I recently flew into Salt Lake City for a job at the local community college. Anytime I find myself in other parts of the country, I try to visit local coffee houses, particularly those with roasters. I had intended to see a couple but my work prevented me and, in no time, I was back at the airport preparing to fly home. One thing about most airports is that they tend to be inundated with Starbucks. The same is true for Salt Lake City International Airport. I contemplated as to whether I should have a coffee or just fore go it. I decided to look around and maybe I would get lucky.
Surprisingly, I stumbled into Mill Creek Coffee Shop located towards the end of Terminal C. I became interested after noticing the three-group espresso machine planted center stage. I prefer a semi-automatic espresso machine over the fully automatic since in the fully automatic you lose a lot of the key elements of an espresso shot, like body, flavor, and my favorite part, the head of crema. There is something about pulling your own shot that makes it special.
I ordered my usual late afternoon drink, an 8 oz americano with room. I do this to be sure I get a lot of body and flavor from the shot. I watched as the barista prepared and pulled the shot all the while knowing that I was watching her with critical eyes. You would be surprised how often this simple drink gets jacked up because it is over pulled, under tamped, of drenched with too much water. I think she knew I was watching so I quickly revealed that I too own a coffee shop, Café Santana, located in Oakland, CA. We have a roaster positioned right in the middle of our shop. She responded by informing me that their main shop also has a roaster. My excitement heightened.
The shots she pulled were beautiful. It had a thick head of crema and was nice and creamy. “Perfect,” I complimented her. The flavor was nice. It was smooth and milky. It did not have any tang that you get from a light roast nor was it bitter from an over roast. I must say, I really enjoyed my drink. It’s for this reason that I would frequent this place everyday if I lived in Salt Lake City. My only regret is that I could not see the roaster they use to roast this fine blend. Maybe next time I am in Salt Lake City I will satisfy my curiosity by going downtown to the Mill Creek Coffee’s main location to check out the roaster.