Pilcrow Tasting Room and Roastery is not your average coffee shop. Alex and Ted, our baristas for the day, are not your average baristas, either. Pilcrow has been around only about two years, but they’ve left a solid impression on the coffee world in Milwaukee already.
Only a few blocks north of the new Bucks arena, the red-and-white logo stands out from the road and Pilcrow was easy to find. We loved the clean, simple design tucked into a historic Bronzeville storefront. The Tasting Room at Pilcrow is sparsely yet purposely decorated. Their famous nitro goblets line shelves along the walls, and the main feature is their coffee bar, which you see as soon as you walk in.
While this isn’t your typical cozy coffee shop with a roaring fire and oversized chairs, the word we were constantly drawn back to while at Pilcrow is Intention. From their slowly brewed pour over coffee, to their exquisitely designed Nitro coffees, it’s easy to see that Pilcrow is all about intentionally thinking through every single sip of the coffee they brew their customers, and their customers stop in specifically for that!
We were immediately warmly greeted by Alex and Ted. We ordered a few things at Alex’s recommendation, one of which is the famous Pilcrow Flight – a series of drinks in smaller glasses, perfect for sampling some of their best drinks. The baristas here are incredibly skilled; coming to Pilcrow already having experience in the coffee industry. They kept the tasting room clean and organized, and were very friendly to everyone who walked in the door.
Today we were so fortunate to try their upcoming Costa Rican coffee. It’s naturally processed, with earthy undertones. Alex told us about the relationships that they have been developing with Farmers in Guatemala and Costa Rica. This was an exciting sample for us!
We got to taste their Guatemalan Rodin Villatoro. This was produced using a washed process. Having initially nutty notes and a citrusy aftertaste, this is a great full-bodied coffee that we think would be a hit for any coffee-lover!
Playful described as a “child’s latte” by Ted, this Hot Chocolate was a hit with the little ones and big ones alike. It was warm, sweet and had a bold chocolate flavor to it, tasting exactly like you’d expect the perfect Hot Chocolate to taste.
The espresso in this latte was so delicious, smooth and strong. This stands up to any high-quality latte in the coffee world. Also worth mentioning is that everyone loves a good latte heart, and Ted’s latte art was on point!
The Flight is a great way to sample different specialty nitro drinks and teas that Pilcrow offers. Nitro Coffee is prepared differently than your average drip coffee – they start with a cold brew concentrate steeped for 16 hours, keg it, infuse it with nitrogen gas, shake it violently, chill it for 48 hours, then put it on tap.
If you’re not used to a Nitro cold brew the first taste is surprising, but as you keep drinking the dark brew definitely grows on you. It has a bold, but creamy taste to it with hints of sweetness; plus the low acidity in the brew means you can enjoy it as part of the flight or on it’s own.
If you’re used to sweeter, creamier drinks, we recommend the Sweet N Creamy Nitro cold brew coffee. Sweetened with honey and oat milk, this one is a refreshing treat on a warm day.
The Chaider was definitely one of our favorites, the sweetness and acidity from the cider blends perfectly with the Chai tea it’s infused with. Even served cold, vs. the traditional warmth you would expect, the Chaider made us think warmly of crisp fall days. We couldn’t recommend this enough!
Tumeric Ginger Tea was extremely unique! Tasting mild and unoffensive, the earthy tastes of ginger and tumeric shined through, making this a great alternative for someone who isn’t a coffee-drinker.
If you’re interested in buying these wonderful Pilcrow glasses, you’re in luck! They have some great merchandise items for sale!
We love these camp mugs!
If you want to take home the Pilcrow Coffee experience, you’re in luck! They also have several coffee blends for sale! Their Storyteller blend is their most popular, with cup notes of Ruby Red Grapefruit, Tamarind, Creamy Body, Delicate Acidity.
You can also sign up at http://www.pilcrowcoffee.com for a coffee subscription, which will send you coffee on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. If you aren’t fortunate enough to live near Pilcrow, don’t worry! They ship anywhere to the continental US.
Before we left, Alex was kind enough to give us a tour of the roastery. The roastery is located directly behind the Tasting Room and up a few red stairs. Also found near the roasterie was the three Pilcrow bicycles that they are widely known for. These mobile coffee shops make it possible for them to bring Pilcrow out into the community. These can be easily found in the summer months by following Pilcrow’s social media posts on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
Pilcrow buys beans from a variety of farmers in places like Guatemala, Kenya, Ethiopia and Costa Rica. One thing they’re passionate about is storytelling. Their famous Storyteller blend is inspired by the coffee farmers whose stories they want to be heard, not exploit. They place a huge priority on responsibly-sourced beans., which earns them a ton of respect in the coffee-lover’s world, and presumably the farmers in which they collaborate with. If you get the chance to tour this roastery, please do it!
1739 North Doctor Martin Luther King Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Tasting Room open every day from 8am to 2pm
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