Name: Creation Cafe
Location: Buggs Temple, 337 West 11th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
I always like to brush up on my coffee research when heading to a new city – or at least one I haven’t been to in a while. I was, therefore happy to stumble upon the Indy Indie coffee map. I figured that if this trip wasn’t going to provide me with an opportunity to visit BJava, the cafe and roaster much lauded on espressomap.com and CoffeeGeek boards (due to logistical issues beyond my control), I could at least find a few other worthwhile spots to explore.
A little investigation revealed that this map consisted of some chaff along with the wheat, including a number of “cafes” that were little more than corner delis dishing out nothing recognizable as coffee. As I dug a little deeper, however, a few spots started to stand out as having some potential. I became intrigued by the Creation Cafe, located inside the Historic Buggs Temple. It shares the space with the restaurant, Euphoria, which, according to the menu, uses Dallis Coffee, a reputable roaster whose coffee I’ve never tried, but been eager to. I stepped out one morning before my conference to give it a try.
Creation’s location is an odd, but pleasing one to say the least. My approach made me think that I might have missed it. In true, restored-from-blight fashion, the city nearly ended, then jutted up with huge medical buildings for the Clarion-IU medical campus. The Buggs Temple is located in the canyon created by these buildings. I didn’t spot Creation until I was practically stumbling up the steps, but once there, it was a scene to behold. The spacious interior is a bit chaotically cluttered with eclectic furniture but benefits from the character of its restored space, including lots of restored old wood interspersed with modern touches like exposed duct-work. The outdoors overlooks Indie’s river canal.
Creation offers a full menu, which is likely quite good, but the coffee leaves something to be desired. Their superauto espresso machine pulled a thin-bodied, underextracted shot with mild nut and caramel notes. It was watery enough to mask most imperfections but nevertheless had a drying bitter edge. I’d say it just squeaks into the lower 2 range on my rating scale.
The brewed coffee fared a bit better. It was brewed commercially into thermal carafes. Creation offers a French Roast and a decaf, which were a bit roasty but not entirely burnt or unpleasant. I only had a small sample cup and decided not to order anything larger.
I never was able to discern the roaster. The cashier didn’t know and the bags of coffee were unlabeled. He did know that Euphoria, upstairs, used Dallis, but wasn’t sure if this was Dallis. My guess is that it wasn’t since Dallis would probably label their bags better.
So in the end, go to Creation to spend some time in an unusual location and enjoy the outdoors from their scenic porch. Just don’t make a special trip for the coffee.