Credit: Karen Valentine

Dark Matter Coffee

Chicago has an impressive community of independent coffee roasters and a growing number of hip coffee shops to support them. Dark Matter’s lovingly crafted caffeinated drinks speak for themselves, and the folks at its Ukrainian Village headquarters don’t need to do much besides work with beans to win our approval. But their collaborations with musicians and labels have made picking up a bag even more appealing. Dark Matter launched this impressive series in 2013 with a blend called Cherry Bomb to go with a limited cassette mixtape from excellent local microlabel Cherries Records, and since then the collaborations have gotten even bigger—and sometimes heavier. Last fall Dark Matter teamed up with Atlanta metal titans Mastodon for a blend called Black Blood, which arrived just in time for the band’s Riot Fest set. This year Dark Matter rolled out British Steel to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the sixth album from British heavyweights Judas Priest, which is called, er, British Steel. Each bag comes with a Priest cassingle, so you can get an extra rush every time you make a cup of coffee. Unfortunately, cassette players aren’t included.