"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
If I really want to indulge myself, though, I could do much worse than spend a few hours in Guillermo’s Gourmet Grounds, savoring a latte and listening to the pop and sizzle of the coffee roaster.
Eventually live musical acts started coming in and so did customers, and we modified our Friday girl nights elsewhere. So it has been some time since I’ve darkened the door.
Anyway, I wanted some wintery flavor, so I ordered up a Brown Sugar Cinnamon Latte and pulled a mammoth brownie out of the jar and paid up. I found a nice corner in which to work, plugged in and wired up.
I was interrupted by the clatter of coffee beans. Hans Oliver is in today, and he was getting the beans together for roasting. I knew who he was because of John Tarpley’s excellent article from a few months ago.
At one point during the roasting there was a sizzle and pop that continued for nearly 30 seconds. I can only imagine this was a change in the state of the beans themselves.
The scent of the coffee changes as it’s roasted. About 30 minutes after I observed the beans going in there was a heavy salty scent in the air, sort of like popcorn but more robust. The scent spread through the room and perked me right up, even more than the coffee. At this point another amount of beans was dropped into the giant funnel on top of the coffee roaster. The rattling sounded like a big wave in the machine that grew quieter and quieter.
The machine itself sounds like a dishwasher going, not too loud. At times the beans sound like popping corn; at others like pennies in a piggy bank being rolled over and over again.
You notice I’ve said nothing about the coffee. I shouldn’t have to. But in case you just haven’t had the experience, Guillermo’s does the classic coffee designer beverages well. If I hadn’t been craving sweets so strongly, I’d likely have gone for my favorite of their roasts, the Monk’s Blend. Smooth yet hearty and nicely bold, a shake-you-by-the-shoulders wake-up cuppa with excellent body. Well, there you go.
Guillermo’s is also offering sandwiches and such for more substantial fare. I guess I’m gonna have to try that at some point or another. Watch this space.
Guillermo’s is north off Rodney Parham at I-430 next door to Chili’s. It’s open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Get your grounds on. (501) 228-4448 or check out the website.