~ Shop talk with the personalities behind the good stuff coming your way for Caffeine Crawl Twin Cities ~
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? We started in 2014 in a really small space (480 square feet) with a focus on offering seasonal, carefully sourced and roasted coffees. We are a small crew of 3 offering our coffees through wholesale, a home subscription and an online store. We also operate a stand at the Linden Hills Farmer’s Market every Sunday. It's a labor of love!
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? We rotate through coffees pretty regularly based on seasonality. Any given coffee is available for about 3-4 months or so. One of our current favorites is our Colombia Los Naranjos. The Blue Collar Blend is a year-round offering and is very popular, as well. The Sample Pack is another popular choice to really get a feel for the sort of coffees that we buy and how we roast them.
What's coming up that you are excited about? We are excited that we are installing a larger roaster in mid-May! We have roasted all of our coffees so far in 5-pound batches on our faithful, little San Franciscan. We have seen really steady growth since the beginning, and it is now time to upgrade in order to keep up with demand! We are also rolling out a fun, seasonal summer blend by early June. Think notes of milk chocolate, lemon and floral aromatics: cold-brew drinkers take note!
~Micah Svejda, Owner & Roaster
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? 65% of the coffee we deliver from our roastery is via bicycle. Even during those fabled crazy Minnesota winters! We feel like that method of delivery reflects how the green coffee comes to port, and we are honored to respect our part in the supply chain.
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? Our baristas are very enthusiastic about Japanese iced-coffee, so we recommend ordering our latest Alchemy Series coffee brewed via that method. If you're in the mood for hot, a triple-ristretto shot of our Wonderland Park espresso is bright, sweet and balanced.
What's coming up that you are excited about? Our Alchemy Series release #17 comes from the Permata Gayo cooperative from Sumatra. The green coffee processing goes through a special preparation that is the result of collaboration with our head roaster, Derek, in which the parchment coffee is fermented twice. The results are amazing, and we're excited to have people rediscover Sumatran coffee in which there is a great balance of acidity, sweetness and that famous forrest funk!
~ Ryan Brown, Events & Engagement Coordinator
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? We have Nitro Cold Brew cans available at many convenience stores, including all Super America locations.
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? White Lightning (Nitro Cold Brew with vanilla simple syrup and cream).
What's coming up that you are excited about? Our impending world domination. JK, We’re just happy more people are taking the time to learn about and try different types of coffee.
~ Dante DeSeranno, Management Partner
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? One of the most unique things about Misfit Coffee Company is that we are capable of bringing some of the finest coffee to the hands of people anywhere. Having a mobile, specialty coffee trailer is a pretty awesome job just in the sense that we get to show so many new people on a daily basis WHY and HOW specialty coffee is not only different, but so much more involved. Its an awesome feeling getting to showcase the "craft" of coffee to those people who are only familiar with drip coffee, and fast automated espresso service.
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? One of our best selling signature drinks on the menu would be the Chata-Lata (Latte using homemade horchata, rather than milk - hot or iced). If black coffee is more your style I would certainly recommend a pour over coffee - Bali is the most popular darker roasted coffee we serve, and the Costa Rica is a popular lighter roast offering. For all the cold brew lovers, our nitro cold brew is a must try with heavy notes of caramel, courtesy of the Guatemala Huehuetenango coffee we use.
What's coming up that you are excited about? We are currently getting ready to start off the summer season the right way! We are adding cold brew growlers to our menu as soon as the printed bottles make their way in. We will also be adding some easy eats to our menu, such as baked goods. To top it all off we will finally be getting some Misfit Gear in for all of our awesome supporters to represent!
~ Marcus Parkansky, Founder
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? One thing that most people don’t realize about Gray Duck Chai is that our head brewer and co-owner, Katey Niebur, has a bachelor in culinary science from the Culinary Institute of America in New York and has worked for famous chefs like Jean George and Daniel Boulud. She has been able to bring a lot of that training into our brewing process and which has been an integral part of making Gray Duck Chai what it is.
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? We have 2 blends of chai right now, 9 Spice Blend and Burnt Sugar + Ginger. I think the best place to start is 9 Spice Blend. It is our first blend we created and is our version of a traditional masala chai. We wanted to recreate the experience of walking down the streets of India and ordering a cup of chai from a chai wallah (a street side chai vendor). It is very lightly sweetened with organic sugar cane and has prominent notes of Star anise, clove, nutmeg and allspice.
Burnt Sugar + Ginger is great as well, especially for people who like a little bite in their chai. It is our most popular blend and is carried by most of the coffee shops in the Twin Cities that carry Gray Duck behind their espresso bar. Caramelized cane sugar and a very healthy dose of raw ginger gives this blend its signature kick.
What's coming up that you are excited about? We are VERY excited to announce that we will be launching a 3rd blend of chai early this summer. This chai will be Rooibos tea based , unlike our other 2 which use Assam black tea, so it will be naturally caffeine free. We are also planning on using MN honey as the sweetener and hope to make this our most lightly sweetened chai yet. Creating new blends of chai is always are favorite part of what we do and we are using some exciting new ingredients in this forthcoming chai that we can’t wait to get out to everyone. Also, we are now available at Whole Foods, Kowalski’s, Hy Vee, and we are excited to announce that starting over the next few weeks you’ll be able to find us at Lunds and Byerlys as well.
~ Jon Alden, Co-owner
Part 2 coming soon...
Get the full lineup of participating shops and your tickets here!