Every year, the Twin Cities seems to amass more quality coffee shops. With gloomy fall days on the horizon, these establishments are the preferred spots to take refuge.
Here are our top five local coffee drinks -- plus several more, for good measure -- that are perfect for fall.
Sweet Potato Maple Bourbon Latte | Dogwood Coffee Bar
The pumpkin spice latte is an abominable trend, but that doesn’t mean that root vegetable flavors have no place in coffee drinks. Enter Dogwood’s Sweet Potato Maple Bourbon Latte (above). The dash of bourbon adds kick to the drink’s earthy sweet-potato flavor, and the maple syrup makes it taste like a cup of sweet-potato pie filling. A formidable punch of strength and warmth make it the kind of latte that evokes mornings up north
Cardamom Latte | Anelace Coffee
The 2400 block of Central Avenue feels like a scene out of Portlandia, with a bevy of new businesses nestled next to neighborhood institutions. Among the best of these is two-year-old Anelace Coffee. Known for their minimalist digs and excellent pour-over program, Anelace makes a mean cardamom latte, too. The marriage between sweet and slightly spicy makes it perfect for autumn. Note that it’s an off-menu item; ask for a shot of cardamom syrup with your latte and you’re good to go.
White Lightning | Quixotic Coffee
Quixotic Coffee’s White Lightning is an underrated hangover remedy. Blackeye Nitro Cold Brew provides a major jolt to the senses, and the vanilla syrup’s smokiness is reminiscent of the whiskey from the night before without going full hair of the dog. It satisfies and tantalizes, and is the best part of waking up in any state on a fall morning. (Take that, Folgers.)
Cappuccino | Spyhouse Coffee
Spyhouse’s cappuccino provides comfort and late-afternoon energy surges. Part is due to the inviting minimalism of their North Loop location, and part to the drink itself. More than a traditional cappuccino -- the baristas treat the top layer as a canvas – its milky froth reigns. The flavors compensate for any concerns about authenticity: it goes down smooth with just a bite.
Poorboy Caramel Latte | Kopplin’s
Price aside, the Poorboy Caramel Latte at Kopplin’s will make you feel rich. At $5.25, it’s spendier than comparable coffee shops, but no one roasts their beans quite like Kopplin’s, or has such finesse with their pours. The goods come from Stillwater’s Poorboy Candy and the caramel flavor is light and evident without being overpowering.
Best of the Rest
Cappuccino | Rustica Eden Prairie
The suburbs are no longer coffee flyover zone. Rustica opened their first of two suburban locations this fall, replacing the Dunn Bros. outpost in Eden Prairie’s Smith Douglas More house. Come for the Dogwood coffee, which lends itself nicely to a cappuccino, stay for one of Rustica’s award-winning pastries. Their chocolate chip cookie is particularly divine.
Latte | J. Arthur’s Coffee
Every suburb deserves a top-notch independent coffee shop, yet Roseville is one of the few that has one. Located on the city of rose’s outskirts, J. Arthur’s warm, welcoming digs pair well with their carefully crafted drinks that rely on Autumnwood and Castle Rock dairy products. You can’t go wrong with a pair of lattes: one for there to enjoy with a pastry and one to go for an afternoon stroll in nearby Central Park.
Black coffee | Nina’s Coffee Café
The coffee isn’t the draw at this charming Selby Avenue café. While a cup of joe at Nina’s is serviceable, the atmosphere is second-to-none. Located on the street level of the historic Blair Arcade building, Nina’s is best enjoyed on a leisurely morning when you have time to read and sip a cup or two of the strong stuff.