Moveable Feast: Coffee, tea and sweets

by John Birge, Minnesota Public Radio
December 20, 2013

St. Paul, Minn. — For our new weekly feature, "Moveable Feast," Rachel Hutton of Minnesota Monthly joins John Birge to talk about food topics in which Classical MPR listeners may be interested.

Coffees and teas make such great gifts — these are household staples that are always welcome because we go through them so quickly, unlike, say, a dust-collecting knicknack. Also, many people stock basics — Folgers, Lipton — and this can be a chance to treat them to something a little nicer than they would typically purchase.

Places like Dogwood and Bull Run in Minneapolis roast some terrific coffee beans; small-batch, artisan roasters are able to coax so many more interesting and complex flavors from their beans — earthy, fruity, chocolatey — that a cup of coffee becomes more like a good glass of wine.

On the outstate front, there are a couple of relatively new roasters in Duluth — The Duluth Coffee Company and Alakef Coffee Roasters.

For tea lovers, there are great places to buy tea, including the old standbys Tea Source and Mrs. Kelley's Tea, and the new Verdant Tea in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis.

I don't know of a local source for handmade candy canes, but if I were to put together a Nutcracker-themed dessert buffet table, it'd be easy to stock with an assortment of one-bite sweets from local sources. You could do French macarons (Cocoa & Fig has wonderful ones), caramels from Poorboy or Sweet Jules caramels or Drew's caramel corn, and chocolate truffles from Chocolat Céleste and St. Croix Chocolate or 185 Chocolat in Duluth.

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