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!

 

 

June 3rd, 2016 – National Doughnut Day.

There are a lot of ways to have your morning cup of coffee. You may take it black. You may take it with cream— a little, or a lot. You might drink it from your favorite mug on the porch. Or you might drink it on the way to work, one hand clutching your travel mug, the other on the wheel.

But, undeniably, one of the best ways to have your coffee is with a doughnut. Though a doughnut may not always accompany your coffee, when it does, there’s cause for celebration. Today, June 3, is National Doughnut Day and Tiny Footprint Coffee is here to celebrate one of our favorite pairings: doughnuts and coffee.

 

Let’s start with some History shall we?

Back in 16something Dutch settlers arrived here in the new world. With them they brought many things, among them the oliebollen– doughnuts made by scraping dough off the end of a spatula into a vat of frying oil. Known these days as “donut holes,” these fried dough balls were traditionally enjoyed during the Christmas season. If you’re anything like me, you’re thinking that making these sounds easy — make the perfect round donut hole with a quick flick of the wrist. But sticky dough makes for less-than-perfect balls and a pan of hot oil makes for skittish amateur fry cooks. Even though we sugar coated these doughnuts, I’ll be honest in my critique: these things look more like cheese curds than any doughnut I’ve ever seen.

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As we move away from the home frying pan and into the world of bakeries, we see the rise of something that better resembles the modern day doughnut: The classic doughnut with a hole in the middle of it. Kind of like this:  

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As a company which is built on function first, form second, we like to believe that this design resulted from “the pursuit for the best product.” Legend says that once bakers realized that adding eggs made for richer, thicker dough, they never looked back. The downside? The middle didn’t cook through and came out too doughy. Rather than trying to convince the public to eat dark (burnt) donuts, they — quite literally–  cut out the problem. If you enjoyed my first attempt with the oliebollen, then you’ll certainly love this black and white photo — my take on the “dawn of the doughnut.”

 

Ready for some Kitchen Recipes?

Here at Tiny Footprint Coffee, we took all week to scour (read: googled), scheme and devise our doughnut recipes. This was a part of a mini-project we are working on here at the roastery, in our homes and over the web. Our thought process went something like, “if it’s good in a cup, why not in a dish?” Today, we explore the Chocolate Cake Donut with Coffee Glaze.

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This doughnut was our favorite creation of the week. The greatest part? This recipe yields both whole doughnuts and doughnut holes! The chocolate cake donut stemmed from a standard cake donut recipe – filled with flour, cocoa, sugar, eggs and buttermilk among all the other little stuff. Wanting to elevate the flavor and bring out the richness of the chocolate, we decided to add just a little brewed coffee into the mix. Our Nicaragua Segovia has strong hints of cocoa, making it a natural pair for the chocolate doughnut. Yet the glaze is what really takes the cake on this recipe (extra pun anyone?). It’s a relatively simple glaze consisting of powdered sugar, vanilla extract and of course, more coffee. For flavor and texture we added both our brewed coffee as well as some of the grounds. Sure, it comes out looking like an Oreo donut but any coffee lover would rejoice with such a surprise. Something like this:

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No matter if you prefer your doughnuts infused with coffee, or just with a cup on the side, we hope you’re celebrating National Doughnut Day today. From all of us at Tiny Footprint Coffee, Cheers!

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