Bannockburn coffeehouse encourages customers to slow down
Newport Coffee House owner Paul Swanson of Elk Grove Village pours a coffee. | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
Newport Coffee House
• 1121 Half Day Road, Bannockburn
• 847-940-7134, on the web at www.MyNewportCoffee.com
• Live music and special events listed on the web site
• Find Newport Coffee House on Facebook and Twitter
Updated: January 16, 2013 8:13AM
BANNOCKURN — It’s been almost a year since Paul Swanson took over Newport Coffee House in Bannockburn, roasting carefully selected batches of coffee beans from all over the world. While the lines aren’t going through the door every single day, Swanson said it’s the sense of community and family that makes the store special to him and the community.
“A lot of people mention they like coming here because they feel like they’re getting away; they’re not stuck in the hustle and bustle,” Swanson said. “It’s like their escape, their special time before they run off to their day.”
Newport Coffee House isn’t a place to duck in and out of on your way to work, Swanson said, giving people a product they can savor instead of a quick coffee fix.
“We’re not even set up to get people out the door fast,” Swanson said. “If you come in, it’s going to take a few minutes to get your drink, and that’s what we want; we want you to take your time to enjoy it.”
Speaking of taking time, Swanson said that’s exactly what he and his staff do when roasting their coffee beans. By purchasing the beans raw and roasting them in-house, Swanson said, they have better control over the flavor and intensity of each individual roast.
“It makes it a lot more unique and stand out when you roast the beans yourself,” Swanson said. “So we determine how our coffee tastes. We’re not relying on someone else saying this is how we think coffee should taste.”
Swanson said Newport’s coffees come from 16 different regions, including South America, Africa and the Asias, and sells their roasts by the pound and half-pound.
When it comes to speicalty coffee drinks, Swanson said there is a careful procedure for them as well.
“We focus on making sure that the shots are the proper consistency; steaming the milk properly and pouring the drink together,” Swanson said. “If you’re drinking a drink and it’s just a blob of foam on top, then something went wrong in the process of making that drink.”
The crowds also change throughout the day, Swanson said. In the mornings, the store is filled with business partners and early-morning risers reading the news; in the evenings, the crowd totally changes.
“That’s when we have more students coming in, or people just hanging out at the end of their day,” Swanson said. “We get a lot of students from Trinity (Evangelical Divinity School).”
Swanson said Trinity has started brewing Newport’s coffee in one of its coffee kiosks on campus.
At the end of the day, Swanson said, it’s all about community and togetherness.
“We had a customer whose daughter just got engaged and they came in and said that in the store, and that’s worth so much more than just trying to get people in and out.”