There’s no better name for Precision Pours in Louisville than what they chose. Like many in the craft coffee world, there is a focus on acquiring the best beans from around the world, and there is a second focus on using the best methods available to extract flavor, aroma and texture from the coffee beans they source.
Precision Pours walks right up to the line where coffee passion crosses into coffee pretension and sits down for a cup. Owner Bryce Young spent a long time getting here, and he’s been meticulous in not only making an excellent cup of coffee, but in cultivating a community around his brews.
Young left medical school years ago and couldn’t quite keep the odd jobs that came in the wake of that decision. But he always had a passion for coffee, and spent years learning the craft of coffee making at Vic’s, Ozo and Paul’s in his native Boulder County. Next came a dive into entrepreneurship, opening a mobile coffee stand that quickly became a hit. And when he soon needed to grow, he raised money on a crowd-funding site and asked his donors to tell him what they wanted to see his coffee cart become.
And so in April, Young opened Precision Pours, a small coffee shop off South Boulder Road next to the train line. You can see their big “Craft Coffee” sandwich board out on the sidewalk as you drive by, and that’s what drew me in one recent morning.
Precision Pours doesn’t have the long list of specialty drinks you might see at other coffee shops. Here, there is a focus on using quality methods to produce quality, simple espresso, lattes and coffee.
What’s odd about this review is that I only technically drank one product: the Yirgacheffe Ethiopian bean from Dragonfly Roasters. It’s a renowned and popular bean. Precision Pours rotates their selections, about three beans every two weeks or so, mostly sourced from Colorado purveyors. But the point of Precision Pours is to get the most out of the bean, and so Young lines up three cups with liquid procured from three different methods: a cortado, a pour-over and an AeroPress.
First the pour-over. It’s made by getting filtered water extremely hot, and pouring it over grounds of the bean into a triangular glass tube. The coffee is dark brown and what’s remarkable is at that color, without added cream or sugar, it is full of flavor without much bitterness. It’s thin, but the nuttiness in the flavor of the pourover and the balance of its acidity and bitterness, make it a satisfying cup of coffee.
The next cup contains a cortado — a pour of espresso cut with about an equal part of warm milk after the espresso is brewed. Tasting it after the pour-over amplified the creaminess of the added milk, but also brought out some new flavors: butter, macadamia nut, citrus and blueberry. It’s a great cup of espresso, to put it simply, balanced in flavor and consistency, while coaxing out some hidden flavors in the bean.
And speaking of coaxing out flavor, there’s the last cup of AeroPress-brewed coffee. It’s essentially a cylinder that acts as a coffee press. Coarse grounds are added to a chamber and water is heated on a hot plate to a specific temperature. The water is then slowly poured over the grounds just enough to cover them and left to steep. After about 45 seconds, the cylinder is filled with more water, the chamber is sealed and the whole device is flipped upside down. The coffee begins to swirl, releasing essential elements of the coffee grounds, and then the press goes down, filtering out the grounds.
What’s left is a cloudy and light brown coffee. It has a remarkably thick consistency and tastes like a combination of dark chocolate and deep cherry. Its acidity and bitterness are in perfect check, and the whole drink — from operation to my final sip — is stunning.