Maybe you thought south Minneapolis had enough coffee shops already.
Plenty of customers thought the neighborhood could use another.
Proof positive is just off Eat Street, at the new Wesley Andrews, a “slow bar” for espresso, pour-over, tea, and cold brew. It opened on November 18 just a few blocks from Spyhouse and has a steady little business going.
The “slow bar” title isn’t merely a caveat in case the lines get too long. It’s a concept that emphasizes quality over quickness, methods that take time and inspire questions for the baristas.
What are those towers that look like triple-stacked hourglasses? (They're for pour-over cold brew.) Are the two varieties of espresso really so different? (Yes: One has notes of blueberry and tart cherry, the other hints of orange and milk chocolate.)
It’s wonky and involved, and the owners of Wesley Andrews like it that way.
Jared Thompson and Johan Podlewski -- their middle names, respectively, make up the name of the shop -- are particular about their coffee. “Very, very, very picky,” says Podlewski.
The two buy directly from coffee farmers whenever possible, roast their own beans, and meticulously work and rework drinks until they’re just so. “We don’t put anything out until it’s perfect,” says Podlewski. They even sprung for a very fancy Slayer espresso machine that they swear no one else in the Twin Cities has.
The baked goods, provided by Salty Tart, are selected to accompany the drinks menu. Buttery rosemary corn cake pairs with Heart Honduran coffee. Try the plain croissant with the Ethiopian pour-over. The little coconut macaroons are best enjoyed with a shot of Ethiopian espresso.
The menu is refreshingly brief. You'll find the standard espresso drinks and teas, plus two special drinks, a rosemary fennel latte and something called the Northwoods, which brings together flavors of smoked whiskey and balsam fir with espresso, milk, and a toasted marshmallow that makes the shop smell like heaven. Presentation is simple, but elegant. A shot of espresso is served with a twee little glass of water (sparkling or still) on a bespoke wooden tray.
It could all be a bit too much, except Wesley Andrews hews closely to the purpose and practicality of a coffee shop: free internet, a warm, convivial vibe, good music at the right volume, and big tables for spreading out work or catching up with a friend.
Indeed, Thompson and Podlewski opened the shop as "Wesley Andrew Conversation Complements," a mouthful of a moniker that was later trimmed down. But the sentiment remains; the shop's owners want this to be a place where guests linger over coffee drinks and pastries, items they hope will complement long hours of conversation.
Thompson and Podlewski themselves used to spend hours talking and drinking tea at Verdant or smoking cigars at the Golden Leaf. Those experiences inspired them to create Wesley Andrews, a place they hope will, in turn, inspire you.
111 E. 26th St., Minneapolis