Location: Chicago and 38th St, South Minneapolis, MN
Espresso: Counter Culture
Hardware: Mazzer and La Marzocco
Coffee Art: Yes
Served in: 6oz ceramic cups
Visited: 2012 often
The Blue Ox coffee shop opened up about 3 blocks from my house in 2011. I love them. I love that they opened up in what I consider a marginalized area of Minneapolis, albeit one that people are working to revitalize. I love that I can walk 3 blocks to get wonderful artisan coffee. Sadly, I’m super lazy and often stay home and make my own substandard not-really-artisan coffee instead.
Blue Ox always has local art on the walls. Furnished with several second hand dinette tables and chairs, they also have a comfy futon and you’ll often find the windows open and the ceiling fans running instead of a/c.
Baristas here are always willing to talk the finer points of espresso and coffee with you. They have individually brewed coffee, pour over and they’ll make you an AeroPress Aerobie coffee if you ask. I’ve chatted with them and I know they calibrate the espresso grind and length of the pull at least every morning, sometimes more.
They’ve cycled through a few different brands of coffee and have recently started serving Counter Culture beans. When paired with the local milk used here, these produce a lovely, sweet espresso drink.
Warning, Blue Ox only serves whole milk. There is no skim or 2% here. They probably have soy, although I haven’t asked. They have locally baked pastries but no hot food. Today when I came in, they were also offering chips and hummus or salsa.
When you combine the laid back atmosphere and super yummy coffee combined with proximity to my house, Blue Ox pretty much wins my “favorite coffee shop in Minneapolis” award. That’s not to say there aren’t other places just as good and I’ll be getting to those in future posts.