When I'm in a new city, one of the first things I do is figure out the best place(s) for coffee. I'm fairly familiar with good ole Peoria, Illinois, but I still did my diligent research (aka quick Google search) and stumbled upon Thirty-Thirty Coffee. Brick exterior, modern loft-like interior, no glass counter bulging with pastries -- just a sparse menu of coffee and hipster dudes* behind the counter. And it was close to the hospital where I've been working this week, so all signs pointed to it being a good spot.
Me: [running late for meeting, without looking at menu] Hi, do you guys have iced coffee?
Barista**: We have our fretta method. [explains lots of detail about this, looks very complicated] Trey here can whip something up for you. What type of bean do you feel like?
Me: Um, whatever you recommend.
Coffee Guru Trey: Probably this one.
Trey gets to work. I attempt small talk because I always do this.
Me: So how long have you guys been open?
Trey: Since 6 a.m. [pause]
Me: [laugh] I meant the coffee shop in general.
Trey: I know. I just can't resist that joke. Here's your coffee, enjoy.
You guys are clever too! Win. I sip my coffee. HOLY FUCK THIS IS GOOD.
Me: [there at 6 a.m. right when they open because I've been up since 4 a.m.] Hi. I'd like one of those fretta iced coffee things. I had one yesterday and it was so good.
Barista: Sure. What type of beans are you feeling today?
Me: ... Really just whatever you recommend.
Barista: Brent, what are you feeling today for a fretta?
Coffee Guru Brent***: Honestly, I feel like the Rwanda blend is best for her.
Barista: [nods emphastically] Oh yes.
Me: [trying desperately not to laugh out loud] That's fine.
Hasn't happened yet, but will probably go like the above. *Update. Coffee Guru Trey remembered me and my order and the coffee was just as delicious for another 4 a.m. morning.
Pretentious? Sure. In line with the current culture of specialty, overpriced food and drink options (like $4 toast which actually sounds amazing)? Yep. Literally the best iced coffee I've ever had? Absolutely.
Maybe I'm a little bit of a coffee snob -- okay, I am, I say so in my Twitter bio -- but I'm really feelin' this place, so if you're ever in Peoria, definitely stop by. I'm happy to spend all my money there.****
*Didn't see any dudettes. By hipster I mean: horn-rimmed spectacles, bow ties, buttoned up patterned dress shirts, tattoos, piercings -- that "unique" look that actually kind of all looks the same after a while though stylish.
**Is "barista" gender-neutral? Not sure.
***Coffee Guru guys had a very special spot behind the counter with lots of glass canisters and coffee-making gadgets. They were basically lords of the special coffee who sang along to the indie tunes playing in the background and looked really intense pouring hot water into coffee grounds.
****Not ALL my money. I have to save some of it for books and ingredients for homemade snack bars.