Barista Magazine

FEB-MAR 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 36 of 99

W I S C O N S I N You might not think of Wisconsin as a coffee destination. It's America's Dairyland, so your mind might go to cheese, or the Green Bay Packers, or perhaps a Wisconsin Old Fashioned, the unoffi cial state cocktail that makes Wisconsin the leading consumer of brandy in the United States. Yet the tradition of specialty coffee runs deep throughout the state— you can fi nd quiet shops in small cities serving delicious coffee pretty much wherever you travel. If you thought coffee culture was limited to just the big cities like Milwaukee or Madison, think again. That said, we're going back to Milwaukee to trace the state's spe- cialty-coffee history. That's where you'll fi nd Colectivo Coffee, which, known by its original name, Alterra, opened for business in 1993. The company started as a kiosk in the Glendale neighborhood just outside of Milwaukee, and has since expanded to 13 locations throughout the city, as well as four in Madison, and four (with a fi fth just announced for Wicker Park) in the neighboring metropolis of Chicago. Yes, that original kiosk was in a mall, but Colectivo (which now has a much bigger shop in that same mall) has always had an indie vibe: It's been committed to sourcing excellent coffees from the start. Colectivo now includes a bakery, a tea brand, and even a beer-brewing company, all of which have the same laser focus on quality. One of the most special of the Colectivo shops is its Prospect Ave- nue location, which opened in 1997 and became a beacon for live music in Milwaukee. The space, which was originally an auto parts store, used to house all of the company's roasting and wholesale operations before it was all transferred to the Humboldt Boulevard store in the Riverwest neighborhood. If you've ever been to Milwaukee, you know that you're never more than a few miles away from Lake Michigan, so it makes sense Colectivo has folks covered there, too: Its Lakefront space hosts an outdoor music series every summer featuring music from the Florentine Opera and Musica del Lago. Colectivo isn't the only roaster jumping across state borders to reach a new audience. Stone Creek Coffee, also established in 1993, is planning to open a Chicago café in early 2019. Right now, Stone Creek operates four stores in Milwaukee proper, and has a handful of cafés just outside of city limits (including one location in Madison). Among their more unique locations is the Radio Milwaukee spot, located in the WYMS-FM headquarters. On the company website, this spot is described as the "Coffee Geek's Clubhouse," where ardent coffee fans Opposite page, top: Bearded Heart Coff ee in Baileys Harbor, Door County, has an exterior that's every bit as cozy as the interior. Along with a beautiful view of Baileys Harbor, Bearded Heart also boasts a food menu that emphasizes local ingredients. Below: Ruby Coff ee Roasters' headquarters is located in the tiny town of Nelsonville. In fact, Ruby's employees account for a small—but signifi cant— percentage of the town's residents. Nelsonville is the childhood home of founder Jared Linzmeier, who moved back a er working in coff ee in Chicago to start roasting. This page: You wouldn't know it from this photo of comfy café bliss, but Colectivo's Prospect Avenue shop is home to one of Milwaukee's most beloved live music venues, the Back Room. 37

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Barista Magazine - FEB-MAR 2019