Minneapolis Takes a Stand on Foodservice Packaging

The days of disposable foodservice wares are coming to an end in Minneapolis. This Earth Day, April 22nd, the city of Minneapolis will be taking a step towards greener living by enacting the Environmentally Acceptable Packing Ordinance.  The city ordinance, which was approved in spring of last year, forbids foodservice establishments from using single-use, disposable containers made from rigid polystyrene (plastic marked with a ‘6’ inside the recycling symbol) and expanded polystyrene (also known as Styrofoam). Once the ordinance goes into effect, restaurants will need to use more eco-friendly options, such as recyclable, reusable and compostable packaging. Certain disposable foodservice items will not be included in the ban at this time, including utensils, straws and lids for hot cups.  Health inspectors will be required to verify that foodservice businesses are, in fact, using acceptable packaging, and those who do not comply may be issued a warning or citation. The graphic below illustrates some forms of acceptable and unacceptable packaging options.


This ordinance is far from the first of its kind. Over 100 other cities across the country have enacted similar regulations. Part of the reasoning behind it is that the foam containers are fairly inefficient to recycle and therefore, Minneapolis does not. Relatively few cities across the nation do. The inefficiency comes from the fact that the majority of the content of the foam containers is actually just air, with only about 5% of the container being recyclable plastic. There is equipment that can be purchased to condense the material; however, it is quite expensive. Additionally, these containers are most easily recycled when they are clean and free of residue, which is very challenging when using a single-sort system.

This ordinance also brings about a great opportunity for you to encourage your customers to bringKeepCupGraphic their own reusable cup! Many cafés offer discounts to customers who bring their own cup to reduce waste and save on the cost of supplies. Your customers will love the discount they get and appreciate the efforts that you are making to be environmentally friendly! UP Coffee Roasters is a proud purveyor of KeepCups, a reusable to-go coffee cup! They are available in glass or plastic and sizes ranging from four ounces to 16 ounces.

With these changes coming, is your business ready? Are you in need of a new vendor for eco-friendly packaging? UP Coffee Roasters has got your business covered! In addition to distributing award-winning, freshly roasted coffee, we also carry a variety of eco-friendly packaging options for your café, restaurant, gelato shop or other foodservice business! We have various options for paper hot cups, java jackets, cold cups, plates, clamshell to-go containers, compostable flatware, napkins, etc.! There is no minimum order and if you are located in St. Paul or Minneapolis, you can even receive weekly orders via our delivery van. Customers are also always welcome to stop by our warehouse, located in Northeast Minneapolis, to pick up their orders to avoid shipping costs and visit with our friendly staff. For a limited time, if you decide to switch to UP Coffee Roasters as your vendor for eco-friendly foodservice ware, we’ll throw in a free gift!


The Birthplace of Coffee

Have you ever wondered where coffee originated? I mean, what society originally decided to grow this plant, extract the beans from within the cherry, roast them, grind them and then steep them in water to create the tasty, caffeinated beverage we all love so much today? Well, wonder no more! Coffee, both the plant and the consumption of the beverage, originated in Ethiopia. Because of this, and the fact that Ethiopia remains a key player in the specialty coffee market, Ethiopian coffee often holds a special place in hearts of many coffee professionals across the industry. Not only is there extensive coffee history in Ethiopia, but coffee remains essential to the country’s economy. Coffee accounts for roughly 60% of export earnings and provides a livelihood for approximately 15 million people.

In an article by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), buyers, roasters and baristas alike share their experiences with, and thoughts about, Ethiopian coffee. Julie Housh, of Intelligentsia Coffee and Chair of the Barista Guild of America said, “As a Barista, a coffee from Ethiopia was one of my first eye-opening, ‘OK, coffee doesn’t always taste like coffee’ kind of cups.” Erin Meister, who works in customer support and as a trainer for Counter Culture’s Counter Intelligence, explained that when training and educating coffee professionals, she likes to create context and build a connection to the coffee on a greater scale. She finds that talking about Ethiopia is a great way to do this because, “Not only is it the ancient birthplace of the plant and the beverage of coffee, but the very roots of our coffee-drinking and -sharing culture is bound by the ceremony and traditions that sprung out of that soil.” Buyers and quality control experts weighed in on the discussion as well.  Sean Capistrant, junior trader and QC director at Trabocca North America,  comments on the range of Ethiopian coffees, saying, “the luscious berry notes of a Sidamo, the crisp acidity of a Yirgacheffe, or the delicate sweetness of a Limu is what keeps bringing us back to these coffees. Roasters are able to highlight different characteristics with different roast profiles.” To view the complete article, visit www.scaa.org. Our very own Roastmaster, Jesse, says, “selecting our new crop Ethiopians in the spring is one of my very favorite duties as a roaster and green coffee buyer.  Some of the samples we receive are so amazing that it kind of reinvigorates my passion for coffee and makes me want to hop right on the sample roaster and really nail some profiles.”

If you’ve ordered our Ethiopian coffee lately, you’ve probably been asked if you’re looking for the Washed or Natural Process. The first time someone asked me this I just stared in confusion and asked about the difference. Basically, it boils down to this: coffee beans come from inside a coffee cherry. In coffee production, the coffee cherries are picked off the coffee plant once they are ripe and then the beans need to be extracted and dried. In Natural Process, aka dry process, the beans are dried while still inside the coffee cherry, so the whole fruit, including the coffee cherry and mucilage, is dried and then the coffee bean is separated from the rest of the fruit. This is the oldest method of processing coffee. The coffee cherry and mucilage are composed of sugars and alcohols, which play a role in the sweetness, acidity and overall flavor profile of the coffee. This tends to result in coffees that have a heavier mouthfeel, lower acidity levels and intense, exotic flavor profiles. Alternatively, Washed coffees involve first separating the coffee bean from the coffee cherry and the mucilage and then drying it. Washed coffees are typically characterized as being clean, bright and milder in flavor due to the process. This tends to result in a more consistent flavor profile. The majority of the coffees we carry here at UP, and in general industry-wide, are washed coffees.

The Growth of the Specialty Foods Market

Over the last several years you may have noticed some changes in the food industry and the way people source, buy and talk about food. The specialty foods market is on the rise and is expected to reach 100 billion dollars by 2016. According to the Consumer Report, the specialty food industry is growing approximately three times as fast as the regular food industry. A study reported on in Fancy Food and Culinary Products states that 59 percent of U.S. consumers have purchased specialty products. Top contenders amongst specialty food purchases include chocolate, coffee and tea (all falling within the top 10 items). Not only are people buying these items, but they’re making very conscious decisions about it, going out of their way to seek out retailers who offer specialized products and making purchases online for specific items.

While better quality undoubtedly plays a role in the decision to purchase specialty items, there are other motivations as well. Products that are produced sustainably rank high on the priority list for many consumers. According to a Consumer Report produced by the Specialty Food Association, 84 percent of specialty food consumers find value in sustainably produced products. This often means seeking out certifications such as All Natural, Organic, Fair Trade, GMO-Free or locally produced items.

We at UP Coffee Roasters pride ourselves on providing products that are made with recycled materials, are biodegradable/recyclable, organic, all natural and fair trade. Our work with Café Femenino helps support women in the coffee industry and build stronger farming communities. Our goal to provide organically produced coffee whenever possible speaks to our commitment to environmental consciousness. Not to mention all the electricity needed to power our roastery comes from sustainable solar energy via our 10 kilowatt solar panels. We understand that with every purchase consumers make they are voting with their wallets for what types of products and companies they want to support. So when your café, restaurant or shop is selling or serving Organic and Fair Trade coffee and tea, or All Natural or Organic soups, milk alternatives and syrups from UP Coffee Roasters, make sure you are letting your customers know! They will love hearing about how the dollars they’re spending have a positive impact on the people and communities that produce those items.


wholesale teaPacific-ChaiBaliBag

Espresso Drinks and Winter Gift Ideas

cold hands

Winter is in full swing here in Minneapolis with snow flying, wind blowing and trees glistening. It’s the time of year when many of us Minnesotans and Minnesota transplants (like much of the UP Crew) snuggle in with good books, cozy blankets and warm, tasty espresso drinks. No matter what your taste, we’ve got a delicious winter creation for you!

Stop by our café for an expertly crafted seasonal drink such as our Peppermint Bark Latte, Orange Mocha, Toffee Vanilla Bean Latte, Pistachio Mocha or ‘The Nog,’ which is a traditional eggnog latte topped with nutmeg. If there’s nothing you’re especially drawn to in that list, we’d be happy to help craft a unique drink just for you!

Wish you could have these tasty treats in the comfort of your own home? You can! Feel free to pop over to the warehouse and pick up your own bottle of Torani Peppermint Bark Sauce, a jug of Mountain Cider Concentrate or a canister of David Rio Tiger Spiced Chai. Make your drink of choice your own with some Monin Gingerbread syrup or Torani Italian Eggnog syrup.

It’s the season for giving, and we don’t always know what a great gift would be for our family and friends, but UP Coffee Roasters has a few ideas for you! Grab your favorite caffeine addict a reusable Keep Cup so they can bring their coffee on the go! Keep Cups are available in plastic or glass and a variety of sizes and colors. You can give a great gift while reducing the number of disposable cups that end up in the waste stream!

Then, choose your favorite variety of freshly roasted, organic, fair trade certified coffee from our retail shelf. It’s a wonderful way to get into the season that you can also feel great about–your coffee purchase helps support small family farms and cooperatives as well as sustainable coffee farming practices. Or, for all the tea drinkers out there, choose your favorite variety of Numi or Two Leaves and a Bud organic tea, available in loose leaf or pre-packaged tea bags. Both companies are dedicated to providing a healthy, sustainable product that benefits not only those who drink it, but those who grow it as well.

We are thankful for your support throughout this past year and look forward to continuing to bring you quality, delicious products for years to come. Have a great holiday season!

Fall is in the air…

It’s Time to Enjoy the Fruits of the Season!


Mountain Cider Company

100% Pure All Natural


 Check out these great Apple Cider recipes:

Caramel Apple
1 ounce cider concentrate
1 ounce caramel syrup
6 ounces hot water
Whipped cream on top.

Hot Apple Pie
1 ounce cider concentrate
1 ounce butterscotch syrup
6 ounces hot water
Whipped cream on top.

Sparkling Cider
1 ounce cider concentrate
7 ounces sparkling water

(For pricing or additional information, please Contact Us. Thank you.)

Have fun this Summer

Let’s get Creative!

Fun Summer Recipes


Decided to make a few Italian sodas for myself, using MONIN strawberry & blueberry syrup.
I also added a splash of DaVinci Gourmet Fruit Innovations, Lemonade to the strawberry! Delicious!!

Have fun this Summer, try a new drink (or two) & treat your customers to a sweet, fruity Italian soda!!



(For pricing or additional information, please Contact Us. Thank you.)

New Drinks for Summer

Fresh Mint Cold Press


To make Fresh Mint Syrup


2 cup water
2 cup sugar
2 big bunches of fresh mint leaves 
2 vanilla bean pods, seeds scraped (or use 2 pumps of Amoretti Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean)

*Mint simple syrup; add the water, sugar, mint leaves and vanilla beans (and empty pod) to a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Let it bubble for a minute or so, then reduce the heat and let it cool completely. Put it in a bowl or jar, let it come to room temperature then stick it in the fridge overnight. In the morning (or before using), strain out the mint leaves and vanilla pod – or simply leave them in to continue flavoring the syrup.

To make Fresh Mint Cold Press


1.5 Oz fresh mint syrup
8 Oz cold press
2 Oz milk, cream or sweetened condensed milk
fresh mint leaves for garnish

Combine in a 12 Oz glass over ice, serve & enjoy!  


(For pricing or additional product information, please Contact Us. Thank you.)

Photo Credit: www.howsweetearts.com

We got Sunshine on a Cloudy Day!

Bring Spring In!


Cheer up you customers rainy day blues with bright & fruity,

Italian_Sodas (1)

Just add a pump or 2 of your favorite syrup to iced soda water, sit back and enjoy!

Orange.Raspberry.Cherry Italian Soda Trio_2

Lots of recipes &  garnishes. Have fun! Ask for customers for their favorite flavor combinations! Have an Italian Soda of the day!

Check out


 for a recipe ideas!


(For pricing or additional product information, please Contact Us. Thank you.)