Having gone to college at Iowa State University and thus spent a fair amount of time in Ames, I thought I was familiar with all of the coffee spots in town. Though I live in West Des Moines, I make regular jaunts up to Ames for a monthly haircut and enjoy getting on campus for occasional work functions and Cyclones games.
Yet, on a recent Saturday morning visit to the Main Street Ames Farmers' Market...I stumbled upon a totally new coffee option that I was previously unaware of.
Of course, being the coffee addict that I am, I had to give it a shot.
Located near the east end of Main Street on the north side of the street is Morning Bell Coffee Roasters. On this particular Saturday morning, there was a sign on the sidewalk letting me know right where to go.
There business is not in a storefront facing the street. Instead, you enter a door that faces the street and then go down a long hallway.
You'll know you are in the right spot because you will immediately encounter a large bulletin board full of community announcements and then see a long row of art pieces produced by local artists.
Walk all the way down the hall until you hit a doorway with this great looking sign above the door.
Once inside, you realize there's quite a bit of space and on this particular morning, several other patrons were enjoying a nice, casual Saturday morning. There are various chairs and tables available and more local artwork on the walls.
They have a counter where you can order your cup of coffee to enjoy in the establishment or take it to go.
As noted by the name of the business, they are actually roasting the coffee beans that are brewed. They had roasting equipment and several bags of raw beans in one part of the business.
Of course, they also have roasted beans for sale and other merchandise. If you are in need of a new coffee mug, I'd certainly recommend getting yourself one or two of the official Iowa Adventurer coffee mugs.
I did not want to pop in without giving one of the beverages a shot. If you are looking for a place that is going to have a whole bunch of different menu items from Pumpkin Spice Lattes to frappes and Peppermint Mochas, this is maybe not the first place to stop. But if you like freshly roasted pour over craft coffee, you might really enjoy paying a visit.
The barista made me a pour over cup to go.
I was not disappointed in my beverage. It was what I was looking for. I am sure the menu changes regularly based on the type of beans and the degree to which they are roasted.
Perhaps next time you are in Ames, stop in and say hello to the Morning Bell team and get your own fresh cup of coffee. I always like to support burgeoning small businesses and so check out their Facebook page to learn more.
Since launching this site over a year ago, I have now profiled four different coffee roasting companies. Previously, I've enjoyed visits to Ross Street in Tama, Greene Bean in Jefferson, and also Java Joe's in Des Moines. Just like the wine, beer, and spirits industries are growing rapidly in Iowa, so too is the craft coffee and roasting industry. This new area of growth is creating new economic activity in both big and small towns and that's great to see. I hope to continue to hit more of these roasteries in my travels.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit whether in Story County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through my website.