On a road right off of Central nestled next to rows and rows of homes, you’ll find a cozy spot on the corner of Silver Street called Michael Thomas Coffee Roaster. Week day mornings are filled with students studying for an exam or passing the time in between classes (and who could blame them; this is an ideal spot near the University of New Mexico campus). The weekends are a mixture of those same students catching up with friends and people enjoying their lazy Sunday on one of two patios. We had the pleasure of coming here twice in one week and pondered why this hadn’t been a go-to spot for us all along. Here’s why…
From the moment you walk in the door, you feel like you’re visiting a modern version of grandma’s house complete with a fireplace in the main room. Making your way to the counter, you see the wall of different beans they have to offer from all over the world and for every taste palette. What to choose, what to choose? When in doubt, ask the barista.
Ours started asking us a series of questions to try and figure out what flavors we liked or didn’t like. Finally, we narrowed it down to two beans and decided on a Peruvian pour over. The barista seems pleased to help us start our day..and wait, did we just see a flash of a cape and a smirk that said, “My work here is done”?! Okay, we probably didn’t…but judging by our first interaction at Michael Thomas Coffee Roaster, you can tell the baristas really enjoy talking about coffee!
While waiting for our coffee, we found a seat in the main room next to the fireplace and took in the nice morning breeze flowing through the big garage door-style window in front of us. People all around us were tapping away on their laptops or reading the newspaper.
But, if you want to watch the magic happen, you can head over to the slow bar and watch a barista make your hand-crafted pour over. It almost looks like a science lab with all the different ways to brew coffee displayed next to each other. Word on the street is that the different brewing methods might look intimidating, but they’re actually pretty easy! Hearing the steady drip of the pour over mixed with the light buzz of students getting into the groove of a new school year was so relaxing and peaceful that for a while we didn’t even talk to each other. Until….
….the coffee came and it was in a beautifully handcrafted cup that felt like a piece of art and we kinda sorta wanted to ask if we could buy it from them because it was perfect. But then we realized we had a warm cup of coffee whispering to us like a siren’s call, so we snapped out of it and took the first sips of heaven and instantly felt like humans again. As we quietly sipped and did some work, a steady stream of students came through to load up on caffeine and delicious pastries (and breakfast burritos) before a long day of classes. Smart kids. Being surrounded by all the college kids made us feel a bit nostalgic as we reminisced about life in our early 20s and how much college shaped us. Anybody else want to go back?
Fast-forward to a few days later on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. We decided to go for a few lattes – Whit’s all about the (hot) pumpkin spice now that fall is around the corner and Jay enjoys his iced lattes. The guy at the counter couldn’t have been more down-to-earth and awesome if he tried. We know coffee shops say ‘Ask us anything!’, but Michael Thomas Coffee Roaster really means it. You can tell that they want to make their customers happy and don’t mind talking (coffee) shop as they make your coffee. He even let us try a sample of their mizudashi (fancy word for their cold brew method coffee), which was so incredibly smooth. Another thing we like about them: they’re not coffee purists so you’re not going to get those judging side glances if you head over to milk bar and add a little somethin’ somethin’ to your cup.
They even have coffee classes (free and paid) that you can take throughout the year and encourages everybody to join in on the fun! The next class on September 15th is on Outdoor Coffee and the different ways you can make a great cup of coffee while you’re backpacking, camping, and traveling. The class is only $25 (with only six slots available) so make sure you sign up at either location if you’re in ABQ! And if you can’t make it to that one, there are plenty more dates for different how to’s and coffee cuppings. Perhaps you’ll even find us at one or two of them!
This is a coffee shop we want to come back to again and again because it’s a place that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy inside (and that’s only partly from the coffee). We can see why students and professionals alike come to Michael Thomas Coffee Roaster. It’s a place that feels and looks like home. A place where you can meet new friends, catch up with old friends and enjoy a beautifully hand-crafted cup of coffee. Oh, and you can pick from a great selection of beans if you want to bring a little ‘Burque home with you. Michael Thomas Coffee Roasters’ slogan says “Hand-crafted coffee for a busy world,” but if anything coming to this local coffee shop makes you want to sit down, relax and watch the world slow down for a bit as you savor every sip of coffee.