Getting Warmer

January 2022 View more

Downers Grove

Mud and Char

Named for the British slang for coffee and tea, this café sources beans from Addison-based roaster Tugboat Coffee for its espresso, lattes, and cold brew—the latter of which has gained quite the following. “Instead of nitro gas, we use argon, which gives it a richer, smoother, naturally creamy flavor,” says café manager Jon Slade. The strip mall location makes for easy curbside pickup.

Must try The French toast latte ($5–$6) and a scone ($3) made from scratch by baker Tom Aldis. 


Endiro Coffee

At the only stateside location of this Uganda-based coffee company, every cup sold supports the mission of ending child vulnerability through coffee. “We are a tree-to-cup coffee company, so we grow the beans [in Uganda], process them, and they get shipped here and we roast them at our roastery in Aurora,” says Jordyn Jones, associate brand manager. 

Must try The creme bru ($5.25), a vanilla latte with a torched sugar crust on top, and a rolex ($4.25), a Ugandan breakfast wrap. 


Ten Drops

Will County’s first specialty coffee roaster sources its beans from Columbia directly with farmers when possible. Owner Aaron Swiercz says he thinks they make the best cortado around. “The cortado is basically a tiny, tiny latte. It’s 2½ ounces of espresso and 2½ ounces of milk. It’s like a little hug.”

Must try The Conquistador ($5), a spiced latte with a subtle cayenne kick, or the super-strong Kyoto-style cold brew ($5.50). 


Brewpoint Craft

It’s all about sustainability for every part of the supply chain at this shop, clad with garage doors that roll up to let in the breeze come summertime. Owner and CEO Melissa Villanueva founded Brewpoint with a social mission to pay coffee farmers at least $1 per pound above Fair Trade standards. Beans sourced from Costa Rica are roasted at this York Road location and also served at her two other cafés, in Elmhurst and Oak Park. 

Must try The Borealis ($5.25–$6.25), an oat milk latte with cinnamon and praline notes. 

Boozy bonus This location  serves cocktails and snacks. 

Photo by Jony Tanase