Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Damn cold = tongue works, nose doesn't


But hey, that didn't stop me from fulfilling my ritual 2 espresso. And what better place than Dogwood today on the way home. Strange feeling to try to smell the espresso and get nothing back. The taste was fabulous of course. So get your asses over to this place. It's a whole different experience from most coffee places people frequent. I mean, c'mon, leave the chains behind. Free yourselves to taste the real deal!

Below, Justin showing excellent attention to detail...

Friday, December 10, 2010

On neck surgery and coping...


OK, I just found out I have to have a 2 Level fusion in my neck because of chronic neck and shoulder pain I've had for the last year. So what better place to cope than Rustica/Dogwood and some espresso. Eric served me up my 2 espressos and after tasting the first one I realized there are worse things than having surgery on your neck vertebrae. What are they? Oh I don't know, but as the espresso rolled across my tongue all my cares faded away. I love this habit. You should too!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

2 Espresso in Siberia?


No, actually St. Paul at Quixotic. Thought I'd warm my cockles with an espresso and Gibraltar. Got to wondering again why all the good espresso joints are in the south part of the Twin Cities. Why can't I get good espresso where I live? Why oh why?

Well at least great espresso is finally making headway here in Minnesota. Am trying hard to promote these fine establishments in the hopes of waking up the rest of Minnesota. But come on North East!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And somehow we got on the subject of beer...


Stopped into Quixotic doing my Madcap-Dogwood-Madcap-Dogwood shuffle and Michael pulled 2 delicious shots of Madcap for me. But then we started talking about beer and one thing lead to the other. Well, not actually, but it turns out we have beer brewing in common so we chatted about brews. All the while sipping my 2 espressos of course....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tangs For The Memories...

Kristin pulled two brazilian-sumatran blend Dogwood espressos for me today and the results were excellent. A very zesty and bright espresso, a little less oily but nonetheless a very interesting experience. The tang hit me right. I quite enjoyed the contrast with some of the equally excellent Madcap I've been tasting these days. Crema well done as was the attention to detail...

When the barista is smiling it is always a good sign...

Yours truly embarking on yet another tasty trip...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shawn's got my back!

Who's my man? Shawn pulls the best shots time and time again. It's like every espresso is the last one he'll ever make in his life. He puts his heart and soul into it...

Here at Quixotic...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dogwood rocks the espresso world at Calhoun Square!

Ran into Keith and Greg today at Calhoun Square at the new Dogwood Coffee Co. I'll bet you can guess how that went... AWESOME OF COURSE! The espresso was sublime. Keith even pulled me some single origin because that's the kind of guy he is. Thanks for putting in another high quality espresso bar. Now everyone get your asses to Dogwood for some nirvana in a cup...

This place is so open...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

2 espresso day, of course!


Stopped in to Quixotic today for a Third Coast and Just a Nicaragua pulled by Gordon with skill. I enjoyed lemony, citrusy, bright and zesty treats. It's nice to have someone pull a fine shot and make an effort to draw something different and unique out of the beans. I pulled up a chair, worked on some videos I'm producing and relaxed into the world. Thanks Gordon and Quixotic...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bull Run seems to be doing very well!


Bull Run was doing a hopping business today. The place was almost packed. Good for them. Maybe Americans are finally coming out of the dark and starting to frequent places of quality coffee instead of the schleppy crap Starbucks and most coffee houses swill out. This is good news...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Espresso for what ails you...


Yes, espresso drinks do help when you have a cold. Here I am at Angry Catfish trying this theory out on a Gibraltar...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Quixoticatingly Rainy Day!


Screw the weather and bring on the fine espresso. I dripped into Quixotic today for some 2 espresso. Gordon pulled one long and one short and they were both long on taste and that's not the short and long of it. Fabulous taste, coating the tongue, creamy, thick and delicious they stayed with me long after the rains quit. Wait! They haven't quit yet... Wow...

The espresso was so fine I had to do justice to this place with my photos!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Return to Sources - Kopplin's

After all my trips to ACF, Quixotic and Bull Run it was time I returned to the first place I ever had great espresso in the Twin Cities. And I was not disappointed. There was a sign on the door stating that Kopplin's would be closed on the 25th so Andrew could get married. Good for him! He pulled two awesome shots and I settled in for my ritual back where it all began... Ahhhhh

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

espresso con crap

Hey, if the espresso tastes like crap (see my latest posts on state of Twin Cities coffee houses) then try espresso con leche, wasn't that bad. But man I wish North Minneapolis and St. Paul had just one decent espresso bar. I mean c'mon, I can't drive south every time!

Purple Onion in Dinkytown

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Friends don't let friends drink bad espresso!

That's why I took Terry to Quixotic to have 2 espressos and 2 Gibraltars. Excellent and first rate as always!

Gaze into it long enough and you'll get lost in it's perfection...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Time for other coffee houses to start catching up!

There was a time I was fairly satisfied with many coffee houses and their espresso, but that time is long gone. It was all brought home yesterday when I stopped into one of my regular espressos stops and said "no way!" The problem (or problems) is that though they have the best of intentions they're still dreadfully behind the espresso times. The Cimbali machine? The Elektra? Equipment is old or out of date. And longo shots? Make it ristretto unless I ask for a longo. These espressos are too watery, with not enough oils, viscosity or flavor. I keep likening it to Turkish coffee (which can be good, don't get me wrong). But if I want Turkish coffee I'll order it. Also, stop buying the run of the mill Alakef espresso or the B and W Del Sol crap. It's so ordinary. Yes, it's fair trade and organic and whatever. I could go on, but I already feel harsh (like most of the espresso I get in these houses). We have excellent places like Bull Run, Kopplin's, Angry Catfish and the newly opened Quixotic making the rest of these places look out of date. I appreciate the fact coffee has come a long way in the Twin Cities, but when places like Kopplin's and the like are raising the bar so high eventually you can't go back to ordinary, antiquated equipment, beans and skills. It's time for the other coffee houses to catch up...

Anodyne and 2 Turkish coffee espressos... hmmm, what to do? Well, enjoy the rest of the place. The ambiance, the food are fantastic!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'm on a Gibraltar kick

Derek at Bull Run found out what a Gibraltar was today. And on the first try he nailed it! Nicely done dude... Check out his technique...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Feeling the pulse at Angry Catfish

Sinatra, espresso, bikes, chillin on a beautiful day. Met Gordon manager at Quixotic, a swell transplant from Chicago. Really enjoy the people I meet while making my espresso rounds...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Janine's in the Warehouse District - "You won't like me..."



Stopped in to Janine's on 1st Street North in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis. They use the usual B and W Cafe Del Sol espresso which I've never been impressed with and an Electra espresso machine and the results are far less than extraordinary, or ordinary for that matter... More like a strong black Turkish coffee, but not espresso. Bitter but no pleasant aftertaste, no crema to speak of. Ouch people ouch...

They say a picture tells a thousand words, well... check out the machiatto...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My expression says it all

Specialty Ground Coffee House in La Crosse, WI. Alekev dirt in your mouth...

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Week of Gibraltars!

This week I started branching out ordering one regular espresso (ristretto of course) and one espresso based drink, this time a Gibraltar. I started at Quixotic and loved it so much I thought I'd have Adam try his hand at Angry Catfish. Both times a smashing success! A Gibraltar is really just a tiny latte -- espresso, milk, and a bit of foam, brilliant...

Here Adam serves up his creation...

The finished artwork...

I was also impressed at the difference between the Madcap and Intelligentsia espressos. Madcap at Quixotic was dark and dense, with an amazing deep red crema and the Intelligentsia at Catfish was bright, lively and intense. Loved them both. The quality of coffeehouses is really starting to climb in the Twin Cities. I even heard from Adam that Bull Run was opening a new coffeehouse in Calhoun Square in October. Keep pushing the envelope guys!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Quixotic Coffee is not to be missed!


Quixotic Coffee will blow your palette! Stop the presses, drop everything and get over to this new coffee house in St. Paul near Cleveland and Ford Pkwy. They've done everything right, from the locale to the beans (Madcap) to wearing their hearts on their sleeves. These guys are way into it. And the result if as close to perfection as you will find here in Minnesota. They put their own stamp on their espressos. The espresso I tasted was creamy, dark, smooth, had hints of sweetness but a nice bright finish. Definitely their own. They are 5 for 5 as far as I'm concerned...

Here is Shawn halfway through a "Gibraltar" making sure everything is just right...


Video of Shawn putting the finishing touches on an espresso and his signature "Gibraltar"


Quixotic has a nice zen quality to it...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A New Coffee House in St. Paul? Who Knew?

I certainly didn't, but I guess Shawn and Co. opened up Quixotic Coffee in St. Paul about 5 weeks ago and I'm very anxious to try their espresso, twice! Anyway, in the meantime here is some espresso from Espresso Royale downtown. It kinda tasted like my show, that's why I put that in there. Oh when will they ever learn how to make a good cup of espresso in Minnesota? A few do, but they are so far between. If you're wondering why there is only one espresso, suffice it to say I knew what I was getting into...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Grinderman!!!

Almost a coffee like name... Can't believe they're coming to Minneapolis! Drinking my espresso and thinking about Nick Cave...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fireroast Mountain

One of my favorite stops for espresso!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

If you stare into the abyss long enough...

It stares back into you...

Or in this case it tastes delicious...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gazing into a cup of espresso

Could anything look or smell so wonderful? Oh, right, my wife...
Sorry. But man I love this stuff! Espresso Cubano makes life taste
great!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm back!

Been awhile. Too busy enjoying the summer... Stoped into Dragonfly off
Penn and 50th. Lars, the owner, served me up some fine Matador
Espresso from Flamenco. Only 2nd time I've seen Flamenco beans in
Minneapolis, the other being at Jackson's in Uptown. It's a shame
since they're excellent beans...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

An Angry Catfish Am I...


I guess I do look a little serious. But you would be too if you were about to taste Intelligentsia Black Cat espresso!

And who should I get to pull it? None other than ultimate barista Adam Dunn. Note the attention to detail. Cheers!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fireroast Mountain and Mexican!


And they have gourmet tamales too!

Friday, March 26, 2010

2 Espressos, 1 Daughter, Kopplins, kind of hard to beat that combo...

Excellent mild Ethiopian followed by a brighter and more chocolaty Ecco Cafe Espresso Blend (Sonoma Valley roasters). Nice to share some excellent 2 espresso with my daughter who had the bittersweet heavenly mocha. You've got to taste it to believe all the others are all just syrupy lame imitations...


Stillwater, MN - "Daily Grind" lives up to its name...



Daily Grind tasted like Daily Grind...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Beat Goes On...



Matt served me up some very fine espresso today. Hard to go wrong when you start with Bullrun. Nice thing too about the Beat Coffeehouse is that they're so damn friendly. Nice space, nice people, and fine espresso. What more could a guy want?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

You have to be specific when ordering 2 espressos...


Gotta say separate cups! Turtle Bread Company in Linden Hills...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cars-R-Coffins


Cool space, cool bikes, nice vibe. The first thing the manager said after I ordered my 2 espressos was "I just watched the coolest movie last night" and you guessed it, it was The Limits of Control. If you still haven't seen it, definitely check it out. And check out Cars-R-Coffins on the corner of 34th and Lyndale. Peace Coffee Espresso blend done decently and with a smile...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I find a place that sells hotdogs and beer and THE BEST ESPRESSO IN THE SOUTHWEST and interview the man behind it!


I sampled the Intelligentsia espresso that John pulled and it was wonderful. It had a nice bitter lemon bite to it and went down like gold. Tyler was nice enough to let me sample some single source Burundi that left a nice oily finish coating my palette and never wanting to leave this place. You definitely have to stop by this place next time you're in Austin. It's one of the best I've found.... anywhere!

Video Interview with Tyler, the man behind Austin's hottest espresso joint, Frank!