Josh didn’t always have a love for coffee. That started during a trip to Guatemala, where the locally brewed flavors made him perk up with a new appreciation for coffee—and a new hobby. Josh began taking Guatemalan coffee back home to sell it at events, but as he continued his travels, he also became interested in ways to brew the coffee better.
That led him and his business partner, Jared, to discover the virtues of manual brewing (as opposed to using a coffee machine). So when it came to open a physical coffee shop in Carterville, they decided to keep doing what they started. Welcome to Crown Brew Coffee Co., where much of the coffee is manually brewed—even espresso.
“Right now we’re actually the only coffee shop in the world that’s using this setup or working directly with the guys who invented it.”
The main benefit of manual brewing is that Crown Brew’s baristas can stay hands-on, always in control of the process, and the same goes for sourcing the beans. Crown Brew gets most of its coffee from Guatemala, along with blends from Ethiopia, Sumatra, and (especially decaf) Papua New Guinea. But no matter where it comes from, coffee is only as good as the method by which it’s brewed, all of which happens right here in this Southern Illinois town.
“I can’t think of another shop where I’ve seen a cold brew latte.”
Crown Brew’s number-one best seller, the turtle cold brew latte, is a mainstay at every wedding and event it caters, perhaps a sign of the joy to find in every sip. If you’re into espresso, Josh suggests ordering one of the drinks made on the unique machine for an experience you probably haven’t tasted before.
Due to their background in nonprofit work, issues of sustainability and community are important to Josh and Jared. That’s why all of the coffee is direct trade, and also why the shop finds so much local color in the original art on its walls and a regular lineup of local musicians performing live every week.
Stop by Carterville for a taste of manually brewed espresso and an experience that can only be called Illinois Made.
For over 30 years, Ian Schneller has been a maestro of hand-crafted musical inst...
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