Blue Ox Coffee Co.
3740 Chicago Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Counter Culture “Apollo” Ethiopian Espresso
Review by Anthony Jones:
After getting lots of recommendations for Blue Ox as a new and impressive store in south Minneapolis, I finally found myself a spare moment to drive down to 38th and Chicago to check it out. It’s not the first place you would think about putting a coffee shop in my opinion, but the location really works well as it is not over saturated with Uptown drivers and shoppers. Upon walking in I realized that this place serves as a neighborhood hang out, meeting spot, and espresso bar for the Powderhorn area. Although the walls were bare and furniture was new, the enviornment was buzzing with chatter, laughter, and the sound of steam wands, making any new customer feel right at home on a Wednesday afternoon. Blue Ox sources a few different roasting companies to buy beans from, which is always nice to have the diversity in a shop for people to choose from.
After I was welcomed into the store, I started asking questions about their two different espresso options. The barista walked me through them and recommended the Counter Culture “Apollo” Ethiopian Single Origin Espresso. I agreed and he immediately hoped behind their La Marzocco espresso machine and started pulling my shot. He let me know that it’d be an extra minute because he wanted to give me a perfectly timed shot, which is right where Blue Ox won my heart. So many coffee shops locally have great product, but ruin the experience by preparing it without care. They also served me a glass of sparkling water on the side which is always a nice compliment to the espresso.
The double shot was wonderful as the aroma was earthy and sweet, but not overpoweringly acidic. Upon the first sip, I tasted a nice earthiness balanced with high fruity notes and finishing with a chocolate richness along with a mellow acidity. This isn’t the typical “Ethiopian Espresso” experience, as it was very well balanced and easy to drink.
All in all, Blue Ox is doing something right by making great coffee, sourcing it from great roasters, and providing a great neighborhood hang out spot. Go check out Blue Ox on 38th and Chicago. If this place keeps doing what they’re doing, they will be around with a lot of local support for a long time.