Charlotte’s Crane Coffee started as a pop-up stand in 2017 before transitioning to a brick-and-mortar coffee shop in the NASCAR corporate building uptown in 2019. Now, Crane Coffee is expanding its sustainable, quick drip pour-over coffee operation to a place focusing on zero waste: The Innovation Barn.
“We specialize in really good coffee and specialty drinks you can’t find anywhere else,” said Kris Zouzoulas, owner and founder of Crane Coffee.
Crane Coffee offers quality, pour-over coffee and unique specialty drinks, such as the Muddled Mint Cold Brew or Lavender Honeycomb. The shop also sells pastries made by Zouzoulas’ mom, including her homemade breakfast puffs – which are similar to a breakfast croissant. Starting Oct. 1, you can grab one of the specialty drinks, a cold brew or a classic pour-over at the Innovation Barn located in Charlotte’s Belmont neighborhood.
Customers can expect to order their beverages from the Crane Coffee trailer at first, and the business has plans of becoming a standalone building on the premises within the next several months, Zouzoulas told CharlotteFive.
“Pour-over coffee is kind of like wine almost – it brings out the nuance of the coffee,” Zouzoulas said.
For flavored beverages, Zouzoulas only uses natural ingredients, homemade syrups and added spices. He said he also never grinds his coffee – which is roasted by Charlotte Coffee Company – until an order has been placed. After grinding, hot water is poured over the top, so the coffee is fresh for every customer.
Great coffee isn’t the only thing Crane Coffee prides itself in; it also is heavily zero-waste focused. For example, while most coffee cups are made with a non-recyclable plastic lining, Crane Coffee’s cups are made from plant matter, making them biodegradable and fully compostable.
The business’ zero-waste philosophy makes it a great fit for the Innovation Barn, which will open Sept. 18. Along with Crane Coffee, the location will also feature a resourceful craft beer and wine spot, a compost facility, a teaching kitchen, an innovation space, and more.
Zouzoulas’ love for coffee started in San Francisco while he was playing bands at night and working at coffee shops during the day.
“I fell into making coffee as a necessity, and then it became my primary passion,” Zouzoulas said.
Location: Innovation Barn at 932 Seigle Ave., Charlotte, NC 28205
Location: NASCAR building at 550 S. Caldwell St., Charlotte, NC 28202
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