If good coffee is an art, Kopplin’s easily mints more local masterpieces than any of its rivals. Less the neighborhood cafe that it appears to be than a temple to careful roasting and high-quality beans, Kopplin’s has picked up a reputation as the go-to place for those who care about the difference between a cup of Kenya AA Wagamuga and Ecuadorian brew from the Central Highlands. Coffee is expensive here, more so than even at other premium shops targeting coffee lovers, but there’s a corresponding value that will bring a smile to the face of any true java fanatic.
The small shop’s cozy atmosphere belies the intensity of purpose that motivates founder Andrew Kopplin, who has set a high standard in terms of quality and consistency. The difference in bean quality really shines thanks to the shop’s lighter roasts, which stand back and let the natural flavors of the beans do the talking. A cappuccino that might normally need a teaspoon of sugar to go down easily can stand on its own when made with Kopplin’s coffee — there are none of the usual acrid or acidic backnotes that so commonly crop up when half-trained coffee roasters muck around with erratically selected beans.
As an added bonus: Kopplin’s is right next door to Casper and Runyon’s Nook. Perhaps a perfect cup of coffee is what you need to stay awake after 1,000 calories of high-grade beef and molten cheese?
BEST BET: Light roast coffees and coffee drinks display the artistry of the cafe. Fortunately, all they do is light roast.
Coffee Roaster and Cafe in Highland Park, St. Paul
490 Hamline Ave S
St. Paul, MN 55116
OWNER: Andrew Kopplin