The Coeur d’Alene Coffee Company leaped into the downtown Coeur d’Alene coffee scene this past summer with a coffee bar staged on the ground floor of the impressively-renovated Elks Club. The space also houses the Innovation Den, a collective space for local innovators and entrepreneurs.

The café itself is no less impressive in its architecture, equipment, and layout. Adding modern design to the original massive fireplace, leaving the red brick walls exposed, and flooding the space with natural light from the towering windows, the owners are working towards creating a place for “heartfelt hospitality and mindful preparation.”

Next to the fireplace sits a brilliant red Diedrich roaster, bathed in natural light and only partially separated from customers by a tall wooden work bench and a few sprawling piles of burlap bags filled with green coffee beans. The Diedrich is quiet enough to not disturb the conversation happening on the silvery-blue couch in front of the cold hearth. It is also loud enough to draw attention to the beans rollicking inside its belly. When the roast is done, the warm, dusty essence of freshly-roasted coffee dropping into the cooling tray melds with the aromas of espresso shots and steamed milk emerging from the bar. It tantalizes the senses and stimulates your need for coffee.

The first coffees that Coeur d’Alene Coffee Company released were an espresso blend and two Ethiopians–one from the Yirgacheffe region and one from Guji. The blend was a bit on the darker side and was roasted to combine well with milk. The Yirgacheffe had a roasted aroma and tasted earthy on the tongue, finishing with a burst of figgy sweetness. The Guji was my favorite–clean and light, with just enough sweetness to balance the dominant cookie-like flavors. //