The switch from hot to cold coffee is a sure sign that Minneapolis’ prime summer months are in full effect. While you can get the typical cup of java poured over ice anywhere these days, the city now boasts plenty of new shops where baristas are hard at work bringing their passion for hot coffee to designing some of the summer’s coolest coffee creations.
Each shop has its own unique summer offering, from Anelace Coffee’s finely crafted Japanese-style iced brew in Northeast Minneapolis to the herb-infused May Day from Southwest Minneapolis’ Five Watt. Coffee drinkers can enjoy these buzz-worthy drinks before the hot stuff returns.
And to make it easier to see all these new shops, we’ve designed a summer coffee crawl at the bottom of this page that will help keep your season cool while energizing a weekend outing or a simple coffee trip.
Anelace Coffee, 2402 Central Ave. NE
Japanese-style Iced Coffee
Fine-ground coffee, brewed as a concentrate over ice
Anelace is the newest name in Minneapolis’ high-end coffee scene, and perhaps the least flashy. The multi-roaster shop, nestled near the active intersection of Central and Lowry, forgoes mixology to focus on brewing methods, and its summer drink, a Japanese-style iced coffee, is a perfect example of that. Eric Olney and Caitlin Shrestha, who moved to Minneapolis from Ann Arbor, Mich. last May to open the shop this year, make the drink by brewing a finely ground coffee over ice using a pour over method. The brew comes out as a concentrate, but the ice dilutes it to the strength of a traditional hot coffee. “The heat is what releases the aromatics… and good acidity,” Olney said. “It’s a lot more light and crisp and true to taste than a traditional iced coffee.” This way they can preserve subtle nuances of the bean and roast’s flavor profile. The drink, much like the shop, offers a more transparent view of the shop and their roasters. “We’re constantly refining [out method],” he said. “We feel that these coffees are so distinct on their own.”
Spyhouse, 945 Broadway St. NE
Espresso & Tonic
10 oz. bottle of tonic
A double Orion espresso
½ TB rosemary mint syrup
When Spyhouse owner Christian Johnson opened his Northeast Minneapolis shop less than two years ago, he filled a craft coffee-less void. Now with Spyhouse West (907 N. Washington Ave.) coming this summer, Johnson is set to do the same with the North Loop. And the shop has just the drink to cool off downtowners: the Espresso & Tonic. Perhaps the proximity to brewers and distillers has inspired this cocktail-style drink, but the drink packs plenty of punch — a double espresso’s worth — without spirits. Spyhouse ups the beverage’s mixology with an in-house rosemary and mint syrup, playing off the herbal flavors of a gin and tonic. And the shop doesn’t skimp out the tonic: each drink uses a 10 oz. bottle of Boylan Bottling Co. tonic. “A lot of our signature drinks are cocktail inspired,” said Tony Querio, Spyhouse’s director of coffee and head roaster. “We’re not trying to make non-alcoholic cocktails, but we’re trying to elevate the specialty drinks and it’s easy to take inspiration from that realm to do it.”
Black Coffee & Waffle Bar, 1500 Como Ave. SE
Dogwood Zamboni cold press
Autumnwood Farm chocolate milk
Dash of hazelnut syrup
When Andrew and Lisa Ply rebranded their shop, Muddsuckers Café, last spring, they didn’t just change the name, they overhauled their staff, their menu and their coffee. After several lessons from Northeast Minneapolis’ Dogwood Coffee, a roaster and shop company, the couple has brought Como residents and University of Minnesota students into the craft coffee mix with Black Coffee and Waffle Bar. Their Black Cow, a cold press drink with hazelnut syrup, becomes an iced dessert thanks to flavorful Autumnwood Farm chocolate milk and Dogwood’s Zamboni cold press. The drink pairs well with with the shop’s specialty waffles, much like an a la mode addition to the menu.
Dogwood at Shinola, 228 Washington Ave. N.
TT (That Thing) 2.0
Dogwood Zamboni cold brew
Orgeat syrup (almond milk, sugar, orange blossom water)
Though Dogwood Coffee has been served in various downtown restaurants, it opened its first downtown location last fall in the North Loop’s Shinola. The coffee bar is one of just a few coffee spots in the North Loop, so it gets all kinds of people coming for a little pick-me-up. That was the idea behind the shop’s special last year, That Thing. “In summer, in the coffee industry we see a lot of people coming in vulnerable. They haven’t had their coffee yet,” said Keith Mrotek, the store’s manager. “They don’t really have their words yet. They just want that thing.” That Thing is cold brew shaken with vanilla bean paste, which is poured over ice with cream. This summer, however, they’ve created an alternative: TT (That Thing) 2.0, which is Dogwood’s Zamboni cold press shaken with orgeat syrup — almond milk blended with sugar and orange blossom water — poured over ice with a little almond milk. “It’s a little more tropical, more fun,” he said.
Five Watt Coffee, 3745 Nicollet Ave. S.
Circuit Bender cold press coffee
1 oz. salted lavender syrup
Dash of grapefruit bitters
When Five Watt opened last spring, no one was quite prepared. With its committed community of high-end coffee drinkers out there, no other shop has done more to push the city’s scene more than the Kingfield shop, which is known for its fusion of house-made bitters and specialty coffee. The May Day is no exception, showcasing creations from Five Watt’s cold drink counterpart, Big Watt Beverage Company, with its Circuit Bender cold press, lavender-infused salt solution and grapefruit bitters. Founder Lee Carter made the drink for an employee’s May wedding, but the beverage itself is also cause for celebration. With an ambitious mixology, the May Day stretches the flavor profile of the shop’s basic cold press. “If you’re going to use espresso or cold press and make drinks with it, you need it to be something that can pair with a variety of things,” said barista Erin Ditmarson. “[Our] cold press has a well-rounded balance.”
Urban Bean, 822 W. Lake St.
White Coconut Johnson
14 g. lavender coconut milk syrup
A double Four Barrel espresso
Never avoiding the chance to reinvent his shops, Urban Bean owner Greg Martin has unveiled a new, user-friendly menu, new beans and new art with the recent opening of the Lake Street location. The white, modern shop is austere, but its menu, with “slow” and “fast” coffees, emphasizes brewing methods and is ahead of the curve. The location is also ahead on bottling — something many high-end shops are looking into — with its Gold Brew: cold press, General Manager Amy Johnson’s bourbon vanilla syrup and a splash of cream, all in a bottle. Urban Bean’s other cold press-based drink, the David Caruso — cold-brewed coffee with ginger maple syrup and soy milk — is also a lighter, spicy alternative. However, the new menu’s latte recipes offer a ton of complex flavors, hot or cold. Martin’s White Coconut Johnson latte features a sweetened coconut milk reduction infused with dried lavender mixed with an iced double espresso. The latte is one of the new shop’s most popular drinks, Johnson said. “It’s buttery, but super refreshing.”
Photos by Eric Best, Ellen Schmidt