Honest Cooking coffee house tester Bill Wash discovers the curious coffee nebula of Wormhole Coffee in Chicago.
By Bill Walsh
Many years ago I read a book called Enter the Worship Circle, an interesting piece that explored the many ways a person worships God, one of them being personified through the story of a coffeehouse patron. At the time, I was more obsessed with coffee culture than the quality of the beverage, so the part that stuck with me from this book was the emphasis on seeing simple truths (specifically about worship) through unusual artistic presentations in a coffeehouse.
Years later, even though most coffeehouses try to be more chic than eclectic, every time I hit an off-the-wall joint, my mind thinks back to the concept of simple truths in the less conventional. While in Chicago, I had heard of an establishment called Wormhole Coffee near Wicker Park. The part that had caught my ear was an attention to quality with their coffee but upon arrival one early evening, I caught sight of a full-size DeLorean sitting in the front window and I knew this was no typical shop.
The shop carried a sci-fi theme overall, with a complex arrangement of figurines and art highlighting the various pieces of mismatched furniture. My coffee came from two sources, with my espresso using Metropolis’ Red Line and my pourover Ipsento‘s natural Panama. The espresso, pulled short with a marbled crema, held the flavors of vanilla, bittersweet cocoa, Italian bread and sweet scallops, all of which blended together to form a great drink. The pourover demonstrated blueberry, cherry jolly rancher, wheat, 2% milk and a little cake doughnut; a coffee with a punch of sweetness followed by a subtle wheat.
While I didn’t stay long enough to analyze the intriguing decor, I found Wormhole to be just the tear in the fabric of time that I needed. If you’re looking for a fun place to get some great coffee, set your coordinates to Wormhole Coffee.