Triangle Grounds! A look into the coffee culture of the Triangle.

Welcome to this weeks Triangle coffee culture post. I’ve tried to come up with a catchy name for these weekly posts, last week we tested “Mugshot Monday’s,” and this week we’re playing with “Triangle Grounds.”  So now I put it to you; what are your ideas for a catchy name to call the Monday morning coffee culture posts? All ideas welcome and let’s have some fun! Share as many names as you come up with and at the end the week I’ll post a survey to vote for your favorites. Thanks for sharing =)

Courtesy of Jubala Village Coffee

From Liege With Love: Jubala Village’s coffee and waffles

By: Kelsey Snell

All you’ll need is yeast, flour, eggs and butter. Oh, and pearl sugar imported from Sweden. Also, a 220-volt waffle press from a street vendor in Liege, Belgium.

I know you’re the DIY-type, but you might be better off heading to Jubala Village Coffee, a café in North Raleigh serving one of the Triangle’s best-kept secrets. When Jubala opened nearly eight months ago, a modest café menu was part of the plan, but the turkey, apple and brie sandwich didn’t stand a chance. The made-to-order Liege waffle, sticky sweet without syrup and pressed from a morning-made house recipe, would win every time.

Courtesy of Kelsey Snell

Deciding less is more, Jubala nixed the food menu idea from the start, and customers are greeted by hand-scrawled chalk board menus divided into three basic categories: coffee and tea, espresso, and waffles. If it’s your first time at Jubala, just go ahead and choose all of the above. Coffee ‘n waffles for the main course with a shot of espresso for dessert.

Jubala’s waffle dough, made fresh every morning and set to rise with the sun, is what separates these moist Liege waffles from the traditional Belgium waffle from Brussels, said manager Daniel Faucette. When moving from the fork to the cup, patrons pick from a rotating selection of locally roasted Counter Culture Coffee single origins, then choose their hand-brewed method of choice: Bonmac pour-over or French press? You won’t find any drip coffee airpots in the café because, like each tailor-made waffle, Jubala’s coffees and espresso drinks are hand-crafted for customers too.

Made in Belgium

Although you may feel like you’re in Liege when you first arrive at the shiny European retail development that Jubala calls home, don’t be misled. Jubala, which got its name from a Swahili word meaning jubilation, has a warm, modern vibe with golden walls with exposed brick, long family-style tables, high ceilings and a back yard. The cafe began as a distant dream ten years ago for owner Andrew Cash after visiting Kenya and making friends with his coffee-farming translator. At the time, Cash was working in pharmaceuticals, but it wasn’t long before he was designing his farmer-focused café, practicing his latte pour and importing an old school waffle press from a Liege street vendor. “I had to do a pretty scary wire transfer through Western Union,” he said. The waffle maker cleared U.S. Customs, and has been introducing the Triangle’s coffee culture to the Liege street food scene ever since.

Courtesy of Kelsey Snell

‘Tis the seasonal

This less than four-dollar piece of waffled perfection compliments a coffee conversation, sweet tooth or good book, but most of all, the waffle toppings pair perfectly with Jubala’s coffees. Just like the rotating coffee offerings, Jubala pledges allegiance to the season when it comes to waffle toppings. The summer waffle was heaped with strawberries and blueberries, and the apple cinnamon and honey pear fall flavors are soon to be seasoned out by holiday staples. (There’s been rumor of gingerbread, fig nut or chai, oh my…)

The same way coffee roasting brings out subtle flavor notes in the green coffee beans, such as chocolate or citrus, the waffle toppings can bring out the hidden tastes in your pour-over or Americano. Believe it or not, waffles go with coffees the same way red wine goes with a sirloin or white with fresh sea bass. For example, a fruity coffee such as the Ethiopian Idido would pair best with a fruity waffle with banana and the summer’s North Carolina blueberries. It’s hard to beat scallop skewers and a glass of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, but I’d take a cup of coffee with a mouthful of waffle any day.

Courtesy of Kelsey Snell

Press pairings

So, which Belgian press will go best with your French press? Jubala’s Cash and Faucette made a few recommendations for coffee and waffle pairings, and I threw in a few of my own.

  • Holiday Blend 2011, Ethiopia (Chocolate, caramel) with a chocolate chip waffle
  • Finca Mauritania, El Salvador (Butterscotch, pastry and chocolate) with a Nutella-drizzled cinnamon waffle with darker fruit when available
  • Haru, Ethiopia (Lemon cream, clover honey and sweet black tea) with a seasonal apple cinnamon waffle
  • Baroida, Papa New Guinea (Spices, dried fruit and molasses) with a simple cinnamon waffle or seasonal honey pear
  • Evening in Missoula loose-leaf herbal tea from TeaSource (Anise, wild cherry bark, mint, raspberry, ect.) with a chocolate chip and banana waffle

How about a sugar plum holiday waffle with Cinco de Junio’s toffee, green apple and plum notes? Foodies know their favorite holiday flavors, so leave a comment with your waffle suggestions, and we’ll be sure to get them over to the guys at Jubala. Tweet ideas directly to Jubala at @JubalaCoffee.

Kelsey Snell is graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with a journalism degree in 21 days, but who’s counting? She works at the Daily Grind Espresso Café in Chapel Hill and hopes to move north to D.C. or New York City after the holidays.  

Follow Kelsey on Twitter at @kelseysnell.

Happy Waffles & Coffee



5 thoughts on “Triangle Grounds! A look into the coffee culture of the Triangle.

  1. Add your ideas for a catchy name to call the Monday coffee posts. At the end of the week I’ll post a survey for you to vote for your favorite. Winner will recieve a free pound of coffee.

    1. While I was going to say Durham Dregs, that sounds somewhat poor (pour haha) and also it is the triangle… Cuppings and Goings?

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