Coffee Feature // Four Barrel

We have two new coffees from our good friends at Four Barrel. This is the kind of stuff that really gets our mouths watering. Retail bags are available in-store and please feel free to ask for your own pour over of either one!

Four Barrel // Honduras San Marcos

Dark grape and lavender fragrance, black currant, cocoa and raisin flavors, balanced with molasses sweetness. Learn more about the farm here.

Four Barrel // Nicaragua Anibal

Lemon balm and juniper fragrance with chamomile, Pink Lady apple, brown sugar, candied pecans and cane sugar. Learn more about the farm here.


Our New Drink // The "Matt Call"


We would like to introduce a new drink to our menu at both locations, the "Matt Call". This drink includes a shot of espresso for here and a 10 oz. coffee to go, so you can get that quick boost of energy you need to get the day going. 

Matt Call approved the name of this drink. To us and him, this drink represents his efforts in making light of his hit and run tragedy a few years back and putting the past behind him. Matt Call will always be part of the Urban Bean family.

A Brief History of Coffee

 This photograph is from a Brazilian coffee farm in the 1880s

This photograph is from a Brazilian coffee farm in the 1880s

Prior to 1000 AD: Members of the Galla tribe in Ethiopia notice that they got an energy boost when they eat a certain berry, ground up and mixed with animal fat. 

1000 AD: Arab traders bring coffee back to their homeland and cultivate the plant for the first time on plantations. They also began to boil the beans, creating a drink they call "qahwa" (literally, that which prevents sleep). 

1453: Coffee is introduced to Constantinople by Ottoman Turks. The world's first coffee shop, Kiva Han, open there in 1475. Turkish law makes it legal for a woman to divorce their husband if he fails to provide her with her daily quota of coffee. 

1600: Coffee, introduced to the West by Italian traders, grabs attention in high places. In Italy, Pope Clement VIII is urged by his advisers to consider that favorite drink of the Ottoman Empire part of the infidel threat. However, he decides to "baptize" it instead, making it an acceptable Christian beverage.

1607: Captain John Smith helps to found the colony of Virginia at Jamestown. It's believed that he introduced coffee to North America.

1645: First coffeehouse opens in Italy.

1652: First coffeehouse opens in England. Coffee houses multiply and become such popular forums for learned and not so learned - discussion that they are dubbed "penny universities" (a penny being the price of a cup of coffee).

1668: Coffee replaces beer as New York City's favorite breakfast drink. 

1672: First coffeehouse opens in Paris.

1713: The Dutch unwittingly provide Louis XIV of France with a coffee bush whose descendants will produce entire Western coffee industry when in 1723 French naval officer Gabriel Mathieu do Clieu steals a seedling and transports it to Martinique. Within 50 years and official survey records 19 million coffee trees on Martinique. Eventually, 90 percent of the world's coffee spreads from this plant.

1721: First coffee house opens in Berlin.

1773: The Boston Tea Party makes drinking coffee a patriotic duty in America.

1903: German coffee importer Ludwig Roselius turns a batch of ruined coffee beans over to researchers, who perfect the process of removing caffeine from the beans without destroying the flavor. He markets it under the brand name "Sanka." Sanka is introduced to the United States in 1923.

1920: Prohibition goes into effect in United States. Coffee sales boom.

1940: The US imports 70 percent of the world coffee crop.

1946: In Italy, Achilles Gaggia perfects his espresso machine. Cappuccino is named for the resemblance of its color to the robes of the monks of the Capuchin order.

1995: Urban Bean is born.

2011: Urban Bean opens second location at 24th & Lyndale.

credits: source 

Why doesn't Urban Bean serve dark roast coffee?


When we spoke with Stephanie Ratanas, the Director of Coffee at Dogwood for our "I ♥ MPLS" blog, she explained that the high temperatures and extended roasting times that go in to creating dark roasts takes away from the beautiful, subtle complexities of coffee, leaving the beans burnt, chalky and oily.

The term dark roast (aka French, Italian or Viennese) are marketing terms that have been used by large coffee companies to make burnt beans seem sexy and desirable. We're not total dark roast haters, there are quality dark roasts out there, somewhere...

Coffee has more flavor notes than wine and its our goal to make sure that our coffee is presented in a way that accentuates all of its palatable qualities. So next you're in Urban Bean, have a seat at the bar and order a cup of coffee from our Pour Over or Clever coffee makers. Sip it slowly, and let the coffee roll off your tongue. Try to identify subtle flavors that perk your senses.