First Impressions

Many small towns around America feature at least a coffee shop or two–but not all sport coffee bars that provide freshly roasted beans. Enter the coffee roaster: a unique setting where residents and tourists alike can enjoy some of the best brews around. This week we visited Shearwater Coffee in Fairfield Connecticut. So how does it stack up to the other roasters out there?

Shearwater’s Fairfield location is certainly unique (make sure you break free from your GPS overlords and drive around back into the parking lot behind the road to enter). Once you’re inside, you’ll have plenty of options depending upon your coffee-consuming vibe. While there’s not a ton of indoor seating (and the outdoor section was stowed away), there are various tantalizing drink, food, and merch options.

The number of eats aren’t overwhelming, but sometimes less is more. Such is the case here. The selection is pretty impressive (we highly recommend the blueberry pie cronut!). No doubt these options are well-chosen, and you’re sure to find some small snack to pair well with your drink of choice. There are some other, more meal-like options available–but make sure to check the fridge back by the merch/entrance for more!

But What About the Coffee?

Jackie’s Drink

Lattes are known to just about anyone who really enjoys a good cup of coffee. But they come in all different styles–and flavors. At Shearwater, you can choose your add-ins for a pretty representative brew. In the case of our honey, oat milk latte, we certainly enjoyed the balanced blend of flavors. No doubt it would be nice to have some further branded options, particularly as the fresh beans are worth featuring with extra pep!

Joe’s Drink

As a huge fan of the pour over brewing method, it’s a good day when one sees a “pour over” listed on any menu. Few cafés feature this fancier way of making a black cup of coffee–and even many roasters aren’t willing to take the time and employee energy to refine such an art for their customers. But when you have real fresh beans, you’d be crazy not to share their true, blooming essence with savvy coffee goers.

The pour over at Shearwater is one of the better ones you’ll find out there. Simply put: ours was spot on–flavor notes of “watermelon” among other specific and enchanting tones. It’s exceedingly difficult to perfect this open vessel brewing method. You don’t only need expertly roasted beans, but you also have to calculate and perfect water ratios, timing, and other factors. The roasters at Shearwater know their beans, and know the importance of featuring their best aspects to their customers.

Listen to our Full Thoughts (and Grade)!

There’s definitely a ton more to be said about this roaster. Currently there’s very much an arguable “in-and-out” vibe–but we’ll save these full thought (and final grade) for our podcast episode. Speaking of…give our episode a listen via the player below–or search for “A Grade” wherever you listen to podcasts!

Joe & Jackie

Joe & Jackie

A professor and a grade school teacher taste, review, and grade America’s best coffee roasters, breweries, and more. New episodes every Monday at 9am EST. Now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and more!
Joe & Jackie

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