Not too long ago, I posted about a Coffee + Ice Cream collaboration between Batdorf & Bronson and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. The two teamed up to create the fresh, hand-crafted re-boot of Jeni’s “Black Coffee” ice cream flavor. It’s kind of interesting—I’ve not actually had the pleasure of trying the Batdorf-brewed ice cream, because locally, Jeni’s still uses a local roaster as a coffee supplier. I admire the company’s commitment to the local Columbus community, but am admittedly bummed about never having tried it. As far as I can tell, the collaboration has been a huge success.
I’ve said this before, but Jeni’s is a special thing to the Columbus area, going far beyond the quality ingredients used to make ice cream and their commitment to hand-crafting it. Those things are only the tip of the iceberg. There’s a certain sense of pride locals have in recommending their favorite local Scoop Shop to out-of-towners. Every time Jeni racks up another award for having “America’s Best Ice Cream” or wins a James Beard award for her cookbook, it further solidifies that pride.
I’m a huge fan of Columbus, Ohio—it’s a blossoming city in the midst of defining itself, and I believe Jeni’s has a lot to do with that. There are plenty of write-ups and articles out there that explain how Jeni Britton-Bauer went from making ice cream in a bucket at Columbus’ North Market to owning several shops in Ohio and Tennessee that are worth a read. Jeni’s rise is good evidence that commitment to a unique idea and passion is more powerful than a simple business plan.
It’s been hot as of late, with temperatures reaching well over 95 degrees and storms that have knocked the power out in large areas of Ohio. This doodle is inspired by my favorite trio of flavors, as well as a couple visits to Jeni’s over the weekend, where we were served with a smile, despite long lines and hot-and-bothered customers, at both the Bexley and Powell Scoop Shops. Thanks for being such an amazing part of Columbus!
When I tell people about Columbus, I tell them about Jeni’s Ice Cream. It’s easily one of the best things to come out of Columbus, Ohio, and is a source of pride among locals. Everyone in Columbus knows about it and people around the country are discovering this gem. Jeni Britton-Bauer started Jeni’s a few years back at the North Market in downtown Columbus using only farm-fresh ingredients, all natural, and hand-selected. Since then, Jeni’s has expanded with nine locations around Ohio (often with lines out the door and around the corner) and two locations in Tennessee.
What makes Jeni’s unique is their passion for flavor and relentless quest for quality, perfect ingredients. I think many in the coffee industry can relate to this quest:
We create ice creams we fall madly in love with, that we want to bathe in, that make us see million-year-old stars. We devour it out of Mason jars, coffee mugs—whatever we can get our hands on. Handmade American ice cream = Bliss with a big B. Every single thing we put in our ice cream is legit. Generic chemist-built ice cream bases and powdered astronaut-friendly gelato mixes? No, ma’am. We build every recipe from the ground up with luscious, Snowville milk and cream from cows that eat grass. With that exquisite base, we explore pure flavor in whatever direction moves us at any moment, every day, all year. -Jeni Britton-Bauer
Recently, I had the opportunity to help Jason Dominy of Batdorf & Bronson in Atlanta with a coffee ambush at Jeni’s Headquarters. We hand-brewed coffee all morning for the crew at Jeni’s and had a ton of fun doing it. You can read more about that ambush, and Jason’s entire experience at Jeni’s on his blog.
Shortly after his visit, Jason and Batdorf made the official announcement that they would be teaming up with Jeni’s to produce “the best coffee ice cream out there.” From Jason’s instagram post in Portland:
Coffee Ice Cream Ambush at @nemohq! Yep, proud to announce officially our partnership with @jenisicecreams! Guatemala Finca El Valle makes this coffee ice cream the best out there. Coming soon, coast to coast!
After spending time with Jason, and with the team at Jeni’s, it’s clear that this is a perfect match. Each company places an emphasis on not only the quality of their product, but the story behind it. Head over to the Jeni’s site to order yours – doesn’t matter where you live — they ship.
Columbus, Ohio is a great city for people of all types. With a thriving art scene, a healthy arena district that pulls in top-notch shows, and suburbs full of their own unique personalities, it can compete with the best of small-market cities.
One of the things that really helps make Columbus “pop” is its coffee scene. There are some great local shops and roasters in town with plenty of diversity to satiate any coffee-related craving you could have.
For me, one of them stands above the rest: Stauf’s.
Stauf’s Coffee Roasters in Grandview Heights is my first love. It’s where every bit of love and appreciation I have for coffee started. They do a little bit of everything here: single cup brewing, specialty drinks, teas, sandwiches, desserts, and it doesn’t hurt that Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is right next door. They roast their own coffee, and have been doing so for over 20 years – before coffee shops became as trendy as they are now. So, as far as quality and technique go, its hard to top Stauf’s.
Stauf’s is comprised of a two-sided shop: the left side houses the bar where you can order food and spcialty drinks, while the right side holds most of their beans and equipment. There are barrels and barrels of fresh roasted beans and the walls are lined with top notch brewing equipment, filters, mugs, and plenty of other accessories. If you really love coffee, make sure you get a cup of coffee (pick from any barrel) made in the Clover brewer.
The clover takes everything we love about full-immersion and vacuum brewing (french press, vacuum pot) and combines them. The final result is an amazing cup of coffee that you won’t soon forget. Some have called the Clover the best coffee invention since the Espresso machine. Starbucks caught wind of the machine a few years ago and snatched up all the rights to the machine and absorbed the company who produced the machine. Not many shops are lucky enough to have a Clover machine because of this.
All in all, Stauf’s is a quality shop that sources good coffee and roasts to perfection. Now that they’ve grown a bit and have started doing wholesale for other shops, they do most of their roasting across town – but if you can get yourself there on a Saturday morning, you might get lucky and catch Stauf’s founder roasting in the old gas-fired drum roaster.
Even though Stauf’s is a little out of the way from the typical Columbus hot spots, it’s worth the trip.