One of the most iconic local coffee brands in Milwaukee is celebrating 25 years in business in 2018. Since 1993, Colectivo Coffee has been sourcing coffees from origin and roasting every batch by hand.
By developing farmer and co-op partnerships, the owners can be involved in every step of creating a great coffee experience. Colectivo offers Session Roasted coffees, in addition to Letterbox Fine Tea, Colectivo Keg Company beers, made-from-scratch food and Troubadour artisan breads and baked goods.
Colectivo operates 13 cafes in the Milwaukee area, two in Chicago and three in Madison, Wisconsin. Fresh bread and pastries are baked from scratch daily at these cafes.
The Colectivo name was inspired by the artful and funky buses used for public transportation across Latin America — colectivos and the iconic part of everyday life they represent. The company is independently owned and roasts its award-winning coffees on a pair of vintage Probat coffee roasters in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood.
Located at the intersections of Kinnickinnic and Lincoln avenues in the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee, one of Colectivo’s most unique cafes provides an open view of the daily work at Troubadour Bakery, as well as an opportunity to grab a loaf of the signature bread. Customers marvel at the innovative water management features, with plenty of patio seating and sheltered, vertical bike parking for intermodal commuters.
The menu features all sorts of delicious beverage options, including pour over coffee in four varieties. Customers can instantly evaluate each on the menu board based on the roast (light to dark), body (medium to heavy) and acidity (smooth to bright). A large cup of pour over costs less than $3. They even designate the calorie count of each cup on the menu board.
Troubadour Bakery offers espressos, macchiatos, cortados, cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and Americanos in its espresso line. The Café Classics line features café au lait, hot chocolate, steamers and Italian soda. For 75 cents extra, customers can add a shot of Monin syrup, honey, almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk.
On the cold beverage side, there are blended drinks like espresso shakes and smoothies such as the popular mango peach ginger. Each smoothie runs a little over $5. These go great with pastries on the menu, which include cranberry pumpkin muffins, kouign amann, seven-layer bars and Sunshine Buns — a less sweet version of a tasty cinnamon roll.
Colectivo entered the food business in 2002 with the opening of its Lakefront Cafe, which changed the trajectory of the company. Within two years, it introduced an all-day breakfast menu with signature items like the chorizo burrito. Artisan bread became a promising new item in 2014 when Troubadour Bakery opened.
Bread bakers at Troubadour work in full view of customers enjoying their sandwiches, pastries and coffee. You can witness bakers mixing and sheeting dough and baking fresh bread and pastries throughout the day. This makes Troubadour a destination for many young urban professionals in the neighborhood.