Today’s the last day for our 2014 Build-Outs Of Summer series, and this feature came in right at the wire! It appears that the fine coffee city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is getting a shiny new coffee bar in the form of Alderaan Coffee, founded by the team behind New York City’s Upright Coffee. Expect a multi-roaster format focusing on Wisconsin micros, plus homemade everything and a distinct DIY construction vibe. Better late than never for this summer Build-Out, as this place seems destined to become a must-visit addition to the Wisconsin coffee scene (at least until its inevitable destruction by superlaser).
As told to Sprudge by David Neumann.
Can you tell us a bit about you? And your new space?
Daniel and David Neumann return to their hometown of Milwaukee WI to open up a multi-roaster espresso bar. After opening Upright Coffee and Upright Brew House in New York City, we saw a need in Milwaukee for a very coffee focused shop. We are going to bring in a few pastries and savory items from local kitchens but our focus is on the coffee. Alderaan Coffee will be featuring coffee from around the states including some Wisconsin favorites like Kickapoo and Anodyne.
We also will be creating all our flavoring and nut milks in house. Daniel’s housemade French lavender infused latte has a devoted following in New York, so we wanted to bring that home. We will also be making our own Madagascar vanilla syrup as well as a salted vanilla caramel.
We fell in love with our new space at 1560 N Water St as soon as we saw it. It’s an elevated triangular space with large windows along the two main sides. The corner of Water St and Pleasant St is very well trafficked, with a bike path and a bus stop directly in front of our patio. The space was completely raw–there was even gravel on the floor–so we had a blank slate. The building is designed with an industrial feel that paralleled our aesthetic.
Since this was a raw space we decided to build the majority of the interior by hand on our own. The overall layout was created by our high school friend Drew Herbst and built by a local contractor. The rest of the interior including the bar, tables, lights, shelving, and doors we made in-house by hand.
What’s your approach to coffee?
We focus on using the best beans and very well trained people to create the best coffee, whether it is our espresso, pour over or drip. At every opportunity we try to produce our own products with the freshest ingredients. We also try to source as much as possible from local vendors.
We will be a multi-roaster shop. Wisconsin has some amazing roasters we will be showcasing. We also want to give people the opportunity to taste some of the best coffees from around the country.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
Our espresso machine is a La Marzocco GB5. We have a range of Mazzer grinders from a vintage grinder to an E series. We built a custom tap system for our cold brew coffee and our customer-facing filtered water. In addition to cold brew on tap, we will be bottling the cold brew for sale in our refurbished soda machine.
What’s your hopeful target opening month?
After a long, hard but fun build-out, we will be open at the end of September.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Our main architect was Andrew Herbst and guided us throughout our build-out, by creating an amazing layout. The layout allows us to have separation between our pour over bar and our espresso area. Interior and furniture design were done by David and Daniel, and every detail was hand built on site. A word of advice for others doing it yourself: do not pour your own concrete counters.
Relive a whole season of Build-Outs of Summer.