In Asheville, NC, where the coffee scene had been stained, Trade and Lore Coffee came along to fill the much-needed specialty coffee gap. Thanks to Barista Magazine, for publishing an article about this wonderful place, my wife and I were able to plan ahead and make a pitstop on our way to a wedding near Savannah, GA.
In response to the unveiling of misogynistic owners of a different coffee shop, which closed soon after, Trade and Lore Coffee seeks to bring specialty coffee, roasted by local roasters (including a constant flow from Mountain Air Roasting), alongside a heart for “empowering and providing a space for community enrichment.”
Upon walking up to the front door, that speciality coffee shop feel we all desire is definitely present. The beautiful brick walls, antiqued furniture, and hanging lights make this place feel both inviting and comfortable.
On this visit, my wife and I both ordered, essentially, cortados, with 2oz of espresso and 2oz of milk. Just like Steadfast in Nashville, the menu doesn’t include the names of traditional espresso-based drinks, like macchiato or latte. Rather, you can order an espresso with 2, 4, or 6 ounces of milk.
The cortados that we ordered looked nice, and tasted just okay. I like to try at least one drink with steamed milk just to see how coffee shops do with presentation, and Trade and Lore did pretty well. But as I watched the barista pull the shots for our drinks, the shots looked especially pale and weak. And upon tasting our drinks, you could easily tell that they weren’t the best shots of espresso; both drinks tasted under-extracted: sour and lacking sweetness.
The odd thing, though, was that the person behind us ordered a shot of espresso, and it was pulled on a La Marzocco GS3, with an Acaia Lunar scale, while our drinks were pulled on, I think, a 2-group Linea, without a scale. I do know that some specialty coffee shops don’t care about espresso drinks with milk as much as they do about straight shots of espresso. Whatever the case, it was noticeable.
While our drinks may not have been the best we’ve ever had, we really did enjoy our time at Trade and Lore. We greatly appreciated their passion and heart for the community, as well as their supporting of social justice causes. We were also particularly grateful for the bar flow; their setup allowed for quality interaction with the barista preparing our drinks.
In the end, definitely a place that you should check out, if you get the chance. And when you are finished, be sure to take advantage of their recycling and composting bins!