Peace Spokes - Peace Coffee

  1| Accessing Sustainability

  2| Bike Racing Team Update

  3| Summer at Wonderland

  4| Meet the Barista

  5| IATP Corner: Bike & Bite

  6| Quote of the Month

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It’s been dangerously hot here in MN but the Bike Team is still racing every weekend and, like most of the US we’re recovering from World Cup Fever... and some of us have been getting up early to watch live coverage of the Tour de France. But we're keeping cool with lots of cold beverages and a great gazpacho from the coffee shop. In this issue of Peace Spokes, we study our environmental profile and Justin Young gives a middle of the season update from the Peace Coffee Racing Team. Andrew Ranallo previews the Bike and Bite event in the IATP Corner, we invite you to visit a cool patch of shade at the Peace Coffee Shop, and we introduce you to meet barista Andeh Johnson. It's a jam-packed issue so kick back with an iced Peace Coffee and read on...

by Anna Canning, Special Correspondent

Is this the way that we’d want the world to be? We ask that question of ourselves a lot here at Peace Coffee. It gets phrased differently, but the sentiment dictates many of the business decisions that we make: Organic coffee? Yes, please. Bike delivery? Naturally. Caffeinating our local community at the amazing events that the Twin Cities hosts? As much as we can possibly fit into our schedule! Hours and weeks hunting down everything from mugs to t-shirts that are ethically produced as close to home as possible? Yup. Living wages and benefits? For everyone, please.

As part of our commitment to the value that is we sometimes summarize as "sustainability," we’ve long discussed collecting those choices that we make and understanding them as part of the larger picture of what we do. Our musings had the good fortune of encountering a willing muser, Emily Sames, a student at Macalester College, and she spent the fall semester looking at all aspects of our business from her vantage point as an environmental studies major. At every step as she gathered information, the very vastness of the attempt to map the environmental scope of each of our decisions became clear and so at each step, the process became two part: What about this aspect of our business can we accurately know? And what do we have the most ability to change or control? With these questions narrowing her inquiries, Emily focused on a few key aspects of our business surrounding the production of coffee (an utterly comprehensive profile of what we do would have to examine the origins of everything we use and resell from tea to paper cups, to filters and office paper; we’re considering this a first step!): the inbound freight on the coffee, its roasting, packaging, and delivery, the building where we choose to do all that, and how our staff get about to do business. All the numbers cited are for the period from July 2009-June 2010.

Read on...

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by Justin Young, Peace Coffee Bike Team

We are at the mid-point this year for the 2011 Minnesota Mountain Bike Series, and the Peace Coffee Racing Team didn’t take long to get settled into the saddle. Peace Coffee Racing also went about exceeding any and all expectations. In fact, they’ve set the bar pretty high.

We have a lot of new happenings this year with Peace Coffee Racing: a brand spanking new website, as well as new uniforms and members. Also keeping to tradition around Peace Coffee Racing are top finishing results. We’re not the types to stand up and beat our chests like gorillas, but we wanted to make sure the guys and gals got the recognition they deserve for clearing the rock garden, climbing to the top of the ski hill, and playing chicken with old-growth timber. So we’ve compiled a list of podiums and highlights below. Congratulations to the Peace Coffee Racing Team at the mid-season point.

Read on...

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Anna Canning, Special Correspondent

Lately it’s been one of those spells in Minneapolis where you wake up in the morning humming “Hot town, summer in the city/ Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty/ been down, isn’t it a pity/ Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city.” While we’re not generally ones to disagree with the Lovin’ Spoonful’s assessment of a situation, we would like to point out that there’s a long stretch of shade right in front of our Wonderland Park location.

This spring, we braved snow drifts to measure the stretch of real estate that we could dedicate to sidewalk seating, forded the giant puddles of snow melt to haul some cast off furniture out of our friends at the Birchwood Cafe’s basement, dodged a giant thunderstorm and string of tornadoes while sculptor extraordinaire Adam Croft welded them back together, and finally scampered in and out of late spring rain showers to paint the chairs as good as new. Our little salvage project was a tour of the meteorological offerings of spring in the Twin Cities and now, as summer offers up all that it’s got, we’re ready for it.

While we can’t promise that every cool cat will find a kitty, we’re pretty sure you’ll find something to cool you off: Our famous Yeti Cold Press makes a perfect start to the day whether you take it black or indulge in the Sweet Cream Cold Press that the baristas have been mixing up (take some Yeti, add some of Castle Rock Organic Dairy’s luscious half & half, and top it off with a shot of our house made vanilla syrup).   If you’re looking to cool down without caffeine, try the Peach Rooibos iced tea: blended by our friends at Rishi Tea. The tart flavors of hibiscus pair perfectly with the mellow, nutty rooibos and the hints of real peach are reminiscent of a fresh orchard, never a fake fruitiness. Lunchtime brings another summertime treat --gazpacho-- to provide a balanced diet without having to budge from your shady refuge. So if you're sweating in the Cities, stop by and say hi! We've even got a spot for the dog.

Anna Canning is enjoying summer in sunny Portland, Oregon. Today she has a wool sweater on.

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An Interview with Andeh Johnson of the Peace Coffee Shop at Wonderland Park

What do you do when you’re not working at Wonderland Park? 
I am often found hustling the local Frisbee golf courses around Minneapolis. When time permits I like to get out to Taylor's Fall or Red Wing for some rock climbing. I've also been known to hang around The Herkimer for a beer or four. 

What is your favorite Peace Coffee brew & why? 
Twin Cities Blend has been treating me well recently, it tastes great on my espresso machine at home and I also enjoy the smooth rich flavor in a drip coffee.

What’s your favorite drink to make at Wonderland Park & why? 
Currently I enjoy making Sweet Cream Cold Press, the drink looks fantastically delicious as the top layer of cream slowly seeps through the ice cubes and coffee down to the vanilla.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you want to go and why?
I would love to go to Madagascar. I love to take pictures of animals and insects and there are so many unique species on one tiny Island, I would go crazy for days with a macro lens in hand.

What is the best concert you’ve ever been to and why? 
This is a hard one to choose, I've seen so many great shows, but definitely one of the most fun was the Flaming Lips back in 2008, the entire production was so amusing and entertaining, everyone must see them at least once! 

How do we know when you have control of the music in the shop?
I'm always down for something a little more upbeat, funky, and something with good energy.

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by Andrew Ranallo, IATP Communications Assistant

Being named number one bike city last year was a catalyst as much as it was an accolade for Minneapolis. More bike lanes have been approved, Nice Ride is expanding, there’s a new bike boulevard, and even a local bike-parts vending machine company spreading its wings.

And, what about the foodie scene? Food trucks exploded in Minneapolis and brought fresh food to street corners all over the city, Peace Coffee opened the Peace Coffee Shop and Bread and Pickle opened on Lake Harriet. It’s a great summer to be a Minneapolitan, and IATP is celebrating its 25th year in the City of Lakes. What better way to celebrate than biking around the city, tasting some of its best local food?

Join us on August 13 to set your own course, and pedal between local food-centered stops in Minneapolis. Along the way, taste delicious local, sustainable food and drink while learning more about the businesses and organizations that make it possible. It’s a family-friendly event and everyone’s welcome. Find out more about the participating businesses and organizations on or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to speed.

So come say hello, taste some delicious foods, bike around, and meet others who like to bike and eat in our fair city. And, while you’re at it, help support IATP’s work that strengthens local foods in Minneapolis and around the world. Register now.

See you on August 13th! Make sure to register soon to guarantee your spot and a hip Bike and Bite t-shirt as spots are limited (and so are t-shirts)!

Andrew Ranallo can’t wait to meet everyone on August 13 and urges anyone interested to get on the list as soon as possible as spots are limited!

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"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."

~ Russell Baker

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Peace Spokes is a monthly publication from the crew at Peace Coffee.
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