Best Barista - 2009
The good citizens of downtown Belleville needed good coffee, bad. In July 2008 they got their wish when Oregon Trail Roasting Company opened. During his breaks from college in Chicago, Davis Cox is the guy behind the coffee, and he's damned serious about it. "These new steam-wand tips are so insanely awesome; the froth they produce is beautiful," he was recently heard to rave. Cox is pulling espresso that's so sweet it's converting frou-frou coffee drinkers into straight-shot junkies. (His enthusiasm alone is enough to give newbs the courage to imbibe the hard stuff.) When he's not at the counter, Cox is at the roaster, creating espresso roasts to beat any caffeinated concoctions in Belleville and beyond. What's his secret? Cox favors medium-roasted fair-trade Guatemalan beans for his espresso. Says he: "Medium roast makes for much better espresso than dark roast." But then he's quick to spread the credit around. "What makes it awesome is the awesome baristas."