If you are looking for a local coffee shop with all the right vibes and wide selection of your daily fuel, then check out Blackbeard Coffee Roasters at 203 E. Fifth St. Come into the charming space with exposed brick walls, white subway tiles, local funky artwork and smooth quartz countertops and get ready to drink up.
Blackbeard has been open for one year and has now settled its roots in Greenville. One of the owners, former ECU employee Mike Fox, is a mascot for the shop with his very own black beard and welcoming smile.
“There is this incredible community that forms around coffee that allows us to slow down and to communicate more with one another,” Fox said. “In life, we go to work and we go home and a coffee shop is our ‘third place,’ where we have the benefits of the night life in the middle of the day.”
Blackbeard roasts all beans in-house, offering guests a full-service coffee bar with a multitude of coffee and other beverages to choose from as well as beans you can grind and brew at home. It goes through on average 50-60 pounds of coffee beans per week and roasts batches several times a week. The large, gleaming silver roaster is perched in the back corner, and when you walk in, the smell is intoxicating. I literally perk up listening to the machine grinding beans and the whine of the milk being steamed. It’s a full sensory experience.
Blackbeard currently offers 12 coffees. Choose from light to dark, fruity bouquets and earthy hues to rich caramel and chocolate vibes. It offers customers a variety of hand-crafted blends from all over the world. The single-origin Colombian coffee is a dark roast from the Andes Mountains with subtle notes of milk chocolate, caramel and grape. Move a bit farther north and enjoy the single-origin Nicaraguan coffee, which is a lighter roast offering up earthy notes of almond, chocolate and caramel. Move south to Costa Rica, a popular location for coffee, and enjoy this medium-bodied roast with profile flavors of hazelnut, apricot and toasted almond.
Let’s move farther east and try the single origin Ethiopia Yirgacheffe coffee. This African country is one of the best regions in the world for coffee and known as the founding country of coffee. This medium-roast offers energetic notes of blueberry, light tangerine and a hint of the floral hibiscus. Or maybe you want to try the single-origin Ethiopia Sidamo coffee, another medium-roast coffee processed naturally with aromas of Hibiscus, grapefruit and strawberry.
Let’s move on to Southeast Asia and try the single-origin Indonesia coffee from the island of Sumatra. This tropical rainforest climate is a coffee bean’s favorite home and allows this dark roast coffee to flourish. Enjoy flavors of caramel, molasses, pepper and citrus. It’s a bold and intense fusion of sweet, nutty and fruity in one cup of wonder.
The Espresso Blend is a popular choice for coffee drinkers offering more punch per ounce. It is a medium-roast Latin American blend with a light acidity and full body. The rich crema (top foam) that rests lightly on each shot has an intense flavor. The House Blend is a crowd favorite medium-roasted single-origin blend of Colombia, Nicaragua and Costa Rica coffee beans offering you subtle notes of caramel, dark chocolate and brown sugar. Lastly, if you are craving the flavor without the caffeine, try the mellow decaf blend that is a mountain water processed blend of Ethiopian and Brazilian coffees.
Let’s take a seat, grab a cup and get caffeinated. A popular simple yet traditional manual method of coffee brewing is the Chemex Pour Over. This allows customers to get their very own batch of fresh-brewed coffee every time, and you can watch the 2-3-minute process being done. The whole pot is served on a wooden board shaped like the state of North Carolina, and it comes with two big mugs. It was rich and intense with chocolate and caramel notes. A small batch is $4.50 and a large batch, enough for two people, is $7.
Next, let’s have a latte, which is one of Blackbeard’s best-selling drinks. Start with 2 ounces of fresh-brewed espresso and 10 ounces of steamed milk. The foam on top has an airy texture and provides a rich and flavorful first sip. You get a trifecta of flavor not only from the Nicaragua/Brazil/Costa Rica beans, but the nutty/chocolate/caramel hints with a slightly bitter back note. Dairy products are from Simple Natural Creamery; non-dairy options include soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk and oat milk.
Other menu options to try include the honey-cinnamon latte and a cold brew, which is a dark blend that has been cold steeped for 48 hours then mixed with 2 ounces of creamy half-and-half.
You can also choose a chocolate-inspired mocha coffee or select the creamy hot chocolate topped with ribbons of whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce.
If you don’t fancy coffee and you prefer hot tea, Blackbeard has you covered. It offers a wide selection of teas from the Spice and Tea Exchange in Duck. Choose from herbal, black and flavored teas from Bonita Peach Rooibos Darjeeling, Ginger Turmeric, Jade Cloud, or Marrakesh Mint, just to name a few.
Blackbeard Coffee Roasters is open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays. For more information, call 565-8312 or visit www.blackbeardroasters.com.
By Christina Ruotolo The Daily Reflector
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