We want to invite our Notes from Norge followers on a new journey...
Notes from Norge is not going anywhere - we will continue to share about coffee and cultural insights via this blog.
But if you have not already heard, we have started a new site, focused on storytelling. We are seeking to create a platform that has several purposes:
It allows us to get to know more people where we live in and work
It gives us the chance to help support local businesses
It tells personal stories that will encourage and empower those who follow along
It creates a place where people can connect and support one another
So we hope you will continue to follow along here, but will also join us as we share the stories of those around us - and a few of our own as well. We believe that everyone has a story. And everyone needs a chance for their story To Be Told.
We were searching for a lunch spot to meet up with my dad and step-mom. It really was more about location than anything else. Of course, the word coffee did appear in our search criteria...
Tucked away in the second floor of what was once a community bank building, Higher Grounds is not in the most prominent of locations.
And yet, the customer traffic suggests that location isn't a hindrance.
A cute breakfast and lunch spot, their menu offerings were fresh, creative, and enticing. I was definitely more interested in the food options than the coffee, at least initially.
But while ordering food, Zack asked the girl at the counter if they offered any sort of hand brewed coffees. She admitted her lack of coffee knowledge, but called her coworker from the back.
Out from the kitchen came a young man - emphasis on young. My first thought was, 'how can this guy know anything about coffee?' Seriously, I'm certain I'm old enough to be his mom. And I'm not THAT old.
Caleb smiled and offered to prepare a pour-over for us. We asked for a coffee recommendation. Turns out, the kid not only knows how to prepare coffee, but he also roasts his own beans.
Caleb De Avila and his brother Josh got the 'roasting bug' after watching the Travel Channel series Dangerous Grounds. So about a year ago, they began roasting their own beans. And in the last six months, Caleb has begun doing even more.
While most college kids spend their hours outside of the classroom in more traditional or conventional ways, Caleb spends the majority of that time with coffee. Whether he's perfecting his roasting game, preparing coffee at Higher Grounds, or working at the company's other shop 2 Ladies in the Attic, Caleb is all about the beans.
On the day we visited Higher Grounds, Caleb prepared two pour-overs for us: one Ethiopian and one Brazilian. Both were quite enjoyable.
His roasting skills are quite impressive, particularly given his age and the brevity of his roasting experience. And he's also expanding his skills through experimentation with nitro cold brewed coffee.
In addition to good coffee, Higher Grounds is worth a visit for the food: definitely as delicious as it looks.
If you happen to be driving on I-85 just north of Gwinnett County, Georgia, take a break at exit 129. Turn one way and you'll find Higher Grounds. Turn the other, and you'll get to 2 Ladies in the Attic. Either way, if you happen to meet Caleb, tell him his new friends in Norway said hi!