Browsing Tag

Nebraska

Coffee Shop

#74 Cultiva Labs


Cultiva Labs

2510 Randolph St.,
Lincoln, NE
Get Directions

Contact: 402-975-2664

 

WWW.CULTIVACOFFEE.COM
IG @cultivacoffee

Facebook

Date Visited: November 4, 2019

Two of my favorite things in life, coffee and chocolate. After researching coffee shops in Lincoln, Nebraska, I found a shop that combines these two favorites: Cultiva Coffee. I read on their site that there are three locations. One was called Cultiva Labs, where they house their roastery and chocolate production. Their website said to not be afraid and come check it out. I was up for the challenge! Only a few minutes drive away from The Bay coffee shop.

The Inside

I pulled up and parked in front of this super retro yellow building. I was really digging the retro style signage out front. From the outside the building didn’t look very large at all, I’d compare it to a roadside diner: small, but inviting. As I walked through the doors, I entered coffee heaven! Cultiva Coffee completes the entire coffee operation all under one roof. There were tons of beans, bags, machines going off, and the wonderful aroma of fresh coffee. To make this even better, chocolate lay all over the counter!

The Barista

I heard a “Good afternoon” coming from the back. I looked up to see a woman coming towards me. I told her I stopped by to check out Cultiva. She assured me that I had stopped in a wonderful coffee shop and she would gladly answer all my questions. This was Joshlyn, a badass barista, coffee roaster, and Cultiva Labs manager. She knew her coffee!

I had a great time discussing coffee with her and she was nice enough to pull me a fresh espresso shot so I could see what she’d been working on. She informed me that they currently have 7 single origins, 1 espresso, 1 dark roast, and 1 decaf; their coffees and roasts are always changing. They sell upwards of 2,300 lbs of coffee a month between wholesale and in their cafes. Their roasters crank out 20 lbs at a time. Cultiva’s most recent project has been producing cans of cold brew, which you can order online for local delivery or pickup.

Cultiva started roasting right here in Lincoln, Nebraska, back in 2004. This building used to actually be an ice cream shop back in the day, hence the retro design I pointed out. Cultiva built two cafes in 2015 providing a place to sit, relax, and drink coffee. The cafes offer delicious brunch options, WIFI, and music that is solely played from vinyl. Cultiva does a great job supporting the community and even supplies the hospital in town (kicked out Starbucks). Cultiva is really conscious of farm-direct coffee and has suppliers located in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

The Coffee

The espresso shot I had was FULL of flavor and warmed me right up. I followed it with a delicious cup of Cafe con Amor, a Costa Rican coffee grown at 4,500 ft with both sweet and nutty notes of honey, cashew, and green apple. I highly recommend this roast; here’s a link to order it online. If you’re in Lincoln, NE, you ought to go check them out.

The Food

Be sure to check out their two cafes in town if you’d like a meal. All they offer at this location is chocolate, keep reading to find out more.

The Chocolate

In addition to coffee, Cultiva has its own line of gourmet chocolate. Their very own bean-to-bar chocolate operation, Sweet Minou, the first business of its kind in Nebraska. I must’ve timed my visit perfectly; right when I was about to head out, Rebecca the Chocolatier arrived. She was very happy to meet me and hear what I was doing and asked me about my travels. Rebecca was friendly and had extensive knowledge of chocolate, the cacao industry, and everything in between. I tried milk mocha, Haitian Pisa cacao, Dominican Republic Oko Caribe with Nibs, chocolates with caramel, and even some with pomegranate. This was the real deal and I was loving every sample I was offered! I even tried their Sweet Minou, Guatemalan Cahabon 70% Dark Chocolate – yum! Rebecca walked me around and explained the chocolate production process and how far it has come over the years. They make everything from scratch and use ethically sourced cacao beans and other clean, organic ingredients. If you’d like to order some, here’s the link.

Tasty Tidbit

While we were all discussing coffee, chocolate, and everything in between Rebecca described the bliss you experience while drinking coffee as “Having a moment.” I couldn’t agree more. Coffee is the most present thing in my life. I stop, take a sip, and constantly remind myself how grateful I am for everything I have in life and how special coffee is to me.

The Bathroom

It was clean, fully stocked, and had that supply closet feel. This location wasn’t really for the lounge-type so I understand that the bathroom wasn’t going to be too special. No complaints really and I enjoy the painting above the toilet that I got to stare at for a few minutes. I will rank this restroom an 8/10.

Coffee Shop

#73 The Bay


The Bay

2005 Y St.,
Lincoln, NE
Get Directions

Contact: 402-310-5215

 

WWW.THEBAY.ORG
IG @thebay_

Facebook

Date Visited: November 4, 2019

A coffee shop and a skatepark, together?! Oh yes!

I was hanging out in the town of Lincoln, Nebraska, just skating around one morning. This guy walked by, looked at my Maryland plates, and Find That Coffee shirt. He then asked, “Have you been to The Bay coffee shop down the road?” I replied, “Never heard of it, but I’ll go check it out!” I handed him a Find That Coffee sticker, tossed my board in the car, and set my GPS to The Bay.

The Inside

I pulled up to a massive gray building with a gorgeous awning, patio, and a halfpipe in the parking lot. Inside was just as cool. Walking into The Bay I was surrounded by exposed brick walls, concrete floors, exposed ceilings, tons of seating, and a coffee bar straight ahead. Inside the shop plants hung from the ceiling, some rad merch was displayed for sale, and really cool artwork was scattered throughout. This place was massive and I soon learned why.

The Baristas

I headed up to the counter and right away the baristas could tell I wasn’t a regular. I told them I had been traveling and checking out local coffee shops around the country. They were beyond excited that The Bay was on my map. I met Kieran, Shayne, Meg, and Aaron; they were nice enough to take a photo with me. Shayne walked me around the corner and showed me the workshop and Aaron gave me a tour of the skatepark. Stay tuned to learn more about that later in the article.

The Coffee

I did my usual technique of asking what the barista recommended. Right away Kieran said, “Man, you have to try the Citrus Magic.” I was intrigued and told him that it sounded good to me. He fills up a glass of ice, pours in cold brew, dash of coconut sugar, and grabbed an orange peel and a lighter. Next thing I know he’s lighting it on fire and bamn! Drops it into the drink to give it that zesty kick. The coffee roaster they used is Archetype in Omaha, Nebraska. I can still recall my first sip of that Citrus Magic over a year later; it was absolutely delicious! I haven’t found a similar drink since. Trust me, order it.

The Food

The Bay offers a few different kinds of pastries and, even better, they’re made in-house. They were almost all sold out but they still had a few tasty pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and sweet potato cheddar biscuits. Right as I was at the counter, someone came up and ordered one. You better hurry, these pastries sell out quickly.

The Skatepark

One of the coolest things I learned from this visit was the fact that the entire space was all a nonprofit, created to be a great environment for everyone. Whether you are a kid looking to skate, a parent who wants to relax, a student who wants to study, or a dude traveling around trying out coffees, you can do it here. As of November 28, 2020, the skatepark just celebrated its 10th anniversary. They are a huge staple in the community and welcoming of all people. They offer free WIFI so people can use this place as a means to get work done and create.

The skatepark has quite a fascinating story behind it. Originally, the skatepark was much smaller. When expansion began on the new skatepark, a local concrete company decided to donate all the concrete needed. Every day, the company would stop by and empty their trucks after their main jobs were done. With 15 minutes notice at times, the staff and volunteers were out there building ramps and pouring the floors. They did an incredible job, this was by far the biggest skatepark I have ever been to. And now the original skatepark is a music venue where a number of bands perform regularly. If you are interested in skating, you can sign up for day passes, month passes, private lessons, skate school, and even rent a board or helmet. Keep your eyes out, Ryan Sheckler and his team were here back in October 2019!

The Creative Space

At the “Find Your Grind Space” you can create, anything! The Bay hosts many workshops in this space; when I was there they had just hosted an extensive workshop on photography where participants learned about shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. The Bay provides Mac desktops for people to learn on and an archive of skate magazines backed by @lookbacklibrary. I browsed the gallery around the corner. On one wall the topic was “Untold Migrant Stories – Empowering newly resettled immigrant and refugee youth through photography and digital media.” The other wall had photos of skateboarding, hiking, landscapes, and a butterfly by the artist @AawhanAawhan. I’ll post photos of both below the article.

Tasty Tidbit

There’s a huge variety of clothes and merch, anywhere from short sleeve t’s to hoodies to beanies to jackets and more! Be sure to pick up a cool shirt and represent such an awesome coffee shop and skatepark. This is a picture of the shirt I wish I bought when I was there! I’m hoping to visit again soon and meet Mike Smith, the founder of this awesome place.

The Bathroom

The bathrooms were huge, full of supplies, and clean. There are two bathrooms – mens and womens – with multiple stalls in each, perfect for a skatepark/coffee shop. It would be awesome if they had a muralist come in and tag The Bay on the wall. No complaints, great job, I will rank this an 8.2/10.