Let’s see how well you know your Downtown Cape coffee shops! See if you can guess which coffee shop is changing their name based on the following clues:
1. This coffee shop has all kinds of high-tech gadgets for coffee roasting and drink-making. They also have traditional tools and practices to make drinks like those with delicious and healthy matcha. (They have had a local Matcha Master come and make a cup in their shop, and she even gave her nod of approval on theirs.)
2. The owners are a married couple who really enjoy the chemistry and art that go into making the perfect drink. Who knew nitrogen could make cold coffee so smooth? Also, they make latte art look so easy that I felt like I could do it. (But I definitely can’t…I’m too clumsy to even hold two coffee cups at the same time.)
3. They are located at 1 North Spanish, which is quite fitting for their #1 award-winning and nationally recognized coffee knowledge.
Did you guess it?
Dynamite Coffee >>> Red Banner Coffee Roasters
Even though they are in the process of changing their name, owners Robbie and Katie are sticking to the same business model. And why would they change? They compete in coffee competitions across the country to perfect their craft and expand their beverage knowledge. Then they return back to Downtown Cape to give all of us a taste of the best practices in the country AND the world. Basically, this duo is top-notch in the subculture of coffee- and drink-making, and we wouldn’t want anything different.
Red Banner Coffee Roasters (previously Dynamite Coffee) has been a long-time downtown favorite alongside the Cape Riverfront Market. They discovered their perfect target audience in Downtown Cape as vendors in “a little red trailer” during the first two seasons at the market.
Now, with a permanent physical location at the corner of Spanish and Independence, Red Banner Coffee Roasters is a popular Saturday morning coffee spot for Cape Riverfront Market goers and vendors alike. In my opinion, the modern, yet classic industrial style of the coffee shop’s interior reflects the owners’ ability to offer the new and trendy drinks while continuing to perfect the classics of caffeine.
While I was at Red Banner Coffee Roasters, Robbie and Katie were kind enough to make some of their more popular and unique drinks for me to photograph. They walked me through some of the processes in creating the drinks, and for you coffee fanatics, they enjoy explaining their craft to curious customers. After they finished making the drinks, they even let me sample them! Here are brief reviews of the drinks I tried (some the drinks are quite unusual, but don’t let them scare you away—Robbie and Katie are coffee professionals):
Starting out as a seasonal drink, the Lavender Latte became so popular that it is now served year-round. I love anything lavender and this was even better than I expected! It was so well-balanced between the herby lavender and the rich coffee. The Lavender Latte was perfect because I like my lattes like I like my guys: strong, hot, balanced, and not too sweet or it’ll make me sick!
I am an avid coffee drinker, but I had never heard of the Nitro: nitrogen added to cold brew coffee. Robbie called this drink the Guinness of coffee. It was strong and flavorful, a beautiful dark color, and the smoothest cold coffee I have ever tried! Disclaimer: If you are sensitive to caffeine, the Nitro will hit you really hard, so be careful!
This was the drink I was the most skeptical in trying, but I was pleasantly surprised. The Happy Gilmore was inspired by the classic Arnold Palmer drink but instead of tea, there’s a shot of espresso on top. This drink came out so pretty and tasted just like summer! There was a floral taste to it and the espresso kept it from being overly sweet. Don’t knock it til you try it!
I cannot get over the beauty of this drink! The amazing Matcha green color with the latte art was fantastic to photograph. Matcha has become a trendy beverage, but Red Banner Coffee Roasters still respects the drink’s ancient roots and traditional creation methods. The Matcha Latte tasted amazing with a spicy and strong green tea flavor. And it’s super healthy, too!
Whether you’re looking for a tasty and familiar latte or wanting to try something completely out of the box, you can find it at Red Banner. Stop by anytime Tuesday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 2 PM or pop in Saturday morning from 8 AM to 1 PM on your way to the Cape Riverfront Market – you won’t be disappointed!