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Business Thu Apr 02 2009
On the heels of the hubbub over Intelligentsia's move to Clover-brewed coffee, Asado Coffee Co. opened quietly on Irving Park Road just west of Southport Avenue. The shop is also brewing coffee by the cup to order, but the method is more old school: Kevin, the owner and barista, pours hot water through a cone filter filled with coffee grounds roasted in house. The resulting 8-ounce cup is some of the best I've ever tasted - strong, but smooth, with no hint of burnt beans.
On my first visit, I had a cup of Ugandan coffee, with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. The second time I stopped in, Kevin was brewing Sumatran beans, which I liked even more for their deep, spicy, dark-chocolate and roasted nut flavors.
A cup is $2, and fresh-roasted whole beans go for $7 per half-pound. You can feel good about purchasing both because Kevin gets his beans from two direct trade groups who have relationships with the coffee farmers and pay fair wages.
I, for one, feel good knowing that my neighbors and I now have two great, new(ish) coffee shops -- Asado and Urban Cafe -- within a couple blocks of what used to be a dingy stretch of Irving Park Road.