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It’s not everyday that a new local coffee roaster opens in town, especially in the Las Vegas area. I had my eye on Dark Moon Coffee Roasters for a while since it’s only about 3 miles away from my home. The sign was up for what seemed forever so I was ecstatic when it was announced on their Instagram and Facebook that they were open. All I knew what that it was a new local place and they roasted their own coffee. Little did I know what type of unique character Dark Moon was hiding for so long. I came across a cute coffee story from Goal Cast this morning so I was itching to visit a new place. If you’ve seen the video I’m talking about, the barista I encountered definitely pours happiness. Check out the video (it’s REALLY good) and then read on to find a little more about Eric, my barista.
Dark Moon and Craft Coffee
I haven’t really gone deep into this topic, but craft coffee has been increasing in popularity. Combining fresh roasted coffee (typically fair trade, organic certified) and the talents of experienced baristas, coffee becomes more than just a cup. It’s the conversations about the coffee, from the origin to brewing and the connections made between the barista and the consumer that really elevate the coffee drinking experience. Dark Moon Coffee Roasters is this and so much more.
Located in the southeast part of Henderson, Dark Moon’s industrial-like decor is simple. It’s comfortable enough to chat with the barista at the bar or sit with friends at one of the various tables along the side. The café is light and airy, courtesy of the glass east-facing windows. The shop is perfect for just about anything and hasplenty of room to sit at the bar and watch coffee roasting or stand and visit with the baristas.
It’s All in the Details
What Dark Moon’s owners, Kyle and Mark Porterfield hoped to create was the coffee experience. Much like a brewery or winery, the roaster at Dark Moon is out in the open with a bar and stools
surrounding it. The roaster is used twice a week, for now, to fulfill the needs of the café. The experience is all about teaching people about coffee from origin to cup. Besides the roaster, you won’t find much big equipment here. That large espresso machine? Nope. Gone. Dark Moon is the only place in Nevada where you will find the Modbar steam module. Talk about a space saver! Not only does the Modbar save space, it’s quiet! Oh and you should see the cream top it has on the espresso!
The modular set up allows for conversations between the barista and the customer, similar to a cocktail bar but without the cocktail bar feel. The less machines on the counter, the more conversations take place. Environments like this are perfect for cuppings and education; all of which Dark Moon hopes to offer in the future.
Conversations with a Barista
The order counter is placed just a few steps from the door. There is a small counter on the right with some pastries made by Craft Kitchen just up the street. (Yay for local businesses supporting local businesses!) Off to the right is their retail; cups, mugs, shirts, hats, etc. I was second in line and as soon as it was my time, I ordered a Nitro Cold Brew. The Barista, Eric, took my order asking if I had visited before. He continued to converse with me about the area, his experience, what I do for a living and all the things. Since my order was right off the tap, he poured my nitro, then proceeded to make another customer’s drink. The whole time, he was chatting with me about coffee, the roaster, why kind of coffee they use for the nitro, and the Las Vegas coffee scene. I’m pretty sure he does this with just about every customer. When he delivered the other customer’s drink, Eric treated him as if he was saying goodbye to a friend.
What’s the Verdict?
Um, yes. Yes I would absolutely come back. My first impressions of Dark Moon were they take great care in the customer and coffee experience. Dark Moon definitely earns a spot as one of my favorite coffee shops in the Las Vegas area! I’ve worked in restaurants and service all my life and I have a high standard for service. Some of the best conversations happen around coffee and they are happening at Dark Moon Coffee Roasters in Henderson. I can’t wait for what’s to come! Rumor has it they are looking at hosting cuppings, and other educational events! Stay tuned and if you’re in Vegas, Dark Moon is worth the drive to 11041 S Eastern Ave, Henderson. Visit them on Instagram or Facebook for the latest!
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