We love Ethiopian coffees. About this time each year, we gather around our cupping table to taste and evaluate—and it seems like there’s always at least one impressive coffee from this East African country. With unique flavors paired with the intriguing stories from coffee’s birthplace, we return to these same coffees time after time.

 

Throughout the years, we’ve carried some of the best coffees that Ethiopia has to offer. Specifically, we’ve carried beans from the Worka Cooperative and the Suke Quto farm for several years. These two are a hard pair to measure up to, but we’ve found a noble contender: The Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Dama cooperative double-washed.

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This coffee comes from the Yirgacheffe Region, which is one of the three primary coffee growing regions in Ethiopia. It’s known for producing dense coffees with distinctive floral aromas and deep chocolate and cocoa tones in the flavor profile.  Jammy and floral, this coffee also has clean notes of peach, pear and jasmine which contrast against a cocoa laced body. In this case the washing (or wet-processing) was carried out in two 12-24 fermentation stages (this is when the fruit covered parchment is soaked after the skin is pulped) with a fresh spring water wash in between: double washed.  The result is great flavor with impeccable clarity.

 

The flavor profile is important when choosing coffee, but the story behind the beans is equally considered. Grown at an altitude of between 1750 and 2300 meters (5700- 7500 ft.), these beans are sourced from family-owned member farms of the Dama Cooperative, which is composed of close to 2000 members.

The Dama Cooperative operates under the umbrella of the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU), which was founded in 2002.

The YCFCU was created to ensure fair pay for beans and to maximize financial returns to coffee farmers, and it has since grown to represent 300,000 families from 23 different cooperatives. In conjunction with monitoring the fair trade of coffee beans, YCFCU also monitors the quality of coffee. To put it simply, our newest Dama coffee is regulated to be ethical, sustainable and—true to Tiny Footprint standards—certified organic.

We’re thrilled to be offering a coffee that so aptly reflects our commitments to these communities and the environment. Here at Tiny Footprint we strive to provide the best coffees through the best practices–and the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Dama cooperative double-washed is a great example. It’s the perfect cup of coffee to sip as we roll into fall. Keep an eye out for this coffee coming soon!

Who doesn’t love donuts? They’re fluffy, they’re sugary, and they pair perfectly with a cup of coffee. At Tiny Footprint Coffee we understand the allure of donuts (in fact, we wrote an entire article about them) and we’re always excited to meet people who are as passionate about donuts as we are about coffee. New, local, and passionate about their craft, Rebel Donut Bar certainly fits the bill.

Behind Rebel Donut Bar is the proclaimed “donut dream team,” partners Vince and Kiah. In true rebellious fashion, Vince explained his introduction to donuts over the phone, as he trekked up a mountain in Montana.

“I didn’t really seek out or crave donuts before this,” Vince admitted. Rather, he began eating donuts “out of Minnesota politeness” while on breaks working as a mechanic. But it was learning about the history of the donut that drew him to begin making them himself. Though it started as a hobby, Rebel has taken off in Minneapolis over the past year.

A selection of Rebel Donut Bars bite sized donuts

A selection of Rebel Donut Bars bite sized donuts

Rebel’s success started online, specifically on a vent forum for residents of NE Minneapolis. “People were complaining about not being able to find donuts on a Sunday, and I thought, we can fix that!” Vince laughed. This niche recognition is coupled with Rebel’s mouthwatering Instagram page. Photo credits go to Kiah, who works in marketing when she’s not creating Rebel’s creative donut recipes. The two create their recipes by reimaging desserts and spend time daydreaming about concocting the next unique flavor combinations.

“Unique” is almost a gentle way to describe some of Rebels offerings. With names like “Mother of Dragon Fruit” Rebel offers a full spectrum of flavors. It’s no surprise that our favorite happens to the “Coffee Three Way,” a limited release donut created with none other than Tiny Footprint Coffee. With classic flavors like Maple Pecan and Strawberry Sprinkle, to more adventurous options like Cajun Apricot Habanero, you’ll want to mix and match. Lucky for you, you can.

Unlike other donut shops, Rebel Donut Bar offers donuts in a mini-size—just larger than a quarter—so that you can pick and choose on a “Donut Flight.” That way, Vince said, “You don’t have to dedicate three bucks to something that you might not like.” These flights offer a sampling of four of Rebel’s bite-sized donuts.

Inspired by the beer flight concept, Vince and Kiah wanted to add their own twist on the concept. “I’ve always liked the idea of lots of little samples,” Vince said. And as experience shows, so does everyone else; the flights have been wildly popular in online orders and during events where Rebel is a vendor. Though small, the donut’s impact has been mighty. Rebel has expanded from personal orders to catering weddings and events around the Twin Cities.

Our personal favorite - the "Coffee Three Way" featuring our own Tiny Footprint Coffee

Our personal favorite – the “Coffee Three Way” featuring our own Tiny Footprint Coffee

So what’s next for Rebel Donut Bar?  A retail location is on top of the list. It will likely be in NE Minneapolis, where they currently operate. Envisioned as a “community based space where people can be comfortable kicking it,” coffee is essential. That’s where Tiny Footprint comes back in—the donut bar will also serve plenty of coffee and possibly espresso drinks. Both Rebel and Tiny have strong local roots as well as a shared sense of ecological consciousness, but in the end, it’s that sense of passion that brings us together. To continue feed the passion, check out Rebel Donut Bar for yourself—and don’t forget to get a cup of coffee alongside your donuts!

 

 

Known for its locally inspired interpretation of Nordic cuisine, the modern café FIKA has quickly become a favorite of the Twin Cities restaurant scene. Since it opened, FIKA has drawn customers from all over the city and garnered plenty of critical acclaim for its chef-driven fare.

With a light and airy aesthetic, FIKA fits in well at its home in the American Swedish Institute (ASI), just south of downtown Minneapolis. Synthesizing modern Scandinavian architecture with traditional Swedish construction, the space is contemporary and inviting. Both ASI and FIKA offer a glimpse (and a taste) of tradition and innovation from Minnesota’s Nordic homeland.

Despite Minnesota’s famed Scandinavian heritage, “Fika,” is not a word you hear every day. But the concept is simple: “Fika” describes a daily break, a quiet time to catch up with friends and family, usually over coffee. The atmosphere of FIKA lends easily to its namesake. With great food and ample seating, the café has become locally iconic and nationally recognized, receiving mentions in The New York Times and Vogue.

A glimpse into The American Swedish Institutes cafe FIKA

A glimpse into The American Swedish Institutes cafe FIKA

Led by chef John Krattenmaker, the menu features both traditional and modern interpretations of Swedish cuisine: house made pastries, open-faced sandwiches, and creative salads, all influenced by Swedish recipes old and new. And with a name like FIKA, coffee is essential—the café serves espresso beverages and drip coffee all day long, featuring none other than Tiny Footprint Coffee.

Salad from the award winning FIKA cafe

Lemon Spätzle, a traditional Scandinavian dish

On a recent visit to the café, we were able to try out their latest menu, reflecting more seasonally innovative dishes for summer. Finding a balance between classic Nordic dishes and creative technique and flavor pairings, the FIKA menu reflects the ASI’s unique architectural juxtaposition of the traditional and the contemporary.

 When it comes to coffee, FIKA serves our Peru Apu Cenfrocafe. The café has been carrying this smooth single origin for years—the organic Peruvian medium roast even makes an appearance in FIKA’s famous chocolate torte.

A twist on the traditional open faced sandwich

A twist on the traditional open faced sandwich featuring Juniper Fennel Sasuage

“We love the coffee so much,” says Michael Cochran, FIKA Café’s Food and Beverage Director. “Tiny Footprint has been providing it from day one.” And we’re happy to do so, praise from our customers means a lot to us— we work hard to maintain strong relationships with our partners. For us at Tiny, great relationships start and continue with a perfect cup of coffee.

 

With FIKA, our partnership feels natural. Beyond FIKA and Tiny’s shared local roots, the environmental dedication of ASI melds perfectly with Tiny Footprint’s commitment to the Earth. The ASI’s 2012 addition of the Nelson Cultural Center to it’s orginal home in the 1908 Turnblad mansion/castle, brims with environmental consciousness; the addition, which includes FIKA, is LEED Gold Certified and integrates composting, recycling and usage of postconsumer material. Carbon negative coffee seemed an obvious next step.

A stunning tribute to Scandinavian heritage, FIKA offers a chance for everyone to embrace the definition of the word—no matter your background. So next time you’re in the neighborhood, stop by to get a cup of Tiny Footprint Coffee and a taste of Swedish Culture.