Charismatic Alaska Coffee Roasting Co. owner, Karen Tuvia, recently invited us not only to a tasting at her North Miami shop, but also to watch her roast coffee beans in the coolest contraption since the flux capacitor. This isn't VIP treatment -- patrons are also invited to watch on select dates via the coffee shop's Facebook page.
We sampled various menu options, from the handmade pizzas with Italian 00 flour, to savory sandwiches, to scrumptious desserts..
Tuvio demonstrates the flux capacitor, ahem, air coffee roaster:
There are many qualities that elevate ACRC over other popular coffee spots such as Panther Coffee or Pasion del Cielo, but we're going to stick to one -- the food is delicious.
When it comes to desserts ($1.95 - $4.95), ACRC's plethora of options doesn't slow its roll. We had a small sample of each, but the ones that particularly astounded our sense of taste were the bread pudding (made with cinnamon rolls), the Key Lime pie (best this side of the Keys), and the carrot cake (moist and rich, but not overpowering).
The staff is mostly made up of culinary students from nearby Johnson & Wales University and the knowledge and passion they exhibit makes your dining experience that much more pleasant.
Barista Madison Grossfeld says, "ACRC is different from other coffee houses because we specialize in single origin coffees from all around the world and we roast all of them in house. Not only do we have amazing coffee, they spoil us [employees] with home baked goodies and the most amazing pizza. Working at ACRC is enjoyable for me because since it is a small company, it feels just like family. One of my favorite drinks definitely has to be a French vanilla chai tea, or coffee from Timor Leste."
Barista and baker Kathryn Raubach says, "We roast our own coffee beans in-house which makes the coffee extremely fresh and flavorful. We also offer many more food and drink options than other coffee houses and we make everything from scratch in-house. Working at ACRC is a lot different from working at Starbucks. We are like a family here, and we have a more personal, friendly atmosphere that you don't always get at chain stores."
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She adds, "My favorite food item is the veggie sandwich on homemade pocket bread; my favorite dessert item is our homemade Oreo, and my favorite beverage is cafe au lait -- coffee of the day and steamed milk."
A daily lunch special is offered, consisting of pizza or half sandwich and a bag of chips, with a small coffee or Italian soda ($7.95). Breakfast is also available and we plan to visit again soon to find out what ACRC has in store to get our day going -- besides coffee, of course.
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