When I think of Utah, the first word that doesn’t come to mind is coffee. It’s Mormons. Being from Idaho and having plenty of LDS friends, I understand Mormon customs well, which is why I was surprised to find truly excellent coffee in the Salt Lake City airport.
I travel a fair amount, and in my experience airport coffee is rarely palatable. For all the crap I give Starbucks, you’re probably not going to find anything better than the Green Siren in most airports. When I first stumbled upon Milcreek Coffee in SLC, I was more than surprised: I was overjoyed. Not only do they make great lattes and espresso beverages, their brewed coffee is surprisingly great.
Millcreek Coffee Roasters started in 1993. Like many coffee origin stories, theirs started with a small roaster in a little downtown building. Millcreek now roasts their coffee daily so that their two locations can brew the freshest cup possible. They have a store on Main street in downtown Salt Lake City, and in the SLC airport.
Their airport location is an interesting choice, but makes sense given the demographic they are surrounded with. Located at the end of Terminal C, the spot is a walk-up coffee bar with fresh pastries and bags of coffee for sale as well. It’s a little bit of a hike to get to if you fly into another terminal, but well worth it. Their baristas are friendly and knowledgable, and their menu is simple.
I’ve never been let down by Millcreek’s coffee in my many visits to Salt Lake. The latte I had while passing through today was well balanced, and the espresso they used was excellently pulled. I enjoyed it to the last drop, and it left me wanting another. Their coffee is selected from all around the world and you can buy a bag on their website for around $14.
Millcreek stands apart for two reasons:
1. They offer green coffee beans for sale on their website. This is great for home roasters, but also illustrates that they care as much about their unroasted coffee as they do about their finished product. This speaks volumes about their partnership with coffee growers as well.
2. Their website offers a few pages of education about growing, roasting, and brewing coffee. While it’s not the most robust set of knowledge available online, it is well put together and instructionally correct. Millcreek’s tips about brewing and storing coffee are right on. This reinforces their dedication to the entire coffee process and their desire to create a better-informed customer, which is especially notable.
Local coffee shop owners would do well to follow Millcreek’s lead in focusing not just on their product. It’s obvious to me that the owners have a passion for the coffee process from start to finish, and it shows in finished cup.
In a world where airport coffee is dominated by chain shops and big brands, sipping Millcreek coffee is a refreshing reminder that some folks still care about every step that it takes to get a coffee cherry into a roaster, then into my cup. Next time you fly through Salt Lake City, take a short detour to Terminal C. I promise that you won’t be let down.
The Coffee Guy
Like Millcreek Coffee Roaster’s Facebook page here.