I kept hearing the name Campos from everyone I met in Salt Lake City. They would ask me if I’d been there and if I thought it was the prettiest coffee shop I’d ever been in. I had no idea what they were talking about! Every time I would laugh and say “Not yet.” It was clear, I drew the arrow in my notebook and added Campos to the top of my list.
The rain had finally stopped as I drove down South Edison St. There it was, tucked away in what felt to me like a cut-through street. I parked in front of the coolest graffiti mural – my pictures don’t do it justice. The sign in front of my van said “1-hour Parking”, but I already had a feeling I would be there so much longer. I walked around to the entrance and couldn’t believe my eyes.
The Coffee Shop
Those locals weren’t kidding about this being the prettiest coffee shop they’ve ever been to. From the outside, you will see gorgeous wooden benches and huge glass windows. I pushed the glass door open and immediately was mesmerized by the huge gold rosetta inlay on the floor. I quickly realized that it was Campos’ signature logo, damn that is cool. This place was very appealing; concrete floors, tons of lighting, hanging plants, a sky-window, open concept kitchen, and a massive coffee bar on the side. Being an artist and having a strong love for architecture, I couldn’t help the massive smile on my face.
I did a quick lap around the coffee shop – people eating lunch, families chatting, and people working on their laptops. This was the place to be on a cold rainy day, that’s for sure. On the left side, I discovered the bathrooms, the coolest bike rack setup, and the roasting room. There was a massive roaster and the room was pristine, I couldn’t spot one bean on the floor.
Then, I met Matt, an employee here at Campos. He was in the middle of labeling bags, but told me he would love to answer any questions while he worked. Believe it or not, baristas are not usually this friendly so I truly appreciated his help. Matt informed me that Campos is an Australian based coffee company with seven Campos Coffee Cafes in Australia, one in Park City, Utah, and one here in Salt Lake City, Utah. Although the brand came into fruition in 1997, this location opened on June 15, 2018.
Campos takes their coffee seriously. How serious you ask? Very. Matt explained to me that they strive for super consistent quality control and cup every roast. Campos’ coffee scores are super high, falling between an 84-94 rating. The decaf scores around an 85+ rating but we agreed… decaf is decaf. In 2019, after months of roasting, tasting, sipping, and repeating that process, you’ll be thrilled to learn that it paid off. Campos took gold at both the Sydney Fine Food Awards and at Golden Bean North America. Congratulations!
Good in the World
As I was researching these medals to make sure my notes were accurate, I did a deep dive on Campos. I found out that Campos is way more than your average coffee company. They strive for relationships with farmers, their families, and the communities where they source their coffee. The work they have done is too good not to share:
“We have at least one social project in each region we buy from. We’ve built a school building in Papua New Guinea. We’ve purchased a large tractor for a coffee farming co-op in Kenya and built hundreds of drying beds. We’ve been major funders in Open Heart – a program that sends Australian heart surgeons to Rwanda to perform lifesaving operations on children that would otherwise have no access to cardiovascular specialists. We are major supporters of a school building project in Ethiopia to house 1000 students and a school library in El Salvador. And these are just some of the many social projects we’re proud to have played a part in with the Campos Coffee history.”
I love sharing things like this in my articles. It may just be one cup of coffee you’re ordering, but you are doing a world of difference!
Best Place to Work
Matt was stoked about what I was doing, my journey, and my love to pursue this coffee dream. He finished up his work and was about to head out when he told me, “I’ve worked at a handful of coffee shops, but this is by far the best one I’ve ever had.” I love hearing baristas say that because coffee shops aren’t always sunshine and rainbows, trust me. He wished me well with my travels and clocked out for the day.
After learning all of that, I had to try this coffee. I made my way over to the coffee bar where I introduced myself to Devon and Emma. I told them what I was doing and they were eager to drop some more knowledge on me. The windows go up in the summer and the garage door opens. Believe it or not, the straws (made out of stevia plants), silverware, and iced drink cups are all compostable. The most popular drinks right now are cappuccinos and macchiatos. And Campos dusts every mocha with cocoa to make “the cutest little rosetta.”
Before I could order, Devon pulled me a shot of espresso. When I say they take consistency seriously, watching Devon make a shot of espresso was like making sure a spaceship was ready to launch. Calculating the weight of the shot, timing, and everything else that makes the magic of an espresso happen. There it was, a super fresh espresso shot, with the whole brand behind this sip. I’m happy to report it was freaking delicious and full of flavor. I even told her, “Wow you could really taste the notes.” Devon responded, “While most coffee shops pull a 17g-18g shot, ours are always 23g. We genuinely want to bring out the fullest flavor for the customer.” Amazing! I even learned that every specialty drink has to have the same Campos rosetta on every single drink and if you mess up the drink has to be remade. Some may find this a bit over the top, but when you want a consistent brand and image, it matters.
I asked Devon what kind of food they served; she told me they have an extensive breakfast and lunch menu, with everything made in-house. The menu includes poached eggs, chicken and sourdough waffles, a fresh burger, and the most delicious avocado toast I’ll ever experience. Have you ever heard of an Australian Iced Coffee? I hadn’t either, but I found out it’s an iced latte, ice cream, and whip cream! They looked delicious, I plan to order one the next time I visit. Oh and of course I couldn’t leave before buying their Gold Winning special release as a souvenir. Before I headed out, Devon wished me safe travels and gave me a Tim Tam to enjoy with my coffee, a chocolate biscuit from Australia – tasty!
After seeing this coffee shop, I had a feeling the bathrooms would be just as nice. I was right: two bathrooms with beautiful tile work, tub style sink both inside and outside the bathroom, and a gold faucet. I wish it had a picture of the coffee farms they work with or an accent of Campos. I am going to score this bathroom a 9.5/10.