Wanna add some serious voltage – and knowledge – to your morning? Rob Bathe and his super caffeinated crew at Folly Coffee have got you covered.
This weekend, Folly will welcome guests for their St. Louis Park roastery’s grand opening – and they’re borrowing a page from your favorite taproom’s playbook. Their goal? Ply you with brain juice, both figuratively and literally, without being snooty about it.
Steering Folly’s bold vision is owner Rob Bathe.
City Pages readers may recall Bathe’s name from April of this year, when he pledged to run one kilometer for every bag or sampler pack of Folly coffee sold over a certain weekend. Bathe, a professed not-runner, says the experience of pounding out 209 kilometers (or 130 miles) to promote his business during the early days of the pandemic was, in a word, “Terrrrrrible.”
But he pulled it off! And that’s the important part.
Back to the present, and discussing things he actually enjoys, Bathe says, “I have always loved the excitement behind craft breweries.” With Folly's new roastery, he's bringing that feeling to Minnesota specialty coffee through a high-energy, engaging coffee tour and tasting experience. Basically, the opposite energy of getting work done on your laptop in a cafe.
Visitors are invited along for a unique tasting and tour offered by Bathe and head roaster Jeff Mooney. Each lasts 30 minutes, runs on the half-hour, and is capped at 12 participants. Half of the time will find guests on a high-energy, music-filled roastery tour led by Bathe, whose specialty is taking folks on the coffee roasting process from farm to cup. On the tour’s back end, Mooney, a certified Q-grader (aka the coffee world’s sommelier or cicerone) will present unlimited sampling of cold brew, espresso, and brewed coffee to familiarize guests’ palates with Folly’s beans and roasts.
The crew boasts there will be no milk, cream, sugar, or lattes. (Craft Brewers version: No Sam Adams here? Idk.) There are no chairs. It’s, simply put, not a cafe.
On a sneak preview of this razzle-dazzle tour and tasting, local celeb chef Yia Vang called the operation “the Apple Genius Bar for coffee,” recalls Bathe, who told City Pages that Vang’s much anticipated brick-and-mortar restaurant, Vinai, has committed to serving its guests Folly Coffee.
Look for Tours & Tastings to run on the half-hour from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and Sundays starting this weekend; no more than 12 attendees will be accepted per time slot. Each ticket costs $12 per person, with $1 from that price going to Open Arms of Minnesota. Book reservations or purchase grab-and-go beans via Tock.
“Love it or hate it,” says Bathe, “people will leave having to admit they haven’t done something like this before.”
Honestly? We’ve got good jitters just thinking about it, and can’t wait to ditch our laptops for the pure experience.