Farooq’s coffee adventures: Sawada Coffee
112 N. Green St.
Listen. Let’s be real for a second. I’m pretty sure 63 percent of the reason people order lattes is because latte art is beautiful and makes us look a lot more sophisticated than we are (especially if we use the right Instagram filter — trust me, I’ve been there before).
If lattes and latte art are your thing, then there is absolutely no place better than Sawada Coffee in West Loop. The West Loop location is the very first U.S. coffee shop of world-renowned barista and latte art expert Hiroshi Sawada. So it’s not an exaggeration by any means to say that you’ll be witnessing some of the best latte art in your life when you swing by this place.
But aesthetics aren’t everything, right? That’s where the actual coffee beans come in. The fair trade, organic coffee comes from local Chicago roasting company, Metropolis Coffee Company (same place that supplies coffee to the Port Center Café in University Hall), so you know what you’re in store for: high-quality beans, high-quality coffee (and supporting local business is always a plus!).
Sawada’s speciality is the Military Latte and the Green Tea Latte (pictured). The Green Tea is a bold fusion of the warmth of tea, and the kick from coffee. The foamy Matcha green tea at the top makes the perfect for tea lovers and coffee fanatics alike.
Back to aesthetics: I’ve gotta say, the interior isn’t like most any coffee shop I’ve ever been to before. Sawada shares space with Green Street Smoked Meats (which is also fantastic — and the beef brisket is Halal for my Muslim friends), so it’s in a pretty large area. The section holding the coffee shop offers bar seating in front of big windows overlooking Green Street, a retro pinball machine and pingpong table. When you extend over to the Green Street Smoked Meats side, you find ample seating by way of tons of wooden picnic benches. This isn’t your typical, quiet study spot, but an up beat, lively environment, and that’s reflected by their choice of seating. The lighting is a little dim, and they have lights strung up around the ceiling.
Last but surely not least: doughnuts! Along with the best latte art in the city, here you’ll find the best doughnuts in the city. Doughnuts are delivered fresh each morning from the iconic Doughnut Vault, and they even offer a specialty camouflage doughnut you can only find here.
Thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions or would like to join me on an adventure, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. #farooqscoffeeadventures
Farooq Chaudhry is a junior studying sociology and economics. He’s interested in social issues, basketball, and religion. In his free time he loves to read, visit coffee shops, and spend time with his cat, Simba. He hopes to one day work in urban economic development or public policy in Chicago.