brewing A Fair trade A local nonprofit connects Wisconsin with coffee farmers around the world in a way that helps farmers and gets us the best beans. WORDS BAILEY BERG PHOTOS ANDREA PAULSETH, AARON ELLRINGER In the coffee,
dozens of buzzwords, like “organic,” “local” and “fair-trade” exist. But, the local Farmer to Farmer project has thrown a new one into the mix by being one of the first non-profit coffee companies in the United States. The Farmer to Farmer program was started 30 years ago as a way for Wisconsin farmers to make connections and friends with farmers in Guatemala and Honduras. “It started out as a social organization for mutual learning and understanding,” said Aaron Ellringer of Farmer to Farmer. After a while, the group realized that their friends in Central America weren’t getting fair prices for their coffee. So, 10 years ago, the Glenwood City-based group started helping them broker and sell their coffee in western Wisconsin. One of those places is The Coffee Grounds in Eau Claire. Owner Eric Nelson said he likes that they now have the ability to take a step further from Fair Trade coffee by offering the direct trade coffee. “Direct trade guarantees the same standards as Fair Trade but with a faceto-face relationship with the farmers,” Nelson explained. “This also means that more money goes back to the farmers and to their communities.” The Farmer to Farmer program has also been one of the pioneers in a growing movement in the coffee business called micro-lots. “For us, micro-lots means that there is a particular woman or man growing coffee in a particular area and instead of their coffee being dumped in a bag with other people’s coffee and given a brand name, we can sell it as a certain person’s coffee,” Ellringer said.
Another unique aspect of the Farmer to Farmer program is they only use coffee beans grown and harvested by women farmers. “In Guatemala we work with women farmers because they are faced with particular challenges because of a civil war and other things going on in their country,” Ellringer said. Ellringer explained that because of these limitations many female farmers in Guatemala aren’t allowed to make financial transactions, let alone make a place for themselves in the coffee culture. This is particularly problematic for the women who have lost husbands to the war and need to sell their coffee beans to survive. “We’re giving them a chance to take control of their lives,” Ellringer said. Ellringer said it is the absence of the middleman that really helps the Central American farmers. He doesn’t believe that anyone other than the farmers needs to profit from the crop. “The farmers grow the coffee, they get paid well, and the customers feel like they get a good value when they get the product,” Ellringer said. “Plus, it’s another way to get closer to your food.” Nelson likes that the “face-to-face” relationship with the farmers exists. He and his wife even went so far as to visit the co-ops in Central America and meet the farmers who grow the beans used in his store. “It is very humbling to meet all of the people and see all of the hard work that goes into a cup of coffee,” Nelson said. “We are very appreciative of our friends around the world who positively affect our business and are fortunate that we have a chance to positively affect them.” You can find more info on Farmer to Farmer at FarmerToFarmer.org.
VolumeOne.org 44 Nov. 7, 2013
Fabiana, a coffee farmer in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala, is one of many who work with Farmer to Farmer.
A roaster at Coffee Grounds prepares beans from the Farmer to Farmer program for brewing and drinking.
Coffee sins Many of us make our own coffee in the morning (or evening), but what are we messing up when we don’t leave it to the pros? WORDS TOM GIFFEY PHOTO NICK MEYER
DON’T LET IT SIT THERE. “The biggest sin is probably leaving it on the burner,” says
Scott Rogers of Gloria Jean’s Coffees in Eau Claire. “Once coffee is brewed it will deteriorate in quality in about an hour and a half.” If the carafe stays on your coffeemaker’s hot burner, the liquid inside will continue to cook and become bitter. Instead, pour the coffee into an insulated mug or Thermos if you want to enjoy it later, Rogers advises. NIX THE FREEZER. Despite popular myth (and the even the labeling of some coffee packages), freezing coffee beans doesn’t keep them fresh, Rogers says. It may even hurt the coffee if condensation forms once you take your beans out of the freezer. The refrigerator is a no-no, too: Rogers notes that coffee absorbs other odors, so unless you want taco hotdish-flavored coffee, forget about the fridge. The main enemies of coffee are air and high temperatures, so your beans will keep best if you store them in an airtight container out of direct sunlight. GRIND RIGHT BEFORE YOU BREW. Coffee’s flavor is best when the beans are freshly ground, so buy whole beans and grind them yourself, Rogers says. And for optimal freshness, buy beans every few weeks. USE FILTERED WATER. This is an easy way to make better-tasting coffee. If you prefer bottled or filtered water for drinking, why not pour it in your coffeemaker or French press, too?
VolumeOne.org 45 Nov. 7, 2013
Half Moon Tea & Spice manager Colin Carey pours a cup of Kickapoo coffee, measured precisely for optimum taste.
DRIP, DRoP, DRIP Half Moon Tea & Spice might specialize in the leaves, but they’ve also got beans roasted around the region for “pour over” coffee. WORDS & photo THOM FOUNTAIN For most, coffee isn’t a very complicated process. You throw some grounds into a
pot and boom! You’ve got a little watery kick to get you through the day. But, all you 8am coffee drinkers, have you ever thought about showing those beans a little respect? Measuring the beans, grinding them fresh, slowly pouring the water yourself, eking every last great taste out of each cup. That’s what Half Moon Tea & Spice (formerly Infinitea) has dedicated itself to with its new coffee station, and it makes one heck of a difference. Manager Colin Carey said the “pour over” method of making coffee is similar to tea-making, with each precise step affecting the final flavor of the cup. Everything from the water temperature to the grind of the beans slightly alters and brings out tastes you may not be used to from your morning cup o’ joe. All of this does make it more of a process, though, but Carey said people appreciate it. “Usually you go and sit down to coffee because you want to connect with someone,” Carey said, adding that now you can connect with your coffee the same way. Half Moon has been featuring different Wisconsin roasters since starting the process earlier this year, including Big Water, Alterra, Stone Creek,
and now Kickapoo – a Viroqua roaster with a number of single-origin and blend coffees. Next on the list is (barely) outof-state: Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee, which has been consistently lauded as one of the best coffee roasters in the United States by everyone from The Huffington Post to GQ. When choosing roasters, Carey said the beans are the most important thing. Knowing the source of the product and the roasters’ close connection to their farmers creates the ideal situation for a perfectly roasted coffee bean. “People are so interested in where things come from now,” Carey said. “And we should care more.” Carey said the strength of pour over coffee over other “gourmet” coffee preparation methods – like French pressing – is the precise control the brewer has over the process, affecting every little piece. The result is a cup of coffee that is “fruiter, cleaner, less busy and less ‘in-your-face.’ ” So, sure, as you roll out of bed tomorrow morning, your zombie-esque walk to the kitchen will probably be all the energy you have before you get that quick fix of java, but if you’re searching for something a little more refined or want to have coffee like you’ve never had it, you know where to look.
VolumeOne.org 46 Nov. 7, 2013
GETTIN’ YOUR FIX LOCAL COFFEEHOUSES Submit information on local coffeehouse listings by mail (205 N. Dewey St., Eau Claire, 54703), email (Tyler@VolumeOne.org), or by phone at 552-0457.
420 Internet Cafe 420 Washington St., Eau Claire
• (715) 833-9945 • building420.org Eclectic decor, bamboo floors, and soothing colors are the backdrop for 420 Internet Cafe’s full-service coffee bar and sandwich shop. Try the signature gyro sandwich or the popular chocolate truffle mocha drink. Internet stations.
Acoustic Café, Eau Claire 505 S. Barstow St., Eau
Claire • (715) 832-9090 • theacoustic.com/eauclaire This downtown destination wants to make sure no one hungers for lack of a better sandwich. Known for their hot hoagies, the spacious and art bedecked café also has pitas, soups, salads, a number of bakedfrom-scratch cookies, muffins, and more. Try their gourmet coffees and espressos. Expect live music on weekends. Outdoor seating in season, vegetarian friendly, open until 11pm Friday and Saturday.
BAM! Books-A-Million 4030 Commonwealth Av-
enue, Eau Claire • 715-831-4431 Hang a right once inside Books-A-Million and - BAM! (see what we did there?) - you’ll find yourself in the store’s own little cafe, Joe Muggs. The coffee shop offers WiFi with a membership rewards card, brewed coffee, specialty coffee drinks, and bakery items like bagels, pretzels, and pastries.
Better Life Café 800 Wisconsin St. Bldg 13 Suite
#223, Eau Claire • (715) 514-1661 • betterlifecafe. net Sit down with a friend and a hot cup of coffee or drink down a refreshing fruit smoothie. A variety of delectable baked goods, freshly made to order wraps and cannoli (a chocolate dipped thin, flaky pastry filled with cream cheese) are what sets this cafe apart. As their slogan says, “Life gets better,” especially when there’s ample coffee available. Also features occasional music performances, and a ping pong table.
Caffé Tempo 315 E Madison St., Eau Claire • (715) 833-7449 • caffetempo.net Caffe Tempo is a locally-owned and operated coffee house located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in the trendy Phoenix Park neighborhood. Their excellent Baristas proudly serve the freshest and highest quality fair-trade organic coffee, tea, espresso drinks, and real-fruit smoothies in a setting that is comfortable, contemporary, and highly reflective of those who enjoy coffee culture. Fresh bakery and dessert items, including their signature Cannoli, complement the many beverages offered. They continue to expand their menu and now offer a variety of unique quality-ingredient sandwiches. Catering and delivery is also offered for area businesses. They also are able to host parties and special events. Caribou Coffee 1201 South Hastings Way, Eau Claire • cariboucoffee.com Whether you’re craving something hot or cold to wet your whistle (or a tasty baked treat to go along with it), Caribou has it all. Their decadent specialty drinks are especially popular. The Coffee Grounds (Marshfield Clinic) Located
inside the Marshfield Clinic at 2116 Craig Rd., Eau Claire • (715) 797-2198 • thecoffeegrounds.com The Coffee Grounds is a casual, European-style café plopped into the middle of a gourmet food/coffee/ beer/wine/cigar giftshop. They offer a variety of baked goods, homemade soups, and fresh unique sandwiches. Their menu is always evolving and you can order lunch online. Also, don’t forget about the coffee as they roast their own beans and, in their own words, have the best coffee in town! Vegetarian and vegan friendly.
The Coffee Grounds (Main Location) 3460 Mall Dr., Hwy. 93, Eau Claire • (715) 834-1733 • thecoffeegrounds.com The Coffee Grounds is a casual, European-style café plopped into the middle of a gourmet food/coffee/beer/wine/cigar giftshop. They offer a variety of baked goods, homemade soups, and fresh
Scott and Shirley Rogers with their precious product
unique sandwiches. Their menu is always evolving and you can order lunch online. Also, don’t forget about the coffee as they roast their own beans and, in their own words, have the best coffee in town! Outdoor seating, vegetarian friendly.
Down to Earth Garden Center 6025 Arndt Lane, Eau
Claire • (715) 833-1234 • dwntoearth.com Five & Two Café in the garden center offers a variety of natural and organic foods, and fresh, local produce. Signature favorites include: grilled sandwiches, cracker crust pizzas that you can’t find almost anywhere else, soups, and a variety of espresso drinks. Breakfast has been made available recently with options such as breakfast paninis, wraps, and pizzas. Outdoor seating available, vegetarian friendly.
Fireside Bistro Located inside Dove HealthcareSouth on Hwy 93, 3656 Mall Drive, Eau Claire • (715) 552-1035 x743 A small café located inside Dove Healthcare South. The Bistro offers both breakfast and lunch, serving rolls, muffins, specialty coffees, soups, salads, paninis, wraps, and sandwiches. Look for great value with the soup and sandwich combo. A variety of specials are available daily. If sitting next to the indoor fireplace and 42-inch TV doesn’t tickle your fancy, head outside to the courtyard area and pavilion. In the summertime, there is an opportunity to relax in the patio area and listen to live music. Vegetarian friendly. Takeout available. Gloria Jean’s Coffees 4800 Golf Rd. (Oakwood
Mall), Eau Claire • (715) 833-0040 • Find us on Facebook A gourmet coffee shop known for its flavored brews, Gloria Jean’s uses beans selected from the top of the world’s Arabica bean crop. In addition to the brewed coffee, Gloria Jean’s offers a variety of robust espresso drinks and “Blended Chillers” such as the popular, and highly decadent, White Chocolate Caramel Cookie Chiller. Other coffee beverages are available, as well as bakery items like pastries, coffe cake, and muffins. Gloria Jean’s also sells a variety of coffee beans, mugs, grinders, and coffee items.
Grand Avenue Café 119 W. Grand Ave., Eau Claire • (715) 831-1100 A quaint and popular little café known for their sandwiches, quiches, homemade soups, and bread pudding. Capitalize on one of their creative lunch specials. Vegetarian friendly, breakfast, outdoor seating, Sunday brunch. The Goat Coffee House 408 Water St, Eau Claire (The Goat will be moving to 336 Water St. in mid November) • 715-831-4491 A relaxed, full-scale coffee house offering an eclectic selection of fresh sandwiches, The Goat sports an interesting mix of furniture and décor. Breakfast options include enormous muffins, and The Goat’s rich soups are a popular lunch dish. Check out the fruit smoothies and cold, blended coffee drinks. Outdoor seating, private party room, breakfast served, vegetarian friendly. Half Moon Tea & Spice/Infinita Teahouse 112 Grand Ave., Eau Claire • (715) 514-1975 Half Moon Tea & Spice is the only teahouse in the Chippewa Valley and it is more than impressive. Its about 200 flavors of tea filled test tubes so you can see and smell the tea leaves of your choosing and a wide variety of spices for cooking. They also are the home to Half Moon’s locally flavored potato chips. The Living Room Coffee House & Drive-Thru 2006 Cameron St., Eau Claire • (715) 831-0245 The Living Room’s mission is to make you feel at home as long as your home has a full-service coffee bar, panini sandwiches, baked goods, and blended fruit tea smoothies. The monthly drink specials are always popular, as is the breakfast sandwich with sausage and maple syrup. Outdoor seating as well as live music in the backyard for the summer, vegetarian friendly. The Living Room Coffee House (Mayo Clinics) 733
Clairemont Avenue (Midelfort Clinic), Eau Claire • 715-383-5230 // 1221 Whipple Street, Eau Claire • 715-464-9188 Two locations in the Mayo Clinic Health System downtown campus: Midelfort Building and Luther Building. The Living Room’s mission is to make you feel at home - as long as your home has a full-service coffee bar, panini sandwiches, baked goods, and blended fruit tea smoothies. The monthly drink specials are always popular, as is the breakfast sandwich with sausage and maple syrup.
Moneatza’s Eats & Treats 800 Wisconsin St., Eau
Claire • (715) 514-3101 • monica.gean@yahoo. com • Find us on Facebook Moneatza’s Treats is the dream of culinarian, Monica Gean. After cooking and baking as a child, she took her hobby to the
Gloria Jean’s can help you hone your coffee palate Gloria Jean’s Coffee Tasting Seminar presented by Scott and Shirley Rogers • Thursday, Nov. 14, 6-7:45pm • The Volume One Gallery, 205 N. Dewey St. • FREE • registration required: call (715) 833-0040 or visit www.gjcoffeeseminarnov14-eorg.eventbrite.com to register • Back in the old days, when Midwestern coffee was often indistinguishable from dishwater, everyday coffee drinkers weren’t too picky. The prevailing attitude, as coffee connoisseur Scott Rogers explains it, was “Just give me something brown with caffeine in it so I can wake up.” That’s certainly changed in the past few decades, as coffee shops have proliferated, grocery stores have begun to sell a broad variety of beans, and consumers’ tastes have matured. “In the last 20 or 30 years, people have realized really good coffee tastes a lot better,” Rogers says. “It’s an affordable luxury.” In addition to owning and operating Gloria Jean’s Coffees in Oakwood Mall, Rogers and his wife, Shirley, are coffee evangelists, holding periodic seminars to educate coffee drinkers about how to appreciate their beverage of choice and the magic beans used to create it. If you’re eager to learn more, pull up a mug for the couple’s next tasting seminar on Thursday, Nov. 14, in the Volume One Gallery. Attendees will learn the basics of what makes coffee great (or not so great), beginning with where the beans are grown and the complex process that brings them from equatorial mountainsides to your favorite cup. The Rogerses will also fill you in on the five characteristics of coffee: aroma, flavor, brightness (acidity), body, and finish. “One of the really big factors is the brightness or the acidity, which is that zing or tingle,” Rogers says. For example, seminar participants often sample Kenyan coffee (very bright) alongside Columbian brew (much less so) to learn how that tingle on the tongue makes a difference. (Coffee drinkers’ preferences are usually split 50-50, Rogers notes.) Ultimately, attending the seminar can give you a richer understanding of where coffee comes from as well as the knowledge to make a richer cup that suits you best. Getting a free quarter pound of Gloria Jean’s beans just for attending is a nice treat, too. –Tom Giffey
next level by attending culinary school. Monica has worked in several different positions in the industry which has polished her into the chef she has become today. Now is her chance to share with you her culinary creations.
The Nucleus Café 405 Water St., Eau Claire • (715)
834-7777 • thenucleuscafe.com Connected via a convenient hallway to Racy D’lene’s Coffee Lounge, The Nucleus is a cozy café with a European vibe serving breakfast and lunch. Check out the desserts, homemade soups, quiches, omelets, and distinctive sandwiches. The Nucleus is also a traditional crêperie, offering a variety of dessert and main meal crêpes. Sunday brunch, outdoor seating, private party room, vegetarian friendly.
VolumeOne.org 47 Nov. 7, 2013
Panera Bread 4601 Keystone Crossing, Eau Claire • (715) 834-9752 • panerabread.com A chain store featuring a full bakery and café where all breads are baked fresh. On the bakery side, they feature 20 different breads, 12 bagels, and 30 sweets and pastries – the Cinnamon Crunch bagel is among the favorites, selling between 400 and 500 a day. The café features 15 sandwiches, seven salads, and seven (of 12) different soups on any given day with Chicken and Wild Rice as a best seller. Eat your soup out of a fresh bread bowl. Outdoor patio seating, vegetarian friendly, and Sunday brunch. Racy D’lene’s Coffee Lounge 404 Riverside Ave., Eau Claire • (715) 834-0000 • racysnucleus.com Connected via a convenient hallway to The Nucleus
VolumeOne.org 48 Nov. 7, 2013
Café, Racy’s is a coffee shop with an impressive range of brews. Relaxed doesn’t even begin to describe Racy’s. Comfy couches and chairs take up the floor space. Often, groups of college students are found lounging on them with their laptops, friends, or both. Check out the desserts and astounding menu of distinctive sandwiches. Outdoor seating, private party area, and vegetarian friendly.
Starbucks 2016 S Hastings Way, Eau Claire • (715)
834-2513 // 953 W. Clairemont Ave., Eau Claire • (715) 836-7320 // 3649 S. Hastings Way, Eau Claire • (715) 838-0196 • starbucks.com Coffee, tea, dessert, and other treats to warm you up, cool you down, or satisfy a craving.
Sweet & Savory 930 Galloway St. Building 13, Eau Claire • 715-703-0388 This self described “cookie shop” offers coffee, lattes, smoothies, and hot chocolate as well as baked goods and a limited lunch of grab-and-go sandwiches/soups. Especially popular are the 12 oz. coffee and a cookie for $1.50 and free day-old cookies for college students.
Blind Munchies 621 Wilson Ave., Menomonie • (715) 235-9300 • blindmunchies.wix.com/main Open Mondays and Saturdays (9am-4:30pm), Tuesday through Friday (9am-9pm), and Sundays for breakfast and lunch. Blind Munchies features a full coffee bar, a from-scratch bakery, fresh sandwiches made to order, and new food made fresh every morning. Try their homemade pizzas or their famous “Healthy Munchie” sandwiches, salads, or wraps. Keep an eye out for live music every other Friday and B-movie nights as well as DJ spinning. Vegetarian friendly, breakfast served on Saturday and Sundays, delivery of baked items available (for groups and events), and catering available. Caribou Coffee 2321 State Hwy 25 N #308,
Menomonie • (715) 235-3627 • cariboucoffee.com Whether you’re craving something hot or cold to wet your whistle (or a tasty baked treat to go along with it), Caribou has it all. Their decadent specialty drinks are especially popular. Breakfast items all day, seasonal outdoor seating.
Cravings Coffee Shop 1320 N. Broadway St., Suite 1, Menomonie • (715) 231-2222 With Olson’s ice cream, a bakery with fresh bread, specialty cheeses and meats, and take-and-bake pizza, the name “cravings” suits this coffeehouse perfectly. In a relaxed atmosphere with a fireplace and waterfall, Cravings also has outdoor seating. Golden Leaf Café 1706 Stout Rd, Menomonie • (715)
4:30 AM Coffee Shop 608 N. Bridge St., Chippewa
Falls • (715) 720-6165 Known for their signature Coffee House Salad, homemade scones, wraps, various baked goods, and nifty little drive-up, 4:30 AM is a coffee mainstay of Chippewa Falls. They have breakfast and are vegetarian friendly.
Bake ‘n’ Brew Cafe 17255 Co. Hwy. X, Chippewa Falls • (715) 720-2360 “Homemade is our specialty” at this laid-back bakery and café. Bake ‘n’ Brew Café is known for their cinnamon rolls, salads, and sandwiches. There is also a “lite” menu available. Vegetarian friendly, delivery available. Camille’s Sidewalk Café 1120 122nd St., Suite 3, Chippewa Falls • (715) 833-2233 • camillescafe.com Camille’s fast, casual dining offers all-day breakfast, wraps, grilled paninis, sandwiches, salads, pizza, coffee, and smoothies. They feature their own brand of soup and salsa and offer catering services to boot. Outdoor seasonal seating, huge gluten free menu as well as vegetarian friendly, breakfast, delivery, and private area available. Goldsmith Coffee Bar 117 Allen Street, Chippewa
Falls • (715) 723-7108 Located inside the Church of Notre Dame, Goldsmith Coffee Bar offers specialty coffee drinks, non-coffee energy drinks, baked goods and homemade scones. Join their cup club and have your clean cup ready for you every time you go.
Lucy’s Delicatessen 117 N. Bridge St, Chippewa
Falls • (715) 720-9800 • foreign5.com/lucys Bringing a slice of New York to downtown Chipppewa Falls when they opened up their full-service deli and sandwich shop, the owners of Lucy’s have all the locals buzzing. One look at their famous reuben or hot beef sandwiches (made with Boar’s Head meat) and you’ll see why. Soups, salads, and personal pizzas are all made from scratch. Breakfast is now served until 11am and be sure to check out Lucy’s Gooeys (caramel rolls) or a delicious omelette. Also offering a variety of local beer/wine, espresso drinks, and a kids menu, this is more than just your average deli. Large meeting room available, outdoor seating, vegetarian friendly, and delivery available on orders over $25 to the Chippewa Falls area.
Riverside Café 1117 Pumphouse Rd., Chippewa Falls • (715) 726-1199 • riversidecafecv.com This golf course eatery is open seasonally along with its golf course. With local art adorning the walls, the dining room overlooks the gorgeous Chippewa River, creating a relaxing dining experience. Sample the homemade soup or try The Friday fish fry and the fresh ham patty burger as favorites. Open for breakfast all week, outdoor seating, private party room, and catering services.
Café, Menomonie 102 Main St., Menomonie • (715) 235-1115 A top notch hoagie shop (everything from corned beef to hummus) that bakes its own bread from scratch, the Menomonie Acoustic Café features a cozy atmosphere and open mic every other Thursday. The trademark high-back booths make it a great place to grab lunch, hold a casual meeting, or just hang out. Outdoor seating, vegetarian friendly, local brews on tap, and open until 11pm on weekends September-May.
Apothecary Café 1414 9th Street East, Menomonie •
(715) 231-2233 This cafe, inspired by taverns on the Silk Road, aims to nourish the body, the mind, and the heart. The Apothecary Cafe provides a homey decor and prides itself on serving fresh whole foods and coffee with excellent breakfast options.
VolumeOne.org 49 Nov. 7, 2013
231-5323 • goldenleafcafe.com Gourmet organic panini sandwiches are the specialty at Golden Leaf Café, where you’ll also find homemade soups and salads. There’s no need to wait for dessert; they also sell Norske Nook pies (whole or by the slice). After eating, peruse the connected specialty shop for wine, foodstuffs, and tea. They also offer a gluten-free menu, as well as an espresso bar.
Legacy Chocolates 632 S. Broadway St., Menomonie
• 231-2580 • legacychocolates.com Try their new “Cup-at-a-Time” system: You choose the bean variety, they grind it fresh and pour hot water over a one-use filter. The result is you enjoying the freshest brewed cup of coffee possible.
Published on Sep 15, 2014
Published on Sep 15, 2014
Everyone's favorite caffeinated beverage! Coffee Culture explores where our coffee comes from, where to enjoy it, and why the Chippewa Vall...