Until now, downtown Minneapolis coffee aficionados have had to make do with mass-market Starbucks, Dunn Bros., and Caribou, as the Twin Cities' premium, niche coffee shops--Bull Run, Kopplin's, Angry Catfish, etc.--are located outside the city core.
But now Joseph Struyk is using his Origins Coffee and Tea cart to bring Dogwood brews and much more to Nicollet Mall between 4th and 5th Streets, as long as the weather holds.[jump]
After college, Struyk, a longtime lover of good coffee, came back to Minneapolis and jokes that he "narrowly survived" three years at Wells Fargo "through a steady intake of caffeine." After that, he taught English in France for a year, where he was disappointed by the burnt, bitter brews, but got to spend time working in a bar, learning to brew beer, and even doing a stage at a creperie. When he returned to Minneapolis, he did stages at several local culinary spots, including Patisserie 46 and Kitchen Window, before approaching Dogwood's owners about starting a coffee cart in downtown.
Struyk has been open for a few weeks now and packs the offerings of a full coffee bar into a few square feet. He has every espresso drink imaginable, plus fresh-squeezed lemonade, and, the Hot Dish's recommendation for a day like today, a rich, strong cold press.
Prices may be a little spendier than the rest of downtown's coffee community, but Struyk uses first-rate ingredients: Valrhona chocolate in the mochas, milk from Autumwood Farms in Forest Lake, Art of Tea yerba mate, pu-erh, assam, and other teas. He also bakes his own pastries--muffins, cookies, coffee cake, etc.--using Sunstreet Breads kitchen space. In time, Struyk hopes to be able to offer ceramic cups to coffee and tea drinkers who want to enjoy their beverages right at the cart.