Edit ModuleShow Tags

Shhh, It's a Quiet Opening at Up Cafe


Published:

You may not have heard of Upper Midwest Gourmet, tucked into the curve of a street behind Stinson Avenue in NE Minneapolis, but you've probably had something they've supplied to restaurants, cafes, and shops around the Twin Cities. They roast a variety of top-quality beans for their Flamenco Coffee, and supply local food businesses with everything from ingredients to equipment.

In 2013, they've quietly launched their own specialty coffee shop, Up Cafe. This is not to be confused with the lovely nearby shop, Lift Coffee and Treats, which is just a stone's throw away on Stinson. The space next to the Upper Midwest Gourmet warehouse used to be their showroom. Now Up is like a live showroom, demonstrating UMG foodstuffs and equipment in action. But they want their transition to the public to be gradual, as they audition new drinks and food items. "We're definitely a work in progress," said barista Evan when I talked to him last week. "We're open, but we're not doing any marketing yet."

The space is open, bright, and inviting. They have a number of small two-tops, perfect for laptop users, plus a large, warm communal table suitable for group meet-ups. They also have a small but excellently curated selection of pastries. On my recent visit, the Bananas Foster muffin was flavorful and rustic, the inside not too sweet, balanced by a drizzle of caramel on top.
 

coffee and bread


This week, Scott, who's overseeing the food side of things, will offer a selection of European-style paninis for lunch. Soups and salads will follow. There's also a cooler waiting to be filled with a variety of UMG's gelato. They'll be including fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, and plan a garden once spring comes.

But the coffee is really the star here, in what may be Northeast's first Third Wave coffee and espresso shop. Reductively, First Wave coffee was canned and available to a mass audience. For Second Wave, think Starbucks, with drinks made from whole beans and mostly to order. The Third Wave coffee movement seeks to elevate coffee from a commodity, like wheat, to an artisanal item, like wine, through greater attention and training throughout the entire process, from beans on a farm to drinks on the counter. At Up you won't find large batch-brewed coffee, or espresso drinks covered in canned whipped cream and weighted with syrup. The drinks at Up are made from the Flamenco beans roasted just a few yards away, and garnished artfully with steamed milk from Forest Lake's Autumnwood Farms.

If you're looking for a quiet space with great coffee and treats, you have a new option. But now that everybody knows, it may not stay quiet for long.

Up Cafe
1901 Traffic St. NE, Mpls.
612-728-7208
Hours: Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-2 p.m.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Toast the Royal Wedding with British-Gin Cocktails

As Britain’s Prince Harry and U.S.-actress Megan Markle tie the knot, raise a glass to the happy couple—and those close to you—with wedding-themed tipples

Bottoms-Up Cinnamon Caramel Pinwheels Recipe

With this fast version of a sticky bun, baking at home can be no muss, no fuss—and delicious

Leslie Bock's Newest Bar Wants to Save the Future

"We're attempting to show humans as messy and complicated."

Rosé All Day: The Best Tastings (Some Free)

More than 100 different rosé wines available to try—many for free

Wine Clubs: The Perfect Mother's Day Gift

Sip Better figures out your taste for wine and goes deep

Gavin Kaysen Takes Midwest Gold

A quick note on our 2018 James Beard Best Chef: Midwest

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: May

This month, Sue Z. recommends supporting local student chefs with a dinner at Saint Dinette

Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs Recipe

Get fired up for grilling season with tender, flavorful chicken kebabs by meat guru Bruce Aidells and a marinade that also works well with other proteins

My Name Is Jason and I Used to Hate Brunch

Brunch has undergone a renaissance in the Twin Cities. Food critic Jason DeRusha picks his top spots for brunch this year.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags