Bill Walsh checks out the popular Artifact Coffee in Baltimore.
By Bill Walsh
Subject: Artifact Coffee
Location: Baltimore, MD
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]
Some years ago, I had made my first hunt through Baltimore for a great coffeehouse and like magi looking for a newborn king in Herod’s palace, I found little. While I did not find an actual great coffeehouse within the city limits, I did hear tales of a farm-to-table restaurant called Woodberry Kitchen doing amazing things with coffee. Sadly, I did not have a reservation (or time to stick around for what looked like a great dinner), so I had to leave Baltimore for greener coffee pasture.
Fortunately things in Baltimore have starkly improved in the past years. Not only have more coffee entities put down roots in the city proper (think Spro and La Mill) but Woodberry Kitchen has expanded to (re)animate a full service coffee house called Artifact Coffee. Located in an atypically beautiful stone structure with plenty of parking, the venue has received ample laud from the community (much of it spilling over from the great practices already occurring at Woodberry). Stepping inside, I found a beautiful space resembling a farmhouse outfitted with a lot of classy fixtures and beautiful rustic furniture.
Offering Counter Culture Coffee, I ordered a cup of Ethiopian Haru via pourover and an espresso of the Apollo espresso blend. The espresso, pulled short with a sturdy brown crema, sang notes of milk chocolate, vanilla, lemon, basil, granulated sugar and cake; a delightful pull of Apollo. The Haru additionally belted out a sumptuous melody of sweet cream, peaches, almond, cinnamon and a little grass all together producing a deliciously demure and lightly sweetened coffee.
Needless to say, all of the praise, quality joe and great food has made this a popular stop for folks, so if you come during mealtime, beware of crowds. But regardless of the wait, you should definitely drop by Artifact Coffee when you’re in town.