Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cave Creek Arizona has Espresso!

My brother sent me this photo (complete with his Delorean) from Cave Creek, Arizona

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Urban Bean visit

Beautiful red and white decor and simple layout at the Urban Bean on 35th and Bryant. They even had a red Cimbali to go with it. Too bad the European Roasterie espresso blend tasted like most of the other regular coffees in this town, that is, it tasted like normal bitter almond coffee that kind of resembles espresso but not really. No real aroma to it either, no nose... It's one thing to buy the beans and another to finish the product. No finish here. Why do Kopplin's and Bull Run have to be the exceptions and not the norm? Why?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sebastian Joe's Has Great Intentions...

Indeed they do. The guy behind the counter was so proud of their beans and told me about the owner who apparently is studying hard all about roasting coffee and barista techniques and the like. I had the "dark dancer" espresso which they roast themselves. Well I do appreciate the hard work that's being put into the beans and the process but I have a big suggestion, get a better machine, not the Cimbali instant button press variey. They need something so they can pull good shots because I only tasted dark roasted and pretty bitter coffee. They might be able to pull the right tastes, aromas and textures from a better machine. It's a shame to do all that work on the roasting part just to have a mediocre product to serve. Upgrade your machine so we can taste the beauty of your beans...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Downtown Minneapolis Hyatt "Taxxi" Restaurant yesterday...

OK, you got me... Only one espresso... But if you tasted what passes for espresso at the Taxxi Restaurant you wouldn't even order one! Just because you wanted to add espresso to your restaurant menu doesn't mean you should order some pod machine and pass it off as espresso. Better to just not have espresso on the menu...

Rushton's pic from Cafe Crema

Rushton sent me this sweet photo from cafe Crema. I have them on my radar now and will check them out soon.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wondering how Jackson's is doing?

Sunrise over Jackson's in Uptown...

Swung by Jackson's Coffee Bar and Gelato to see how the new place was doing. I hope I was just there during an off hour but it was pretty quiet. That didn't stop me from enjoying my 2 espressos and getting a cool photo op of course. Digging the sunlight. Espresso didn't have much nose but tasted lemony citrus with some hints of cherry blossom. Support your local espresso bar!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Positively charged at the new Bull Run...

Wanted to keep the good vibes and mojo moving towards the newly opened Rustica Bakery and Bull Run Coffee Bar so I stopped in today for a bit of the usual. The thing is, there is nothing usual about their espresso. They really go out of their way to make the best cup of coffee possible. I sipped my 2 espressos in the sun seated at the cupping table today. It may have been -2 outside but it always feels 72 and sunny when you walk into this place. The people are friendly, the baristas knowledgeable, the atmosphere positively charged, all of which make for a sweet coffee experience. Head on over when you get a chance, no wait! Head on over right now, don't wait for the chance, it's that good!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I came to a fork in the espresso road and took the Kenyan and that made all the difference...

Next time I walk into Kopplin's I will order two of the same espresso or maybe drink the Ethiopian before the Kenyan. I started with the Kenyan and it was bright and leaped up into my nose and demanded my attention from the get go. It then proceeded to the back of my palette, which is exactly how I like it, saturating it with rich fruity flavors with a chocolate edge. Perfect viscosity too with just the right oils, close to a perfect pour. Next I tasted the Ethiopian. At first I was confused by how mellow it tasted but than realized quickly that the Kenyan had simply overtaken my palette leaving me no way to truly appreciate the Ethiopian. The pour was a little longer too which reinforced the mellow quality of the espresso. Guess I've learned my lesson.

Caught them just before closing up shop...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An excellent coffee bar that sets the standard very high opens near Lake Calhoun!

Bull Run finally teamed up with Rustica Bakery to open a globally conscious high end coffee bar and bakery. And thank god for that because this city needs more coffee bars like this badly! I spoke with Greg Hoyt the owner while sipping excellent espressos prepared by barista Keith Mrotek. Greg spoke with passion about this product we love so much... coffee! We talked about educating the American public and raising standards in ways that hopefully will catch on with the general populace.

Greg welcomed me warmly as I'm sure he will you!

The coffee is brewed either French press, pour over brew bar, Clover, or siphon and the espresso pulled on a 3 group synesso hydra (of course!). Bull Run has pulled out all the stops at this coffee bar. They even put in a table for cuppings. How often do you see that? And of course teaming up with Rustica Bakery means you'll not only drink fantastic high quality coffee but have many guilty pleasures to eat as well!

Eric Faust profiles Bull Run in an excellent article he wrote for the Heavy Table. Click here to read this article. And be sure to visit these guys and help them get off the ground. Accept no substitutes or imitators!

Keith is so good he can pull shots better with his eyes closed than most can with them open! (sorry Keith, I'll get a better photo next time!)