When one of St. Louis' favorite sons, Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, came home for the holidays, he flooded his Instagram feed with pics from a brand-new coffee shop. Day after day, he posted new photos - of bearded owner Scott Carey, their ultra-stylish red Slayer espresso maker, and the recognizable "Sump Coffee" logo in the storefront window. And when Jack deemed the new spot "awesome" one day, and proclaimed "love this place" the next - we had to check it out.
Sump, which touts a trio of meanings - 1) a pit, well, or the like in which liquid is collected, 2) a chamber at the bottom of a machine into which fluid drains before circulation, and 3) a muddy pool - opened in South St. Louis City in December 2011 and has quickly risen to cult status. Their craft approach to coffee sets it apart from the $5 mass-produced lattes of its competition. Their goal is both simple and extraordinary: the perfect handcrafted cup of coffee. And with a variety of brewing options and a handful of hand-selected bean varieties, Carey and company are determined to help Sump customers fall in love with coffee.
His passion and enthusiasm are palpable - he's a sommelier of coffee, with a true love for his product and his business. On our first visit, he talks about a new bean that he's still in the process of perfecting. He discusses the various notes that he senses and expresses a mild frustration that he hasn't found the perfect method for brewing it yet. It's an honest, educated and exciting discussion about your above-average cup of joe. We opt for a Sumatran-style bean brewed through a Chemex at his recommendation, and it doesn't disappoint - bright, clean and delicious without any cream or sugar. And at less than $3 for a carafe, we're immediately hooked.
While a public endorsement from one of social media's top minds never hurts, we're sure Sump Coffee would be a can't-miss stop regardless. But we'll admit we're eager to try a cappuccino next visit, on Jack's recommendation of course.