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The Greyhound

The Baltimore Bucket List: Artifact Coffee

Emily Photo, Courtesy of Flickr

My friend Leandra Rosica and I are self-proclaimed “coffee connoisseurs” with very little coffee bean knowledge to back it up. Nevertheless, we’re always looking to try out new and interesting coffee shops and quite a few have made their way onto The Bucket List. While taking our bikes to get fixed last Friday afternoon, we decided to try out Artifact Coffee.

It took us a while to find the café. On Union Avenue, a little past Hampden, Artifact is built into an old factory connected to the Union Mill offices and apartments. Located on the west side of the property, a rustic “A” and a few tables mark the doorway. Amy and Spike Gjerdes, owners of The Woodberry Kitchen, opened Artifact Coffee four years ago, extending their values of supporting local agriculture to the new coffee joint.

Inside the old stone walls, the man behind the counter greeted us warmly and told us to sit wherever we’d like. We swiped a few magazines off the “Read While You Wait” shelf and took a minute to type nonsensical prose on the old typewriter at the end of the counter. It was moderately busy for a Friday afternoon, but we found a pair of mismatched chairs at a distressed wooden table and settled in. Some people were just there for lunch; others were sitting alone, set up for an afternoon of work.

We whipped out our notebooks and cameras, creatively inspired by the atmosphere. We asked for coffees that were described as having “hints of caramel and apple,” in addition to an order of bread pudding. The service was somewhat slow, which Artifact is notorious for, but we used the time to flip through their events calendar.

Every day was marked with something different. On Sundays, Artifact hosts Union Graze, a local food festival, right out in their courtyard, complete with beer and live music. They also hold frequent pizza nights and offer free coffee tastings on Friday mornings. The owner hosts an “Origin Food Series” at Artifact, where he talks about the origin of certain ingredients and how they are incorporated into the food (complete with sample dishes). If you’re looking to learn something new, Artifact also hosts “Articlasses” that educate visitors on everything from coffee to book binding.

Despite the slow service, we left satisfied and excited to return. Artifact is a great place not only for coffee and inspiration, but for learning as well. Check out their calendar of events and plan a trip for pizza-munching, wine-sipping, or a quality coffee education. They always have something new to offer!

Click here for a video of our visit!!

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The Baltimore Bucket List: Artifact Coffee