R&R Coffee Cafe may seem off the beaten path a bit, because it is, and that’s the whole point. Located in the heart of Black Forest sits a casual, cabin-esque building across from the local post office and general store, flanked by trees and log benches and long picnic tables.
We’ve long been fans of R & R at the Report, and were psyched to join owner and roaster Ryan Wanner recently for a tasting tour of their new menu. Based on what we learned, we say, make this your next brunch destination thanks to a serene setting where you can attain rest and relaxation, while enjoying craft coffee and fresh, locally sourced fare.
“You come in, you sit back, you relax, you feel like you’re at home. This isn’t designed to have you come in, fly through the order line, get everything out in two minutes and leave 20 minutes later,” Wanner says.
That model’s worked, but after moving into their current location four years ago, not much had changed. Wanner recognized the need for a menu upgrade this fall and partnered up with chef Matt Wilcoxson, former executive chef of Odyssey Gastropub.
“We updated about 90 percent, created more layers” says Wanner. “The food side has changed a lot. If it was an item that was on our old menu that moved to the new one, we have definitely re-imagined it.
“[We’re] still sourcing ingredients locally whenever possible. We’ve teamed up with AVOG (Arkansas Valley Organic Growers) … we always get the potatoes, all the veggies. [And] Sara’s Sausage for all our pork products from Palmer Lake, [and] Corner Post Meats for the ground beef used in our burgers.”
But before we dive headlong into food, let’s focus on the drink offerings. A few new and updated drinks made their way onto the menu, including the Sober Russian, double espresso with a splash of cream and touch of maple syrup. For something more “frou frou,” they have a new dark chocolate raspberry truffle latte made with Cholaca.
“It’s made up in Boulder, liquid cocoa sweetened with coconut sugar and that’s all that it is. It just adds that depth, that bittersweet chocolate note, beautifully,” says Wanner.
If you’re looking for a change of pace, check out the espresso tonics, made with Fentimens tonic water, two shots of espresso and simple syrup. For a serious caffeine rush the cold brew on nitro will certainly wake you up, add Cholaca or caramel creme for some extra sweetness.
If coffee just isn’t your bag, they have a variety of ciders with a splash of chai for those chilly days. Choose between caramel apple, maple ginger or cinnamon peach.
If you’re just looking for a “darn good cup of coffee,” says Wanner, you can request a pour-over method like the siphon brew.
“The siphon is known to give an extraordinarily clean cup of coffee. You really get to start to taste the nuances of the coffee and really experience what that coffee is supposed to be like.”
We did a side-by-side of the batch brew versus the siphon with the Myanmar Pyin Oo Lwin, an Indonesian coffee that is being exported to the U.S. this year for the first time ever. Although it was an enjoyable drip coffee to begin with, you could taste the purity Wanner was describing from the scientific coffee pot. But don’t take a quick pull because it’s coming out quite hot!
“As it cools the flavors develop more and more. It starts with a sweet, apple rind note. At this point the rich, the depth, of the Indonesian coffees is starting to come out. In about another minute that apple note will come back and they just start playing off one another perfectly.”
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[Images: Dionne Roberts]