~ The final lineup - shop talk & sneak peeks with Caffeine Crawl Twin Cities participants ~
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? The most unique and exciting thing (currently!) about Dogwood Coffee is that we just opened a second roastery in Winnipeg, Canada! We’re international, haha!
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? We’re big fans of cappuccinos as a nice, simple starting place. But our signature drinks (which vary between the shops - gotta try ‘em all!) are always on point.
What's coming up that you are excited about? All of our Central American coffees are going to be arriving early this summer, and they're really great this year. They are some of our closest relationship based coffees, making them especially meaningful to us. It will be a wave of fresh, fun sweetness!
We’re also working with Herbivorous Butcher and Lowry Hill Meats on some new, upcoming sandwich offerings, which we’re super excited about. And we have iced cascara tea returning soon!
~ Holly VerHage, Director of Retail
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? Rustica Bakery is focused on european style bread and pastries. We specialize in sourdough bread and bake between 500-1000 baguettes a day. All of our bread, including baguettes, are hand shaped and undergo several periods of fermentation. The "mother" levain that we use to feed our bread every day (instead of yeast) has been alive for 11 years; since the beginning of our bakery.
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? For the adventurous, I would recommend a shot of Neon Espresso from Dogwood Coffee. It is bright, sweet and zingy and will definitely alert your senses. For the timid, a cup of Mixtape from our Fetco Batch Brewer. As far as pastries/bread goes...there are too many good things. The Kouign Amann (butter cake) and the Bostok (think dry french toast) are fun to try.
What's coming up that you are excited about? I'm always excited about all the Ethiopian and Central American coffee coming out right about now. We are partnered with Dogwood Coffee for our coffee program. I am always super excited to try all the coffees coming from Costa Rica. I try to rotate through all of them while they are around. I'm also pretty excited for Affogato season....we may try to work in some sort of cold brew ice cream shake as well.
~ Jordan Hubred, Manager
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? The thing that sets us apart is our fresh roasted coffee. Our owner and roaster Steve Vandewater has been roasting here every day for the last 15 years perfecting his craft. Another stand out is our large patio behind the shop. Our shop was rated as one of the top 2 dog friendly stores in the twin cities because of our patio.
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? For our first time customers, I would recommend our drip coffee. We have around 15 different coffees of origin at any time. For the cold coffee drinkers, I would recommend our Mike Bomb. It is a cold press coffee with a dash of chocolate and cream, that I would describe as a grown up chocolate milk.
What's coming up that you are excited about? We are very excited about our 15 year anniversary party coming up on August 13th. We will have food and live music as well as several booths where local artists will be selling there work. We are also excited about starting to sell growlers of our cold press coffee (which we are told is the best in town).
~ J&S Bean Factory Team
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? In addition to providing excellent bicycle services, we are a specialty coffee shop that combines Intelligentsia and Ruby coffees with third-wave brew methods to create a unique coffee experience.
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? If you're into brewed coffee I'd definitely recommend checking out our single-orgin pourover options. If you like something fancy, I'd look no further than a Fancy Latte with our house made maple cardamom syrup.
What's coming up that you are excited about? We are always serving delicious new coffees from Ruby Roasters and Intelligentsia. Our nitro cold brew has become a huge hit as the weather gets warmer. Also, we are debuting a new seasonal flavor for our Fancy Lattes very soon!
~ George Hadfield, Manager
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? Big Watt Cold Press is the first coffee and water only product to hit the market in a can, and while other coffee and water products have come out since, we are the only one with a shelf life greater than 60 days. Our shelf life exceeds a year.
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? When visiting our flagship coffee shop, Five Watt, we always tell people to get our signature beverage: the Kingfield. It's a latte with house made vanilla syrup, coriander cocktail bitters and it's topped with black hawaiian sea salt.
What's coming up that you are excited about? We're working hard to finalize some new locations for Five Watt in 2017! We can't wait to make some official announcements.
~ Lee Carter, Owner
~ K'ul Chocolate ~
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? K’UL is a farm-to- bar chocolate company, which is on the mission to change perception and create a new attitude towards dark chocolate. Chocolate is original superfood, and we enhanced this powerful snack with other healthy ingredients to provide unique nutritional benefits with a great taste.
Our cacao comes from Owner verified farms which we have visited in person in order to make sure our chocolate comes from ethical sources that take care of their people and their plants. Using the cacao, we make high quality, vegan, dark chocolate using machines from around the world right here in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis.
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? For a first time customer, we recommend trying our Endurance bar. It’s the bar that started this whole idea – making a functional, great-tasting energy bar based in low glycemic dark chocolate for continuous, long lasting energy. With algae protein, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and guarana – a natural source of caffeine – this bar tastes fantastic and will keep you energized!
What's coming up that you are excited about? K’UL Chocolate has a lot coming up in the near future. We are starting up a new single-origin chocolate bar line with unique cacao beans coming in from Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, and Haiti. We are also bringing in new flavors to the superfood line and the artisan line! For the superfood line, the new Electro bar will replenish your electrolytes with dried banana, evaporated coconut water, toasted coconut chips, and Cyprus sea-salt flakes. The newcomers to the artisan line are the salted caramel bar and the Marcona almond bar, bringing traditional flavors to the K’UL chocolate artisan line.
~ Groundswell ~
What's one of the most unique or interesting things about your company? We think Groundswell is unique in that it’s a true collaboration of coffee, bakery, and cafe. We used to be about a third of our size, and were what we would consider to be a traditional coffee shop. When we decided to expand into our current space, we thought, what else besides coffee do people gather together over? Pastries and dessert, good quality food, beer and wine. We decided to take our approach to coffee—a focus on interdependence, good sourcing, hand-crafting, thoughtful flavors—and expand that philosophy into a full on-site, from scratch bakery and cafe. For us, it’s helped us think outside the box as we develop our menus. You can taste our espresso in a latte, or in the mousse of our fair-trade chocolate blackout cupcake, or in a barbecue sauce that’s simmered with local chicken and seasonal veggies and served over our jalapeño cornbread.
What would you recommend ordering for first-time customers? We absolutely love our miels! Locally roasted, bright and slightly sweet espresso from our friends at Dogwood Coffee, with rich and incredibly smooth organic local milk from our friends at Autumnwood Farm, and honey from our Hamline-Midway friends and neighbors, Bare Honey. We love that their honey changes as our seasons change, reflecting the different scents and flavors of whatever is growing at the moment of harvesting. Pair the miel with one of our muffins, like our current rhubarb-ginger muffin with brown sugar oat streusel. Or try it with our best-selling salted honey caramel cheesecake cupcake, to really get more of that honey love.
What's coming up that you are excited about? Summertime is our favorite—it means patio season! And neighbors being out and about. It also means getting to play around with the incredible seasonal flavors of Minnesota. This summer, look for new iced coffee drinks (right now a blueberry-lavender iced americano), and new iced teas. (We care loads about good iced tea.) Lots of Dogwood’s cold brew, Zamboni, with it’s rich chocolatey flavor, is definitely a requirement of the summer around here, too. And we’re excited for our annual Grounds and Sounds festival, which is on August 20th this year. It’s a time of gathering local artists, musicians, and appreciators of craft beer, good coffee, and thoughtful local food. We create a special menu for it each year, and we raise funds for the arts in our community. A creative and family-friendly day that combines so much of what we care deeply about!
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