Making a difference with every coffee bean

Maybe your daily routine includes a cold brew with hazelnut and oat milk. Or perhaps a hot latte while you clean out your inbox. Is it a medium drip with room for cream? How about a pour-over while hanging out with some friends at our Eden Prairie or West Bank locations?

Regardless of the role coffee plays in your life, you know what you like in (or with) your coffee. But where is your coffee coming from? Sure, the talented baristas at 7 Corners Coffee grind and brew the beans, steam the milk, and pull the perfect espresso shot. Each drink, though, brings more than a delicious smile: it represents a partnership between 7 Corners and Silverbird Roasting Company, each hoping to make a difference with every bean.

Prior to the partnering, 7 Corners typically rotated through coffee providers about once every three months, a practice fairly common among coffee shops in Minneapolis. At the same time, Tony Querio, multi-award-winning roaster at Spyhouse Coffee, had recently started Silverbird when the partnership started with 7 Corners.

“We really wanted a partner in the mission,” says Nate Kinowski, director of coffee at 7 Corners Coffee. “Tony was a newer roaster in the Twin Cities, and we were a newer coffee shop. This allowed us to provide a really unique coffee product.”

Besides his reputation as an authority in the coffee industry, Kinowski said Querio is equally a partner in the mission of 7 Corners.

“Our mission is to value people by serving coffee with kindness℠,” he says. “We have high-quality coffee, we handmake our syrups, and we make, to the best of our ability, everything as sustainable as possible. We ask that our baristas go the extra step to share kindness with other people as a way of elevating the coffee experience.”

The sustainable aspect is a key part of 7 Corners’ status as a “Third Wave” coffee shop. The term refers to shops that prioritize quality and sustainability throughout the entire coffee experience. For Querio, this means ethically sourcing his beans in a way that respects the workers, farmland, and supply chains involved at all levels. This extends to the actual coffee shop, in the form of how the coffee is prepared, paying fair wages to baristas, using compostable cups, etc.

Kinowski said the Third Wave model is less common for faith-based specialty coffee shops, especially one owned by a church, but that the relationship with a roaster of Querio’s background falls in line with hoping to provide a superior cup of coffee.

“A shop is really only as good as their roaster,” he admitted. “There’s only so much you can do on the back end, on the brewing side of things. If you’re starting with a high-quality, good-tasting bean that gives your customer a unique experience, that’s basically the best you can ask for from a roaster.”

For now, though, you’re likely to find the Don Sabino, a Costa Rican light roast that Kinowski says benefits from the natural washing of the coffee bean’s husk during the processing stage. This, he says, leads to a more flavorful, fruity coffee, one that’s been well-received at both locations.

Espresso drinks use the Supernova, Silverbird’s signature blend and the only bean 7 Corners continuously uses. Quarterly, Silverbird offers a higher-end Gold Reserve bean that 7 Corners customers can order as a pour-over coffee or purchase in-store. The current Gold Reserve available in both our cafes is Las Lajas, a sweet and complex Costa Rican offering.

“If you’re a regular customer of 7 Corners, we sell, for example, the Gold Reserve beans,” Kinowski says. “However, if you follow 7 Corners, and this is kind of our hope, is that it’s a good way of following Tony because he’s always trying to innovate, always trying to create new things with coffee. And in the process, hopefully, people will continue to find us through Tony.”

Make 7 Corners Coffee part of your day with a specialty coffee, sourced by an award-winning roaster and brewed by a specialty coffee shop. Visit our specialty coffee downtown Minneapolis or our Eden Prairie location today!

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