Where coffee and cocktails unite
AVON – Brewing coffee these days has evolved from a daily household chore into an art form that is much more like making wine than it is loading the dishwasher.Similar to a winemaker admiring the color of his best vintage, coffee aficionado Kent Beidel takes great pride in brewing a flawless shot of espresso.”There is a real art and science to making the perfect espresso,” said Beidel, owner of Loaded Joe’s in Avon, a funky new coffeehouse and lounge that serves liquor in addition to skillfully prepared Java drinks.While living in Avon, Beidel witnessed a need for a night-spot that was casual and comfortable, but progressive. Hailing from Seattle, the one thing he missed from home was good coffee. So he figured why not combine the two.”Seattle has great coffee everywhere you go. No one drinks Starbucks,” said Beidel.
Beidel took note from the successful, boutique-style coffeehouses of his home city and sources his beans from a small Seattle artisan roaster. What makes it an artisan roaster is the skill and size of the vendor. His supplier roasts beans in small batches, because when you roast in large batches, Beidel said, you can’t control the flavor profiles of the beans.”My contact is one of 12 people in the world certified who can taste the origin of a bean in a cup of coffee,” said Beidel.The beans, which are shipped fresh to Loaded Joe’s each week, are air-cooled after roasting, as opposed to being blanched in water.”It really locks in the flavor characteristics and stops the coffee from tasting too bitter,” Beidel said.Loaded Joe’s offers drip coffee in a medium and dark roast. As far as espresso drinks, he and his staff are emulating the traditional Italian preparation. For example, when making a cappuccino, Loaded Joe’s serves it in a small cup with 1/3 part espresso, 1/3 part milk and 1/3 part foam. They also make each drink to order, pouring only the needed amount of milk to steam, so all the ingredients taste and remain fresh.
“We use a semi-automatic Italian espresso machine to make the drinks. It allows us to adjust and make the perfect espresso each time,” said Beidel.With its colorful suede couches and puffy rocking chairs, the 1,600-square-foot space begs you to linger and day dream out the three large picture windows framing Beaver Creek Mountain or to admire the local art adorning the red walls. Loaded Joe’s offers free wireless Internet, so if work is the one begging, you can do that there, too.”It’s a great place for having an afternoon pint after skiing or hot coffee drink with Bailey’s,” said Beidel.”We really service everyone,” added assistant manager John Tepley.Although Loaded Joe’s has been open for a couple of weeks, Thursday marks the grand opening celebration and Beidel is offering patrons free pints of beer and lattes. Friday he will treat women to half-price drinks for Ladies Night.
“Eventually, I want to host spoken-word night and have live jazz. I want to build up the lounge vibe and invite people to just chill and relax,” said Beidel.Loaded Joe’s is open from 6:30 a.m. until close. For more information, call the coffeehouse at (970) 748-1480.Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or firstname.lastname@example.orgVail, Colorado