Essence of Coffee was meant to be a quick stop for breakfast as we headed into Rapid City, South Dakota on our way to Mt. Rushmore. It quickly turned into one of the most memorable breakfasts we’ve ever had! As one of the only cafes opening at 6:30am, it was clear that this was a favorite among city folk since breakfast-goers were lined up before the doors had even opened. We entered and were greeted by the smell of freshly ground coffee beans. We knew we were in for a treat.
We sat down in wooden booths surrounded by old school coffee grinders, mason jars and various coffee paraphernalia and found an extensive and diverse breakfast menu to accompany the creative brews. We chose the recommended favorite avocado bagel with fried egg as well as a yogurt parfait topped with homemade granola.
The incredibly smiley barista was quick to deliver our Cafe Miel Latte and regular black coffee, and the aroma of fresh beans immediately got our senses buzzed. The Cafe Miel had two shots of espresso, a dash of cinnamon and steamed whole milk and can only be properly described as Christmas in your mouth. The drink was pleasant down to the last sip and light enough to make a great pairing with a hearty meal. The black coffee was unlike any freshly ground coffee that we have tasted before; slightly sour as opposed to the bitter taste coffee is often associated with, but each warm gulp made us feel at home, a feeling reinforced by the cozy-style mug the coffee was delivered in.
The bagel was average in size but slightly thinner making it a great base for the heaping toppings of jalapeño cream cheese, bright green avocado, two crisp-edged fried eggs and a few micro-greens for presentation. All of these ingredients combined for a creamy and flavorful meal.
As for the yogurt parfait, thick sweet Greek yogurt and an additional side of premium fruit (raspberries, strawberries, grapes and apple slices) made for a delicious and healthy breakfast. The highlight of the entire meal though, was homemade granola. We had never tasted anything so perfectly balanced in flavor: just sweet enough and just savory enough, but not overpowering as an early meal. A concoction of oats, almonds, cinnamon, honey, blueberries and fresh grapes came together to produce the only restaurant granola we have ever wanted to buy and and take home to enjoy.
If you find yourself near Rapid City, whether you’re looking for a tasteful brunch or you’re up earlier than the sun, swing by Essence of Coffee for sit down meals or a quick hearty bite. Be sure to also grab a cup of brewed-in-house coffee and buy a bag of granola on your way out!