1432 W. Irving Park
In addition to espresso, cortado, cafe con leche, and iced coffee, former navy vet and self-taught roaster Kevin Ashtari sells hot, made-to-order manual-drip coffee. Every step he takes to get his raw green beans into that cup is small-scale, hands-on, and lovingly methodical. He invested in a custom-built 12-kilo roaster from the U.S. Roaster Corporation that takes up one corner of the space. Every day or two he roasts a new small batch of Ugandan Bugisu beans, which he buys from the direct-trade co-op Crop to Cup. Whether they’re his regular roast or the ironically named Siesta, a three-roast espresso blend, none of the beans he sells in the cafe or at the Downers Grove farmers’ market on Saturdays are more than two days old—and most times they’re not more than a day old.