If you’ve read My Coffee History, you might already be aware of Axum Coffee and the role they played introducing me to pour-over. Until I discovered their shop in downtown Winter Garden, I only drank lattes and other espresso-based drinks. Axum was my gateway into brewed coffee.
This was many years ago, and I had stopped visiting Winter Garden for coffee, favoring shorter drives to Tampa instead. Since then, Axum has grown to three cafes and a roastery. They’ve been roasting for two years now on a beautiful Probat, and I’m ashamed it’s taken me this long to check it out.
One of my goals with Coffee Travels is to spend time in cafes with friends and family, enjoy a good fika together with excellent coffee and conversation. My wife’s cousin was in Orlando for one day, so we used that as an excuse to cart her over to Winter Garden for lunch and coffee.
We started our visit at the main cafe on Plant Street, catching a relatively quiet moment after the lunch rush. I tried their cold brew, opting for still coffee over ice, and it was just what I needed after a hot lunch on a hot day. My wife’s cousin went for an iced americano, while my wife sipped one of their sweet lattes.
The pastry case was stocked with all sorts of delicious goodies, and we picked out a couple mini-cheesecake bites to share. No photos, however, since they didn’t last long enough for me to get out the camera!
Spending quality time in a coffee shop can be challenging when you have two young boys. I spent half the time playing with our 3-year-old in the cute kid’s area: a small table with a toy espresso machine and other cafe-related toys.
The other half of our visit had me carrying our 10-month-old in and out of the shop trying to keep him occupied so that my wife could have a nice visit with her cousin. That’s life with little ones, of course, and all you can do is take turns.
I didn’t mind giving up my time in the cafe, knowing that I would soon get my time at the roastery…
Axum Coffee‘s roastery is a few blocks down the street from their main cafe, tucked inside the Plant Street Market, an indoor market filled with artisan vendors. Imagine an indoor farmers market featuring all the best local, organic and craft businesses, with a coffee roaster on one end and a brewery on the other.
I love the smart use of limited space, a compact cafe built around the roaster itself. If I didn’t have family waiting, I could easily spend an hour hanging out at the bar, talking coffee and watching the Probat crank out batch after batch.
For old times sake, I ordered a pour-over of their Ethiopia Guji (along with a bag of beans to take home) and enjoyed the tea-like aroma of apricot and white grape. It was a nice coffee, a bit lighter in flavor than most of the Ethiopian coffees I brew at home.
It was nice getting back to Axum after so many years away, and it gave me a great place to start this revamped Coffee Travels series. I’m looking forward to many more cafe visits in the near future, wondering where I’ll go next…