A new coffee venture has just hit Minneapolis, and this time it’s going mobile. Misfit Coffee premiered on the streets in early August, bringing to it a focus of high quality beans and amazing service. Owners Marcus Parkansy, brother Mitchell, and Alex Boehm have brought much to the table to create a truly unique and memorable experience when visiting their trailer.
They want customers to feel free in taking a break with them, seen from the very open, welcoming design of the trailer itself, not to mention their tendencies to engage conversation about coffee and anything else. Also seen in the cups, for anyone who decides to stick around. You'll receive your beverage of choice in actual mugs or special copper-glass tubes. There is no doubt that Misfit Coffee is very aware of the fact that one’s drink container will noticeably affect how it’s experienced, both in aroma and taste. Delivering the best cup of joe they possibly can, that is the Misfit way.
Speaking of that coffee, one can grab a bean-roast in any of their favorite styles or try something completely different. Of course they also offer classic pour-overs, cappuccinos, lattes, and other familiar beverages. Then there are the unique styles, such as the Con Panna: double shot of espresso layered with thick whipped cream. Top this one with a flavored chocolate sauce, sourced from Indulgence chocolates, and your morning espresso turns into sinful dessert. Or one can get a fusion drink like Chata’Lata, made with a Horchata recipe they spent months trying to get perfect. But it’s not a real trip to the mobile café without attemtping the Nitro Cold Brew. Cold-brewed coffee-of-the-day, placed in a pressure tank, then infused with nitrogen. Poured from a tap for service, this creates an iced coffee that is thick, creamy, and addictive in the best ways.
I got the chance to spend some time in the trailer and ask the owners some questions on my first visit near the Mill City Museum, which seems to be a favorite spot of theirs now!
Me: “Now, if I’m correct, Misfit started out in a different state yes?”
Misfit Coffee: “Yes, we’re from Wisconsin, but we moved here to start the business. We did one major event in Milwaukee, just to make sure all our equipment was running right and that everything would go smoothly. Two days later, we packed up and drove out here.”
Me: “Why did you choose to do this in Minnesota?”
MC: “People are already very warmed up to food trucks here, and it seems the truck culture in Milwaukee is more the Taco Trucks and that kind of business; they don’t have the specialty food trucks. Also, you’re more accepting when it comes to getting a license for trucks here; some places are rather iffy on whether they ‘want’ to let people in, here they’re trying to let you in.”
Me: “What was the reason you all started up the truck? How did you get into the coffee lifestyle?”
MC: “I (Marcus) have worked in coffee 6 years, in cafes, roasteries, production, barista, management, and I knew I loved it, ever since I started working with it at 14. Starting a business was always something I wanted to have. All three of us have worked since the age of 13, saved up some money, and the time came when we had the idea to do a mobile vendor of some sort. So we put our brains, connections, and money together, and with my background thought up this coffee trailer.”
Me: “Any particular locations you’re looking into besides Downtown?”
MC: “Definitely. Served the UofM yesterday, and so far we love it down by the Guthrie. The people are so warm and inviting, always willing to stop and exchange pleasantries even when not buying anything. Just the other day we served Uptown in front of the Apple store, and they loved us. People in Uptown are already familiar with good coffee, they’re not going to be shocked at 3-minute pour-over waits. But at the same time we offer a product that’s quite different from how it’s being served in other specialty shops, based mainly upon our ‘roast profile.’”
Me: “Speaking of which, tell me a bit more about your product and process.”
MC: “We get our coffee from Valentine Coffee Roasters our of Milwaukee, a place Marcus worked at for 2 years. Unbiasedly, they were serving the best coffee in the city, the taste buds of everyone who came there could agree upon the fact that their coffee was so well balanced, there was such body and ‘terroir’ to it. You can taste the Brazil as being distinctly from Brazil, all while getting smooth mouthfeel and a hint of sweetness. We spent a lot of time and money trying coffees from all over, and Valentine is still our favorite.
I came to notice that a lot of vendors [now] serve brightly-roasted coffee, which isn’t bad; get a lot of fruit notes and sweetness. But sometimes it takes away from the origin of where coffee comes from. It doesn’t feel right to just taste fruit from Brazil, there should be those chocolate notes and body which, based upon how they’re grown and processed, they should have. Thus we serve a ‘darker,’ deeper, and balanced cup of coffee.”
To wrap up, one last thought from Marcus:
“It was really cool to be in front of the Apple Store with this business; we’ve always been big followers of how and why they do things. Their quote is on our door. ‘Here’s to the Crazy Ones, the Misfits, the Rebels, the Troublemakers, the Round Pegs and Square Holes.’ We understand how they are and vice versa; we’re not trying to go by the status quo. Do something different, be ourselves, take a risk and go for a great outcome. We’re Misfits… [and] we’re the only people in the Cities doing this.”