Coffee Culture: Sump Coffee, St. Louis

Bill Walsh visits Missouri and finds a coffee shop not only with a hardcore logo, but a bean that backs it up, too.
By Bill Walsh

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www.sumpcoffee.com/Subject: Sump Coffee
Location: St. Louis, MO
WiFi?: Yes
Rating: 6+ [see key] Part of the Fill in the Coffee Map Series

In this glorious day and age, there exist numerous coffee operations doing a fantastic job with their product, truly showing great dedication and extreme zeal for well-crafted coffee. Yet few shops wear their hardcore nature as well as St. Louis’ Sump Coffee, known far and wide by their bearded skull logo sitting atop a portafilter/coffee branch cross bones (rendered into animation, said skull even chuckles with deep laughter amidst the guitar pluckings of heavy metal).

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www.sumpcoffee.com/But the logo is only as good as the bean behind it, so in a recent stroll through St. Louis I made sure to take a stop at Sump Coffee. Arriving on a warm weekend, the shop resides in a corner brick building with black wood trim. Inside, the space harbors a clean monochromatic color style accented by lots of interesting art and reclaimed wood. As for seating, the shop spans two rooms, with the front making up the lions share (bar+most of the seating) and the back with additional, seemingly more private seating. The bar itself sports a beautiful Slayer espresso machine as well as a number of great pieces of equipment perfect for delivering coffee euphoria.

As for coffee that day, I ordered an espresso of their Ethiopia Adado and a pourover of Mexico Ixhuatlan. The espresso, pulled short with tannish-brown crema, boasted notes of sweet mango salsa, oranges, cherry, chocolate nibs and some corn chips, making for a bright, sweet pull. The pourover blasted notes of blackcherry, dark chocolate, pear, almonds, lettuce and a little oregano within a medium/heavy body, proving deliciously rich and full.

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www.sumpcoffee.com/Finishing up my drinks, I found that in fact, not much in town trumps Sump. If you’re looking for a great cup of coffee or a coffee mug with a bearded skull, head on over.

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