A&E’s rootin’ tootin’ coffee round-up

Put the hee-haw in your morning giddy-up.

by John Sand

As finals week rolls around, Espresso Royale and The Purple Onion will be packed with busybodied, procrastinating students writing final papers and cramming for biochem exams. If you’re like A&E, running into 15 familiar faces after three nights without sleep can be a bit too âÄúwhere everybody knows your name.âÄù It’s time to get creative with your caffeine hook-ups, and we’ve rounded up a diverse set of coffee houses in the metro area to pull you through those last few sleepless nights of the semester. Wilde Roast Cafe 518 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls. If transportation is impossible, Wilde Roast is quite the opulent diner to begin your exploration of the Twin Cities espresso shops. The impeccably decorated hideaway stands as an homage to Oscar Wilde and is indeed decadent. The iced lattes are outstanding and served with a sugary wafer for the perfect spring coffee break. Make the visit an all-night affair by choosing from a short wine-list or indulging in a flatbread pizza. Angry Catfish Bicycle and Coffee Bar 4208 28th Ave. S., Mpls. Hipsters, rejoice! Angry Catfish in South Minneapolis is not simply a coffee house but a bike shop as well. While shopping for new padded seats or inner tubes, choose the way your coffee is brewed. A&E recommends syphon coffee, which is vacuum brewed and smoother than drip coffee. The expansive shop looks like a cycling warehouse, with a surprise espresso bar in the front. There are only a few places to sit, but the patterned couches prove to be veritable thrones for people-watching. Uncommon Grounds 2809 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls It’s understandable that not everyone needs caffeine to function. For these types, try Uncommon Grounds in Uptown. Though A&E is hesitant to trust the suggestions of Rachel Ray , that husky-voiced crazy was right when she named this quaint cafe among the best Chai in the nation. With its smooth, cinnamon aftertaste, you’ll be glad you made the short journey on the 6 bus. Cosmic Coffee 189 Snelling Ave., St. Paul Cosmic Coffee feels more like a small-town bar than a coffee shop. The shop is a mix-and-match of old diner tables, booths and chairs accompanied by a barista bar of enormous proportion so you can huddle around others sipping coffee instead of Grain Belt on a Thursday night. Downstairs, a dank, low-ceilinged room is filled almost entirely by a pool table. The best part about this hole in the wall? It’s open until 1 a.m. and is usually quiet enough to make real progress on a last-minute assignment. Kopplin’s Coffee 490 Hamline Ave. S., St. Paul For the St. Paul-inclined, Kopplin’s Coffee in Highland Park has the best coffee in the Twin Cities. Each cup is perfectly brewed one at a time, which means you’ll never need to choke down the coffee from the bottom of the barrel that’s been burned and reheated twice. The pastries at Kopplin’s are made by Rustica Bakery , another local specialist that can manipulate pastry dough like no one else in town.