Photos by Mateo Montoya
By Lee Panter
Wisps of steam curl around still hands. Piping hot water is poured over the single origin, Prosperu from Chirino, Peru. The sights and sounds of a bustling morning fade as the warm sensation from a crafted latte gradually captures taste buds. A minimalist interior steers your eyes toward the concrete, peninsular bar. Streamlined is the way Revelator rolls and once inside you understand exactly what that means. Enter and notice the monochromatic ambiance and concise menu. Located on 3rd Ave and 19th St N, across from McWane Science Center, Revelator is hard to miss. Rusted metal sheets line the face of the building with light touches of contrasting white as you see
Revelator, bottom left,
Modern Brand to the bottom right, and two clean patios for the lofts above. For the urban cyclist, the sidewalk has a fair amount of parking meters to link up to, though hope still hangs, a little impatiently, for proper bike parking. This location pops and has only more traffic to anticipate, especially as the nearby Pizitz Building renovations near completion and the night scene continues to climb down and spread outward from 2nd and 3rd Ave N.
So, what’s available? To start, you can enjoy a seasonal selection of single origin pour over coffees or indulge in an espresso that will start you up! Loose-leaf tea is always kept on stock for the fresh, settling taste of a properly timed brew. Revelator’s award-winning roast master, Cameron Heath, supervises the roasting of the coffee beans at a location across town. The 4oz espresso is a solid choice with just enough milk to temper the bitter espresso and add velvet texture; just enough milk not to hit the gut. While most coffee shops use Italian espresso machines, Revelator's is a made-in-America affair. Their "Slayer" not only pulls a fine espresso, it has the ability to manipulate the pour with its paddles, and is a sleek piece of equipment that personifies style.
When trying to find a relaxing spot that fades to background, rather than foreground, noise, one would be happy to sit down for a few hours at a time and knock out some positive work! Though as a friendly warning, if you are not charged up, there is a spot near the rear left harboring the only plugs in the shop.
Hungry? Choose from an array of pastries furnished daily from Continental Bakery, We Have Doughnuts, and Birmingham Breadworks. Revelator also keeps your sweet tooth in mind by providing fantastic dark chocolates – and we all know dark chocolate is practically a health food. The menu offers breakfast snacks and healthy lunches. For the early bird, the worm here is a swell granola parfait including greek yogurt, vanilla ricotta, fruit, granola, and quinoa (The dried figs are my favorite touch). The avocado toast spread will refresh your working mind as well as your stomach with a perfect blend of avocado butter, smashed avocado, radishes, and some fresh greens.
From Chemex coffee equipment and cool totes, to water bottles and local print magazines, the spotlight is shared around the store. Another perk is their coffee club club, always seeming to keep in mind the best way to enjoy their products.
Blurring sun rays cast a glow on the fiddle leaf fig tree as the end of the day is near and the Slayer is whistling its last tune and the remaining occupants gradually disperse. Occasionally special days incite Revelator to stay open for events like pour contests and exciting shows, either at the re-opened Lyric Theatre or the classic Alabama Theater. And don't forget to follow pop-up events via Instagram