If you were to tell most people that greatness lies in a basement down a Missourian alley, you may be met with a skeptical eyebrow. However, Shortwave is greatness in coffee form.
By Bill Walsh
If you were to tell most people that greatness lies in a basement down a Missourian alley, you may be met with a skeptical eyebrow. But as true as the road is full of autumn construction, some alley basements sport some pretty spectacular haunts.
After finally setting foot in Columbia, I made my way to one specific alley basement to check out the local happenings of Shortwave Coffee. A small-batch roaster operating in the lively downtown, Shortwave aims to please in the quality of their beans and the cut of their barista’s jib. Walking down Alley A off 9th St, I found the entrance easily enough, with two large black double doors leading down into the cozy, slightly low-ceilinged space.
The interior boasts plenty of wood, from the exposed rafters to the wood-slatted wall to the numerous pieces of swanky furniture. Despite the ceiling, the space is huge, with a dining room table in the back as well as plenty of warm, bright light to accommodate the basement dweller.
As for the coffee, I went for an espresso of Ethiopia Burundi and a v60 of their Costa Rica. The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, bursted forth with lemon, chocolate, ginger, romaine and a little milk, all in all conveying a bright yet sultry cup; citrusy and tasty. The v60 had a similarly excellent performance, with notes of honey, biscuits, nougat, oats, pear and corn, all amidst a sweet and mellow light body.
Though I took my time to bask within the shop, my time at Shortwave proved to short for my liking. If you’re in the area of Columbia, seek out Shortwave Coffee down a downtown alley; you shall not regret it.