Rustica Bakery and Coffee

3224 W. Lake Street, Minneapolis

Dogwood Espresso - $2.00

This is definitely one of the best hidden gems in South Minneapolis. Voted City Pages best coffee shop of 2010, Rustica Bakery uses roasts from the well renown Dogwood Coffee. I was hoping to try one of their single-origin espresso’s but they weren’t serving it at the time. I was still more than pleased with ordering the Dogwood Espresso. There isn’t much that can beat this espresso, at least that I have come across in Minneapolis. Not to mention, they have a full staff of talented barista’s all ready to put a heart in your next vanilla latte. The great atmosphere of Rustica makes for a definite “coffee date” spot if you’re lucky enough to treat someone to their award winning drinks and bakery items.

Day 1

Place: Rustica Bakery

Where: Calhoun Village

Miles away from home: About 1

Ordered: 1 shot of espresso, 1 bread roll

Okay, yes, I am starting out easy. I am familiar with Rustica, even though it is new to Calhoun Village since I have come home from school. My family rarely goes a week without stopping by Calhoun Village for something or another. In June, before heading to the Pacific Northwest for a 30 day backpacking trip, I stopped with my mom at the Barnes and Noble.  Rustica happens to be one shop over from the bookstore. Of course we had to go in and buy bread, however I still had not tried the coffee. I resolved to come back as soon as possible.

One month later I am back! I pull off the Cedar Lake Trail and into the back of the Calhoun Village strip mall. I lock up my bike, turn down my music and head into the shop. I am greeted by a wonderful smell of freshly baked bread and brewing coffee. I sit down in the window seat with my espresso and the day’s newspaper. As I look around I am pleased to see that the coffee shop is pretty full (especially considering it’s a Wednesday afternoon). And deservedly so. The shop has a really nice feel to it, nothing like the commercialized Starbucks and Caribou Coffee shops that populate every corner. I have to say, Calhoun Village isn’t the most beautiful location, but once entering Rustica you sort of forget you are in the middle of a strip mall. 

All in all, I am pleased with my first coffee shop find. Rustica was a great place to spend a few hours sipping great coffee.

If anyone is interested:

Rustica Bakery

3220 W. Lake St. | Minneapolis, MN

Kenya “Karinga” Coffee

It was a nice day for a bike ride down the South Minneapolis greenway which stretches all the way from Uptown to basically the back of Rustica Bakery and beyond. Just a little hint for those biking and not interested in taking the streets, it was pretty convenient. I walked in and saw a small featured sign on the counter promoting their Kenya “Karinga” coffee provided locally by Dogwood Coffee. You could also find this coffee at their location in Calhoun Square if you wanted to check that out. Even at the cost of $4.80 for a 12oz cup of coffee, I was excited to get a taste. They described the flavors as blackberry, cranberry, lemon zest, and melon goodness so it was pretty hard to pass up. I definitely got those bright flavors from the coffee as it started to change temperatures and cool down. It was provided by their Clover brewing method which isn’t my preferred, but I have still enjoyed a handful of cups by the Clover before. I normally pick up the most zesty and almost lemony sour tastes with my last couple of sips and the same was true in this case. Check out this little information that was provided by the Dogwood Coffee website about the farm “Karinga” where this coffee was sourced from:

“The Gitwe Farmers Coop registered in 1985 after a split from the Gatundu coop, it has 1,868 members. There are 14 permanent staff members and a board of 9 members – one from each electoral area. The coop has 2 wet mills, Karatu and Karinga and they are planning to construct a third wet mill as well. The Karinga mill was built in 1984, it is located on the eastern slopes of Aberdare Range.”