Follow the grinds: Quixotic Coffee offers a spin on the basics


Matcha Latte with croissant. Photos by Meera Singh ’19.

]1 Matcha Latte with croissant. Photos by Meera Singh ’19.
From the exterior, Quixotic Coffee looks like nothing more than a mediocre café in need of remodeling. But step inside and you will find yourself in a trendy hipster paradise. The extensive coffee menu is written on a chalkboard on the wall adjacent to a shelf of growlers for the on-tap kombucha and nitrogen-infused cold brew coffee. Their caffeinated offerings include standard drinks like lattes, pour-over coffee ($2.25­–$3.75) and various loose-leaf teas ($3), as well as more exotic offerings such as a matcha latte ($5) and a con miel (a drink featuring coffee, milk, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla)($5). Those who avoid excessive caffeine consumption could opt for the made-to-order smoothies ($6) or fresh-squeezed orange juice.

I ordered the 12 ounce medium roast on brew ($2.75), and my friend (a.k.a. my grandma) ordered the Matcha Latte (pictured). The Matcha Latte was one of the more picturesque items on the menu: a vibrant green and white drink swirled into a leaf design by the barista’s light-handed touch. According to my grandma, the flavors blended perfectly together­—the creamy fresh milk balancing out the sweet matcha concentrate. My brewed coffee had a dark flavor profile and less of the fruity notes characteristic of craft coffee. The hearty blend paired perfectly with a butter croissant from Patisserie 46 ($3). Flaky, light and fresh, it ranks among the top five croissants I have ever had. Along with Patisserie 46 (arguably the best bakery in the Twin Cities), Quixotic stocks products from Minnesota vendors Blackeye Roasting Co, Bootstrap Coffee, Rishi Tea and quite a few others. You could definitely come to Quixotic on an empty stomach, as they also sell overnight oats and chia seed puddings for breakfast, and baguette sandwiches, paninis, soups and salads for lunch ($3-$8.50).

]3 A croissant. Photo by Meera Singh ’19.

The environment at Quixotic allows for conversation, but is also conducive to solo or group studying. Communal spaces include a reservable conference room in the back and multiple booths. There are also smaller tables and bar stools for those who want space for themselves. The general noise level never gets high enough to hear over a good pair of headphones or interrupt a casual conversation. However, like most coffee shops, I wouldn’t recommend Quixotic if you are aiming for deep concentration or can’t work with background noise.

While Quixotic does not meet the economy or proximity of Dunn Brothers, I found the atmosphere less rambunctious and the food and drink more unique. Dunn Brothers may be a better place to catch up with a group of friends during a break from school work. Only 1.5 miles off campus, the drive to Quixotic takes less than 5 minutes. If you don’t have a car, I would suggest asking a friend to join you on a lunch and coffee excursion because Quixotic could be your new favorite coffee shop.

Quixotic is located at 769 Cleveland Ave S, St. Paul.