As America’s coffee rode the rising tide of culinary aspiration over the last several decades, its iconic purveyor has gone from lowly diner or truck stop to enlightened coffee bar. That phenomenon is particularly prevalent in the northwest quadrant of the country, including the small, scenic Idaho panhandle town of Sandpoint. There are several sources of good coffee in this Bonner County hamlet on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille, none more conscientious than Evans Brothers Roasters. What you get in this place is not just expertly roasted and masterfully poured coffee. You find an enterprise that touts a philosophy and a sense of social responsibility (both expressed on the Evans Brothers website); you find meticulous latte art and loose-leaf teas as well as locally baked, organic, and gluten-free pastries. Located in a colorful old mill complex in the Granary Arts District, and featuring the work of local artists on its walls, Evans Brothers also happens to serve a cup of joe as delicious as we’ve had anywhere.
You can choose between French-press or hand-drip (aka “pourover”) coffee, a single-origin espresso of the day, or the Evans’ proprietary Headwall espresso blend – a soft, syrupy medium-roast named for a ski run at nearby Schweitzer Mountain. We are especially fond of Evans Brothers’ Siberia Dark Blend (also named for a ski run), which is dark and chocolaty and nearly as satisfying as food. Speaking of which, if you must eat, the handful of available pastries are pretty good, but the breakfast burritos, heated in the microwave, suffer from sogginess. It’s four-star coffee that will keep us coming back.