The Ultimate Coffee Road Trip Across the United States.
This week: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Editor’s note: We began publishing reports from Don Niemyer about the cafes he visited on his cross-country coffee tour back in the summer of 2013, and we’ve loved following his journey, learning about amazing coffeehouses out there in the United States, ever since. We’ll be publishing reports from Don about his recent journey around the Central and Northern states every Saturday this fall. To catch up on Don’s earlier posts about his explorations of coffee culture throughout the Western United States, click HERE. To read the first installment from this new Saturday Series, click HERE. To check out the second story, go HERE. We hope you continue to enjoy Don’s reports as much as we do!
By Don Niemyer
Did you hear the explosion? If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve not only heard it, but you’ve seen its implications. I’m talking about the explosion of quality coffee that’s happened over the past 10 years, with particular shock waves in the past five years. And while I’m sure there a lot of factors influencing this tidal wave of excellence and envelope-pushing, a big portion of the credit must be given to barista competitions for driving the final-step-in-the-chain folks (that’s you, fellow baristas!) deeper and deeper into the ocean of innovation. Obviously, the competitors themselves are benefitting, but that’s just the beginning. My personal journey has been served tremendously by serving the community as a United States Barista Championship judge, but everyone else associated with competitions ”from the farmers to the coaches to everyone working with these people ”are all pushed towards higher quality as a direct result of the competition circuit.
That’s why we’re excited today to be bringing you a report from Minneapolis, Minnesota, home of the upcoming Big Central Barista Competition, November 7-9. The Rialta Coffee Tour just hit the city and used our fail-proof detective strategy (asking the baristas in town where THEY like to go for coffee) to find the must-see shops if you’re going to be in town for the competition. Here’s what we found:
So there’s the Minneapolis run-down! Next week we’ll give you the report as we head further east to Madison, Milwaukee, and beyond, so be sure to check back here often! Until then, follow us at our social media sites (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), or at www.DonNiemyer.com. See you soon!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Don Niemyer used to own three coffee shops in Portland, Ore., where he and his wife Carissa spent 8 years immersed in the excellent coffee culture there, milking it like a dairy cow for every drop of expertise it would give them, making lots of friends, doing some USBC judging, and learning all they could. One day, they decided to move their kids closer to family, so they bought a tiny RV, moved into it, and have been œmoving to Colorado ever since, visiting coffee shops, practicing minimalism, and having lots of fun. That was over two years ago. One of these days, they might even end up living in Colorado.