Owner Scott Carey Discusses New Sump Coffee

Oct 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm
click to enlarge Sump Coffee in south city - Ian Froeb
Ian Froeb
Sump Coffee in south city
I noted last week that a new coffeehouse called Sump Coffee will be opening at 3700 South Jefferson Avenue in south city. Today, I had a chance to speak with owner Scott Carey, who returned to his hometown of St. Louis last year after spending time in both Berkeley, California, and New York City.

Carey sought a coffee experience in St. Louis similar to what he'd found in Berkeley and New York.

"What I discovered," he says, is that "every [coffee] place wants to be a brunch place."

At Sump, Carey explains, the focus will be on coffee and the craft of making coffee drinks -- a focus that he likens to a "Slow Food kind of movement."

"That's the goal; that's the premise."

To that end, Sump will feature the rare, expensive Slayer espresso machine, which Carey describes as "a cult item, if you will, among the barista community."

The Slayer allows a barista to practice "pressure profiling." Rather than extracting the espresso at the standard eight or nine bars of pressure, a barista using the Slayer can vary the pressure during the extraction process to achieve a specific flavor profile.

In this way, Carey says, "you can get rid of enhance [a specific quality] in a single order of espresso. If something's too bright, you can tone it down."

At the outset, at least, Sump Coffee will use beans roasted by an outside purveyor, though Carey does foresee some small, "countertop-sized" roasting at the coffeeshop.

Carey had hoped to have Sump open by the end of this month but is still waiting on permits from the city. Stay tuned to Gut Check to learn when the coffeehouse will officially open its doors.