronger coffee and a deep, satisfying flavor.
- Roasted carrot salad: Grilled carrots add a sweetness and then a vinegar with a little sugar moderates the salad a little bit.
- Buffalo chicken wrap: Lots of spinach and grilled chicken with some vinegary slaw. Mostly about the veggies.
The spot has a lot of baked goods to offer, from scones to cookies and cupcakes and more, but the inside of the stores are adorned with a lot of coffee and tea paraphernalia that is intended for home use; here you can find the equipment you need for preparing and serving coffee in plenty of styles, loose leaf teas, and plenty of conveniences that pervade the tea drinker’s culture. It’s no wonder the spot brings in so many people. It does more than serve you good drinks. It gives you the means to make them for yourself.
All told, this is a spot Cincinnati can really be proud of. It knows its niche, and it really does bring home a good cop of coffee.
- In the spots I have visited, sit-down real estate is at a premium. It can be very difficult to find a table or a place to spend a lot of time. Better plan on grabbing your drink and moving along.
- The rotation of coffees includes a few different flavors at a time, so when you just order a plain coffee you’ll be treated to plenty of different styles to enjoy.
- The shop has a lot of equipment for coffee and tea brewing at home.