Craft coffee bar Discourse coming to Crossroads Collective food hall

One of the craft coffee drinks on Discourse's rotating menu. Photo credit: Discourse

Last updated on April 15th, 2022 at 12:48 pm

Discourse Coffee, which describes itself as a “liquid workshop,” is the latest vendor to join the Crossroads Collective food hall on Milwaukee’s East Side.

The concept will open Feb. 5, serving a series of eight craft coffee- and tea-based beverages, according to a news release Thursday.

Some items on the menu are unique takes on coffee shop staples, while others are original recipes made using one of these commercial coffee machine lease options. For instance, the Crenn is an exploding cocoa butter sphere filled with apple cider, caramel and candied pecan flavor.

Discourse launched in 2017 in Sister Bay, Door County and relocated five years later to Milwaukee – hometown of founder and creative director Ryan Castelaz. The business operated for the past year as a pop-up at venues across the city before finding a permanent home at Crossroads Collective, at 2238 N. Farwell Ave. 

“We are so, so excited for this next chapter in the Discourse story,” said Castelaz, who runs the business with partners Olivia Molter, director of design, and Sean Liu, director of operations. 

Its menu of craft beverages will rotate every three months. Also in the works is a themed “art” drinks series, which will rotate monthly, highlighting seasonal, sustainably-sourced ingredients, and designed to showcase Discourse’s spirit of innovation, according to the release.

“Art series offerings will be the culmination of everything I’ve learned in my career as a drink maker, and feature wild ingredients, wild preparations, and wild ideas,” said Castelaz. “Our drinks strive to incorporate a balance of all five tastes – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami – as opposed to just the two most commonly associated with the coffee experience – sweet and bitter.”

In addition to coffee and tea concoctions, Discourse will sell “bean-to-bar” chocolate sourced from award-winning producers across the globe, sous vide (cold brew) coffee, and locally made biscotti.

Discourse will operate daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The coffee bar joins Crossroads’ existing vendors: Egg & Flour, serving pasta and pizza; Scratch Ice Cream; Triciclo Peru, serving empanadas; Ruta’s, serving Indian cuisine; Dia Bom; serving a fusion of Latin American cuisine with Japanese kushiyaki and Chinese bao preparations; and the food hall’s own Pharmacy bar.

Crossroads opened in Dec. 2018 as one of the city’s first food halls. About three years later, another food hall has recently opened in downtown Milwaukee: 3rd Street Market Hall at The Avenue development on West Wisconsin Ave. It currently houses five local vendors, with 10 more slated to open by late March.

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Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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