Aside from food, what else is Paleo? Coffee, that’s what.
And one of the best coffee shops/houses around, that serves up this amazingly awesome brown liquid of life, is Calibre Coffee of Barrington.
They carry some awesome Chicago brands like Intelligentsia & Metropolis. They also carry some well-crafted ones like Lizzie’s and others on rotation. If that doesn’t impress you, they also have an amazing digital machine that produces a fantastic shot of espresso.
Still not impressed?
They have four other methods of preparation for you to choose from. This way you can be certain you are getting that perfect cup. Those methods are either a Chemex or V60 pour-over, the traditional french press and the Aeropress. With all of those choices, how can you go wrong?
My coffee experience starts off with an in-season, single-origin coffee that’s uplifting. My choice was to venture towards the Intelligentsia El Salvadorian made as an Italiano. That’s a shot of espresso with a half shot of water and served in a small cup.
After some hissing and a careful pour, an aroma emanated as if the South American jungles jumped out and surrounded me. That scent reminded me of a rich humidity and a hint of charcoal fire remnants. This alone made me want to chug it, but a coffee made this well needs to be savored. Slow and deliberate, that light crema hit my lips and my sense of taste shot up like a roller coaster’s ascent.
It starts with a slight citrusy tang, just enough to let you know it has punch and excitement ahead. Deeper into the jungle I went. Good coffee can transport you and it’s usually done through its body. This Colombian did just that with something reminiscent of french toast. Keep in mind that when you’re Paleo, bread is no bueno, so having the ability to enjoy that mixture in my cup of coffee was a treat! The finish on Intelligentsia’s El Salvadorian kept me longing for my next sip, which was as good as the first.
Up next was the highly regarded and very common Intelligentsia Black Cat espresso blend. This was prepared as a cortado breve, this time. For those of you that are avoiding dairy, this is not for you. If you’re looking for some adventure such as walking into a lush savannah then this is the one for you! I call it the adult’s version of cookies & cream. That delicate & volatile blend between overwhelming bitters and the richness of cream. This is like a meal in a cup, albeit, a small one. This is my go-to choice if I’m ever undecided.
Although I didn’t take the opportunity to have Metropolis during this visit, I have tried every Metropolis single-origin they offer and I recommend ordering them as a pourover from a V60. It just brings out everything that is meant to be enjoyed.
This next one is from an unlikely source. It hails from a roaster in Idaho called Lizzy’s. That’s right, that’s not a typo. It comes from Idaho and since I’m pretty adventurous, the moment I saw that they carried a single-origin Colombian, there was no hesitation. My barista didn’t hesitate either. Super attentive and knowledgeable about coffee, he just went to work. Like a Formula One racecar engineer, every aspect of the coffee preparation was attended to and measured meticulously.
When he placed that mug directly in front of me, a sense of delight came over me. Think of getting thrown into the middle of the parade during the festival of Carnivale. My senses were definitely dancing and I hadn’t even tasted it yet! Either way, that aroma could not be mistaken. It was typico de las Americas del sur. Smooth and warm scents traveled straight to my heart. I may have been in Chicago, but I felt like I was near the equator.
Then there was the body, which did not disappoint either. It trailed off like a beautiful sunset; a smooth descent from bold to sweet. Try it for yourself and let us know what you think.
Calibre Coffee is by far the best coffee shop in the suburbs of Chicago.
It has comfortable seating and multiple environments to enjoy your cup of Joe, java, cafe or whatever you choose. It’s up to you.
They will also have no problem blending you a cup of bulletproof coffee, although you will need to provide the butter and MCTs.
Paleo Friendly Restaurant: Calibre Coffee (Chicago)
Location: 100 W. Higgins Road #H60, South Barrington, IL 60010
Restaurant Rating: 5 out of 5
Paleo Rating: 5 out of 5
Paleo Restaurant Rating Scale
Restaurant Rating: How good is it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best I’ve ever had), how good is the restaurant, no matter if it’s paleo or not.
Paleo Rating: On a scale of 1-5 (5 being paleo perfection), how paleo is it? A 5 will have grass fed and pasture raised meats, local, organic produce and no peanut oil in sight.