Confession: We’ve been to Kickapoo Coffee before. We found it while searching for a good photoshoot location, and ended up running into Manitowoc Minute’s Charlie Berens there. He was even kind enough to take a picture with us.
We know what you’re thinking. Keep ‘er movin’.
What we also discovered at Kickapoo was some really, really good coffee. Set in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward across from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Kickapoo Coffee is a bright and open cafe with large windows and amish-made wood furniture accented with live greens, white marble countertops, and iconic blue hexagon tiles. The coffee bar is surrounded with seating on 3 sides to give patrons the best overall experience possible – whether it’s bar seating or intimate tables for two in the back, or large group seating in the front. In the summer, the front patio makes it easy to enjoy a cup of coffee with friends in the sun.
When asked what drinks Kickapoo can make really well, baristas Megan and Olivia simply replied, “everything”. They weren’t wrong. We ordered up a few drinks, and cafe co-owner and manager Scott worked his magic at the bar.
Knowing he wanted coffee to be his career, Scott paired up with Kickapoo Coffee to start up this cafe over 3 years ago. Scott is no stranger to the barista world. He was the 2009 Great Lakes Regional barista champion, and he took home a 3rd place win in the United States Barista Competition. (The world of competitive barista’ing is pretty legit. Check it out HERE.) With over 17 years of barista experience under his belt, we were honored to try some of his amazing drinks today!
Cortado – Our cortado was made with Kickapoo’s Full Spectrum espresso blend. Having citrus tasting notes present, this was a lively drink when paired with a little organic steamed milk. We knew it would be amazing and we weren’t disappointed at all!
Macchiato – Served in a classy little white mug and made with Burundi Nemba espresso, this macchiato had notes of berries and was very smooth tasting. We were surprised how different the espresso shots tasted in the macchiato and the cortado! We highly recommend both!
Mocha – This mocha was really well done. The chocolate ratio was just right, and it did not overpower the flavor of the espresso. Very delicious for such a cold morning!
Vanilla Bean Latte – Guest blogger Brittney joined us today, and she gave this Vanilla Bean Latte a huge thumbs up! “This was the best latte I’ve ever had. Not overly sweet, but it was creamy and warmed my whole body”. Agreed, Brittney!
Maple Latte – The mild but present maple flavoring was a perfect complement to this latte. Kickapoo makes its own maple syrup, and when combined with the Full Spectrum espresso, it becomes the drink that you just can’t get anywhere else and you can’t mimic at home.
Hot Chocolate – Chocolaty but not sugary, this hot chocolate is sure to warm up any coffee-avoider in a heartbeat. Very well done and extremely tasty! Side note: If you’re not a coffee fan, there is also a variety of teas, sodas, and juices available.
Peru Esmerelda Gesha Pour Over – This pour over was very bright and elegant tasting, with floral notes and a full body. We were excited we got to try this limited edition coffee!
Cappuccino – This cappuccino was not only Instagram-worthy but also perfectly balanced, with the caramel notes of the espresso shining through. Since there’s no added sweetness, this would be a great drink to pair with a scone, banana bread or a cookie. There’s no doubt that we would order this again!
Kickapoo’s bakery items are made from scratch daily, using local, seasonal, and organic ingredients. Here’s what we tried today:
Oatmeal Bowl – Made with honey, banana, toasted seeds and coconut, this was a great (and very filling!) combination of sweetness, crunchiness, and smooth oatmeal. Totally delicious!
Blind Date Cookie – With a healthy variety of pumpkin seeds, cranberry, dates and oats, this was a dense but pleasing cookie. This would pair wonderfully with a pour over or a maple latte.
Lemon Poppyseed Bread – The sweet frosting was a nice complement to the tart lemon flavor of the bread. Moist and delicate, this would be a great coffee companion.
Cheddar Bacon Chive Scone – This was surprisingly moist and savory! This had a soft texture, with subtle bacon flavor and a strong chive presence. The cheese was a perfect touch. This breakfast scone was a winner with all of us!
Banana Bread – Densely packed with banana flavor, this is exactly how you’d hope a great banana bread to taste. Not dry at all, but we recommend pairing this with a pour over.
Chocolate Chip Cookie – Nice and chewy, this cookie had lovely chocolate chunks! We thought the sea salt sprinkling on top was a good idea, and added dimension to an already great cookie.
We love this Wall ‘o Merch! Bags of coffee are available for purchase, along with some very well-designed shirts, hats, mugs, pins, and coffee-making gear.
These items and coffee beans are also available for purchase HERE at the Kickapoo Coffee website.
We are grateful that Milwaukee’s food and drink industry has a reputation for sourcing responsibly. You’ll be happy to know that Kickapoo is no exception. They’re passionate about fair farmer compensation, and they care about the hands that work so hard to produce an amazing coffee product. Guaranteeing to buy their coffees at a fixed rate above the average price of most conventional fair trade coffees, they are taking steps to compensate farmers for their work and going to some very creative measures in order to make that happen! We’d encourage you to read more about this HERE. Goats are involved.
Chances are extremely high that this won’t be our last trip to Kickapoo Coffee. Whether it’s going solo to study or with a group to chat, this place is a must-visit. Chances are extremely high that it won’t be your last trip, either.
Monday-Saturday – 7am-6pm
Sunday – 8am-6pm
232 East Erie Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
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