Eater caught up with Tu chef Josh Walker and barista Chloe King, formerly of Collective Coffee Co., about their new partnership and the thinking behind Cafe Tu.
Patrons looking for the thousand-dollar espresso machine will be disappointed, but purists will find beauty in the core focus of brewing a brilliant cup of Counter Culture sourced-coffee. Walker spoke of tea shops he visited throughout Asia and the group’s desire to turn the picturesque setting at Tu into a daytime meeting place serving a high-end product.
Enter King, who developed a passion for the complex flavor components of a classic cup of well-brewed coffee after seven years in the business. She mastered this art and will use a rotating cast of Counter Culture blends for the coffee, cold brew, and “coffee cocktails,” which are intended to be an exciting platform to share the robust flavors with patrons who don’t want a black cup of joe. The First Kiss, for example, combines jasmine tea with house-made, non-alcoholic ginger beer and is topped with floating cold brew concentrate.
King has been experimenting with different daytime snack options to accompany the coffee. This week’s offering featured the katsu “sando,” a cold fried chicken sandwich on homemade milk bread that was inspired by a packaged convenience store item in Japan. Restaurant Tu’s kitchen staff also whipped up a peach plum cardamom pie, and King even picked up plain sprinkled donuts from Brown’s Court Bakery.
Fans of Xiao Bao Biscuit and Tu know to expect the unexpected, and Cafe Tu promises to be no different. Stay up to date on daily specials via Cafe Tu’s new Instagram and stop in from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday.