Showing posts with label Dogwood Coffee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dogwood Coffee. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Mud House

Subject: The Mud House
Location: St. Louis, MO
WiFi?: Yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Every neighborhood should aspire to have a great eatery that issues forth great food and tremendous coffee. So often the equation is split (at best) in most towns, with a great coffeehouse offering a decent bagel and soup menu, while down the street you have a restaurant churning wondrous culinary feats paired with lackluster coffee. Yet in the few instances when you put a talented chef and a skilled barista together (even in the same person), you get a force akin to collecting all of the dragon balls.

Monday, February 10, 2014

CC: Menagerie Coffee

Subject: Menagerie Coffee
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Old City Philadelphia for years has been a bit of a coffee wasteland, with but a few spots of decent rapport slinging coffee in a 3-4 block radius of Independence Hall. Fortunately, the times are a-changing and visiting history buffs need no longer schlep long distances for a great cup.

The brightest of new coffee establishments in the Old City arena is Menagerie Coffee. Located on 3rd St a few spots south of Market St, this coffeehouse not only boasts a great location, but a beautiful space as well. Decorated in sleek woods and pleasant lighting, there's a spot for everyone in this well-designed shop. The coffee of course is what adds the majestic, TGI Friday-level flair, with beans from Annapolis' Ceremony Coffee AND Minneapolis' Dogwood Coffee, both roasters not seen enough in this region.

Sauntering in, I ordered an espresso of Dogwood's Neon (I love that it's literally labeled "neon" on the menu instead of "espresso") and a pourover of Ceremony's Ethiopia Worka. The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, offered up notes of lemon, cherry soda, cocoa, basil and arugula amidst a full body and a velvety mouthfeel. The Worka pourover was a heavenly uppercut of fruit, specifically strawberry jam and passion fruit, with supporting flavors of maple syrup and shredded wheat amidst a light body.

To state the obvious, Menagerie Coffee offers a menagerie of great coffee options. Let not another moment delay your arrival.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

CC: Crema Coffee House

Subject: Crema Coffee House
Location: Denver, CO
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

One sunny Denver morning, I had the delightful luxury of taking it slow and having a lackadaisical coffee stop before starting my day. Given my geography at the time, I set my sights on a local establishment with an effervescent reputation, Crema Coffee House.

Sitting in a black brick building on a corner lot, Crema has a unique exterior with a lot of sleek design elements that pull forward your eyes to its existence. Inside, the place reverberates with a stylish yet efficiently purposed space, complete with a chandelier, lots of natural light and some interesting art.

Their coffee is as copious as it comes, with numerous roasters on hand such as Counter Culture, Novo, Boxcar, Herkimer and Dogwood. That morning, I had an espresso from Herkimer (their Espresso Blend I believe) and a french press of a Colombian from Novo. The espresso, pulled short with a brown crema, held notes of dark cocoa, a little clove, light sugar, a bit of ginger and a smoky finish, all of which combined to form a sweet and balanced infusion. The Colombian doled out a delicious light-medium bodied brew that smacked of wheat, pear, black tea, banana nut muffin and broth.

All together (now!), Crema provided great coffee, great service and wonderful ambiance; I couldn't have chosen a better spot to start off my slow day. If you're in or around Denver, give Crema your patronage.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

CC: Urban Bean Coffee

Subject: Urban Bean Coffee
Location: Minneapolis, MN (Bryant Ave location)
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

It's always nice to have a coffeehouse to yourself during the first hours of morning light. Few things couple together better than the beams of the sun, the rustling of the barista prepping for the day ahead and the taste of a delicious coffee greeting eager legions of tastebuds.

Such was my fortune one morning at Urban Bean Coffee, a lovely coffee establishment that sits as a splendid corner shop in a nice neighborhood of Minneapolis. I had awoken early to enjoy my morning cup of Dogwood prior to a days work in their beautifully designed cafe (the counter was particularly gorgeous). I had the honor of being the solo patron for about 15 minutes prior to the onslaught of regulars poured through the doors.

For my beverages, I settled on a cup of Dogwood espresso and a drip of Raccoon Blend. The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, held notes of punchy lime, watermelon, basil, bran and a pleasant mouth-feel amidst stellar sweetness. The drip dripped with honey, raisin, wheat thin, a little peanut, sassafras and oregano, all riding upon a medium body. Both infusions proved fantastic. 

If you happen to fall upon either location of Urban Bean Coffee, have a grand ol' time and drink deep.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

CC: Rustica Bakery

Subject: Rustica Bakery 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Like many a small boy, my mom liked to take me shopping and one of our infrequent stops was at a little bakery close to home. An old Italian-style bakery brimming with jelly-filled cookies and old-fashioned pastel cakes, I distinctly remember not liking their treats at all. Why would I want an apricot jam sugar cookie when I could have a Tastykake butterscotch krimpet or a Hershey bar?

Thankfully, a little wiser with age, my narrow view of sweets has faded and I've grown to appreciate the many varieties of baked goods and baking styles. Also with age, I've also come to recognize that any troglodyte can bake a cake, but it takes a master baker to make great pastries. Couple that skill with a quality coffee operation and you have a rare gem found ever sparingly. 

While I was in Minneapolis I happened upon one such gem called Rustica Bakery, an artisan confectionery in Calhoun Village. I had heard their baking praises sung like sweet yodels in the Alps with a possible complimenting harmony that they also slung local Dogwood Coffee with skill of a fine accordion player. 

Making my way over with little challenge in finding parking (twas a busy day), I walked into their spacious cafe. The interior radiated an old world feel coupled with a modern layout, with plenty of sturdy, chic furniture of wood, as well as pleasing lighting and bountiful shelves of delicious creations.

Looking to their coffee, I ordered an espresso of Dogwood Espresso and a Clover brew of Brazil Serra Negra. The espresso, pulled short with even brown crema, held notes of vanilla, pepper, lime, merlot, poppy seed and sea salt; a flavorful and intriguing infusion that left me chipper. The clover brew of the Brazil delivered flavors of roasted lamb, cashew, green apple candy and seltzer amidst a light body, which easily spelled a hearty yet slightly tart brew. 

My coffee experience coupled with a few baked items tucked away for later (all of which proved wondrous) made for a bakery experience that will sit high in my register. Give Rustica a visit if you're in Minneapolis. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

CC: Dogwood Coffee

What does CC mean?

Subject: Dogwood Coffee
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

A rainy, early morning can really slow down the energy levels. Its on such mornings that a promise of a good coffee stop effectively gets a kick in my jig and roar in my belly. One such morning in the Twin Cities, I made plans to make my first stop at a local coffee establishment called Dogwood Coffee. A Minnesota coffee roaster and purveyor with a lot of reputed clout, their uptown location beckoned to me like a benevolent siren through the torrents of rain.

Landing at the large brick building that houses Dogwood, I sauntered inside to find the operation off to the left, occupying an open space where the border between the cafe and building lobby was at best ambiguous. Dogwood's back wall was effectively used for storage and they sported several counters, making the feel more akin to a barista competition, and topped it all with a pleasant peninsula of seating towards the front of the building. 

As I arrived close to opening, I had the barista to myself and took my time in deciding. I ended up a with a doubshot of their espresso blend and a clover of their Burundi. The espresso, pulled short with a light brown crema, had a nice lemony brightness, some coriander, filet mignon, merlot and a bit of salt, all in all a tasty pair of shots with some nice character. The Burundian coffee delivered a vibrant, delicious brew, holding notes of peach, spinach, beef broth, carrot, jasmine tea and hints of sassafras and cocoa, all within a medium, french-press-like body. The tea is free leaf.

Finishing up my coffee in the AM tranquility, I relished my Dogwood experience and heartily look forward to revisit one day. Make your way to Dogwood in Minneapolis if you happen to be in the area.