SUMP Coffee was founded in 2011 with a vision to make exceptional coffee. The owners, Scott Carey & Marz Yamaguchi, have a passion for the bean and desired to craft something different in their home town of St. Louis, USA. They love the complexity of coffee and the creativity involved in brewing the perfect cup. “Coffee in St. Louis is becoming more thoughtful and sophisticated in its presentation and offerings day by day.” says Carey, “It seemed less so when we conceived the idea of opening Sump, but it has since caught fire.” Initially only carrying coffees from across the USA, SUMP is now a multi-roastery retail shop roasting their own green coffees sourced from Cafe Imports. “Our goal in roasting is to find the best expression of each bean.” says Carey “We like to accentuate and highlight the terroir and the processing of each coffee we roast, while avoiding the introduction of roasty, toasty or smoky notes. We strive for clean, bright cups.”
When visiting SUMP, you can expect great coffee, top-notch service and an experience. Single origin, seasonal, light roasted coffees are served with no sugar and no cream. No decaf, no syrups. “We have attempted to deemphasise the classic churn and burn model by allowing people to settle their tabs at the end of their experience and by bringing out their coffees to them at their tables” says Carey, “All our coffees are made by the cup and to order. No batch brewing.” The Slayer espresso machine allows the baristas maximum control over each brew and the opportunity to experiment and explore each coffee. They say it sometimes makes the impossible, possible. Without a food menu, SUMP offer temporary pop-up collaborations with local kitchen crafts people and food trucks providing occasional on site meals.
Carey likens making a great coffee to being more like baking rather than cooking. A skillful act requiring precision, exact measurements and attention to detail. “Next, you need great coffee, roasted in a thoughtful, deliberate manner so as to express the source of origin and how it was processed at origin.” says Carey “Each coffee is unique and changes from season to season. The goal in roasting is to capture that uniqueness, that specialness and to follow it through with careful preparation and brewing.”
As a coffee destination SUMP is continually evolving. Their choice of raw materials and high-end tools allow for experimentation with brewing techniques and their wholeheartedness makes for the best cup of coffee in St. Louis.