The menu at Five Watt Coffee boasts basil simple syrup, black walnut bitters, and black Hawaiian sea salt, evoking a sophisticated happy hour rather than a lazy Sunday brunch. The tell-tale aroma of roasted coffee reminds drinkers they are in for another kind of buzz.
Five Watt Coffee, which opened in May in the Kingfield neighborhood, is bringing a chic and updated perspective to traditional espresso drinks in a distinctly neighborly, but professional, package. With every table occupied by both drinkers and laptops, plus all seats full at the bar, the shop seems to be recruiting regulars.
The Big Easy over ice ($5) is traditional creamy cold press given an innovative spin. Inspired by San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee and their use of chicory, co-owner Caleb Garn has created a drink using the sweet root often brewed in the south. Barista Evan Keane gave us the lowdown: Chicory and nutmeg are infused into a nutty and earthy simple syrup, creating flavors that echo those of the coffee itself. The black walnut bitters, sourced from New York’s Fee Brothers, add additional flavors that are often likened to coffee or maple. The synergy of these elements on top of the cold press delivers a complex and deep sweetness that tastes as perfectly incorporated as if it had come out of the beans themselves.
Because of the overlap of flavor profiles, no single element stands out. On one hand, the harmonious notes are quite pleasant and powerful together, but the nutmeg is too understated and becomes lost entirely. The slick texture of the drink, even as the ice melts on a hot July day, is well constructed, striking a balance between refreshing and substantial.
On the food front, Five Watt is debuting its Sunday Service Oatmeal Bar this Sunday, July 20, from 9am-2pm. The oatmeal bar features hot cereals made by FutureLabsMPLS, including (as per the press release) “oatmeal made with cream infused with homegrown lavender and brightened with candied orange or a campfire oatmeal served with toasted marshmallows and semi-sweet chocolate.”
Five Watt is also planning to release their own line of bitters in cooperation with St. Paul’s Dashfire. This will offer the opportunity to tailor these micro-additions more precisely to their coffee needs.
Five Watt Coffee, 3745 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409; 612.259.7519