Discovery: Quills Cafe

Tucked away off the canal, this hangout indulges coffee connoisseurs.

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Quills coffee shop downtown features private study rooms and lots of outlets for laptops amid its industrial space, nodding to the IUPUI-heavy population living upstairs in the 9 on Canal apartment building. But you can get an education for about $4 by bellying up to the broad counter and showing the slightest interest in coffee. At this four-month-old connoisseur’s cafe, the baristas are heavily trained and geek out on pour methods (Quills offers four, including Chemex and V60) and exotic flavors. The menu includes tasting notes for six highlighted coffees, made with beans chosen by the Louisville outfit’s director of education (who’s so into coffee that he competes in U.S. Barista Championships) and roasted at Quills’ New Albany location. There’s also a selection of espressos that sound more like cocktails, with layered creams and a garnish of liquid smoke. And while baristas are happy to explain their intricate pour processes while you watch (ours also brought us a shot of surplus iced Japanese coffee), they won’t wrinkle their nose at orders for the vanilla latte, rich and sweet enough to qualify as dessert. Canal access from stairs north of the 9 on Canal building. Garage parking validated for two hours. 335 W. 9th St., 317-426-1431, quillscoffee.com

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