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Steep & Brew

In a word: That's nice.

The specs: #0612  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus;  reviews at Yelp, Badger HeraldA Jumbled Little World, Word Laundry; scone recipe at Rehfwitz Recipes; listing at Eat Drink Madison; official web site, Steep & Brew on Urbanspoon

Latest Steep & Brew news and reviews

JM ate a chocolate chip cookie and an apple juice.
Nichole ate carrot cake and a decaf.
The bill was $7, or $3.50/person, plus tip.
JM gave Steep & Brew a B+; Nichole gave Steep & Brew an A (see our grading rubric).

Bakery and juiceSteep & Brew is your mom's coffee shop in that it's not cool, but it cares about what's important and/or public radio. To us that means attention to detail and an unassuming civic-mindedness. Our bias mostly comes from the gaming world; at Film Fest a while back Steep & Brew hosted the launch party for Cineplexity, the movie trivia game JM co-authored (now out of print but available at Rock Bottom Deals and our basement).

Anyway, the carrot cake was light on texture and spice, the main flavor being vanilla. Nichole loves that the drip coffee is brewed by the cup and that entire cinnamon sticks accompany the foofier of the autumn espresso concoctions. The bulk coffee beans are also good.

JM's cookie was dry, which made him wonder if that's intentional to move more beverages. There's not much to add on a place this simple. State St. coffee doesn't get much more normal.


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I really like Steep & Brew's loose bulk tea. I rotate between my favorites varieties. I use the location on Odana at Market Square.

I used to hang out there all the time 20-some years ago, when it was a bit funkier in decor and you could smoke in the upstairs room. Back then there weren't many places to compete with it, but now it seems kind of blah. Maybe I'll give it another chance one of these days.

I had to laugh at your comments because when I first moved to Madison 25 or so years ago, Steep & Brew was *the* cool place to be seen - in fact, a group of friends referred to it as "Steep & Pose". Funny how times change. But there's a lot more competition these days, and Steep & Brew has been around for a very long time...in fact, so long that I could now easily be someone's mom. Or someone's grandma.

It's interesting to hear how S&B has changed! I wonder which other coffee shops will follow a similar path. (I have a soft spot for Mother Fool's, too, and hope they're around in 25 years.)

Oh, and S&B has a good selection of paraphernalia - filters, gaskets, presses, etc.

Catwoman, I am a mom, so I guess I've come full circle for the S&B scene :-)

Nichole, you are right about "paraphernalia". For a while it seemed to be the only place locally to find rubber ring gaskets for stovetop espresso pots.

I too hung out there 20-25 years ago. I was completely addicted to their oat scones. I don't think the recipe online is the ORIGINAL (ie, I think the scones are different now). Does anyone have the original oat scone recipe? I'm thinking it may have had coconut in it....I'm trying to find

@Mary - I loved those oat scones, too!!!

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