The ‘Ultimate Coffee Experience’ - by Kathy Gresey

Believe it or not, this newspaper editor hasn’t always worked in journalism.

Before I landed my first full-time reporting gig in 2005, I earned pay checks by working at a variety of retail stores and other businesses, including Gloria Jean’s Coffees and Starbucks.ACK_syphon_coffee

That is why I was particularly excited to receive an invitation from the All Chocolate Kitchen in Geneva to attend “The Ultimate Coffee Experience” on Jan. 31.

“Chef Roby to offer Geneva’s first table-side siphon coffee ... ,” the invitation stated. “We are inviting the media only to try this amazing new product only offered locally at the All Chocolate Kitchen.”

Although I did learn a lot about coffee when I was a barista, I had never heard of siphon coffee. I was intrigued and put in a call to confirm that I would attend the media event.

I arrived at the All Chocolate Kitchen on Tuesday and was greeted by Chef Alain Roby, his wife, Esther, and head barista Kit Willadsen.

Kit walked us through the history of siphon coffee, explaining that it came about in Europe during the 1830s and was popularized in France.

As he spoke, he started preparing a batch of coffee using the siphon system, which combines techniques of french press and drip coffee brewing.

Because all the ground coffee is immersed in water during siphon-style brewing – and a filter is used – a smooth, full-bodied coffee is produced, Kit said.


“It’s so worth it,” he said of using the siphon system. “The end product is just perfect.”

I got to try a cup of the siphon coffee, and I must say it tasted absolutely fantastic. What made the experience even better was the fact that Chef Roby’s team served it with two different chocolate flights – one featuring three different types of chocolate covered fruit, the other featuring chocolate covered caramel popcorn and two different types of chocolate covered nuts.

“It’s an experience that we’re trying to do,” Chef Roby said. “It’s a great way to enjoy coffee in a very unique way.”

A pot of siphon coffee costs $19.99 at the All Chocolate Kitchen and serves four people. Through the end of this month, the chocolate flights will sell for $14.99 each with the purchase of a second flight costing $5.

Chef Roby’s team recommended its new coffee experience for date nights, after-dinner socializing and other special occasions.

As a former barista, I can see that idea catching on with coffee lovers.

Learn more by calling the All Chocolate Kitchen at 630-232-2395 or visiting

• Kathy Gresey is editor of the Kane County Chronicle. kane-county-chronicle

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