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Dining with Doyle

Dining with Doyle: Coffee Hound – November 10, 2017

Dining with Doyle: Coffee Hound – November 10, 2017

Roasted beans that are grounded and boiled with water to produce a brewed beverage, this process produces one of the most common drinks in the world known as coffee.

It’s this beverage of choice that made owners Steve and April Fritzen of Coffee Hound open their doors 15 years ago in the Bloomington-Normal community.

Having both been around the community for quite some time, the couple decided they wanted to go into business together, and what better way to do so then open a shop that serves their favorite kind of beverage.

“It was my husbands idea to open a coffee shop…at the time we didn’t really have the major competitors in town and we were really the first specialty coffee shop in the area,” April Fritzen said.

Coffee Hound has three different locations around the Blo-No area, offering freshly roasted specialty coffee.

The name and logo comes from a dog that would always appear in the paintings of April’s father. The terminology of coffee hound is from the 1950s, referring to a hound, which meant you were really into something.

Taking pride in the coffee and using high quality ingredients in every beverage is a premium.

“Around 2007 we started roasting our own coffee and now we have an offsite location for roasting. We source all of our coffee very ethically and trace where our coffee is coming from. We make trips to origin every year…just in a nutshell we love coffee,” Fritzen said.

There are many competitors around town, with several other local coffee shops, and of course the big chain names of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. This hasn’t phased the coffee joint; in fact it might of helped brand their product even more.

“Some of those other folks are doing advertising that we might not be able to do and what that did was bring recognition to specialty coffee. When we first opened people didn’t understand there are different kinds of coffee and it allowed us to educate our customers and make them more aware,” Fritzen said.

This education process, attention to detail, and delicacy of making a beverage that is so common and easy to make has been taken to another level.

The proof is evident in just about every beverage I sipped, starting with the house blend, which is called the “Red Dog.” It’s easy to tell on the first sip that this isn’t your ordinary cup of joe.

I also slurped on a chai tea, the seasonal special of a pumpkin spice latte, and a version of what some may know as a frappe, which they call a java freeze.

What blew me out of the water is a beverage they make called a Nitro. The Nitro is a cold brew based coffee, but the process doesn’t stop there. The cold brew is stepped for two days, and once that process is finished the cold brew is then injected with nitrogen.

This beverage took nearly a year to perfect, and did they ever.

It’s innovations and creations like the Nitro that separates Coffee Hound from other coffee house establishments.

Along with producing high quality coffee drinks, the effort and helping hand doesn’t stop there.

“Community is really important to us…we are constantly involved with interactions to other local businesses…using as many local ingredients as possible is my goal. We also look to give back to our staff and give them as much experience as they can,” Fritzen said.

If you’re used to stopping at the gas station for your morning fix, try something new because the spectrum of coffee is that much more.

Coffee Hound earns a score of 4.7 out of 5.

Tune in every Friday at the bottom of the hour on 103.3 WZND and WZND.com for a new edition of Dining with Doyle with WZND reporter Neil Doyle.

 

Neil Doyle

November 10th, 2017

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