Hot Spot: Mango Tree Coffee

Kathy Kroeger

Located upstairs in the Brookings Public Library is a cozy shop called Mango Tree Coffee. This coffee shop offers a pleasant place for people to relax, read or enjoy a meal in an open and bright area with free wi-fi. This combination results in a convenient study environment for college students. The menu states that they are “serving a variety of drinks and food in a bright and friendly atmosphere”.

Mango Tree Coffee is owned by Harsha Mistry, who opened shop in July 2009. Mistry originates from India and has incorporated that into her coffee shop. The name Mango Tree Coffee is personally connected to her through childhood memories of playing under her Grandpa’s mango tree in India. Keeping with the tradition, her father also planted a mango tree. Mistry’s shop is her pseudo mango tree, and the name derives from that family tradition.

The shop features Indian and ethnic food, along with soups, sandwiches and specialty coffees. The items on her menu are made from scratch and prepared at the shop. Mistry incorporates local ingredients into her menu items.

“People are drawn here for the freshness of the food and that it’s made from scratch,” Mistry said.

Indian food is the featured Wednesday and Thursday special. Wednesday’s special is samosas and Thursdays’ special includes garbanzo bean curry with saffron rice and cucumber mint yogurt.

There are three different kinds of tea found at Mango Tree Coffee. Fresh spices are in every cup. Lattes, smoothies, Italian soda, Lassi, hot chocolate and coffee are also among the beverages sold there.

“We used to sell bubble tea, and then we quit and customers kept asking about it, so now we are bringing it back,” Mistry said.

The sandwiches are served on sourdough bread from Buttercrust Bakery, and there are twelve varieties of homemade soup to choose from.

Mango Tree Coffee won three Taste of Brookings awards in August 2011. The coffee shop took people’s choice with best entrée, first in judge’s choice and also took home best use of local food.

Mango Tree Coffee has a Facebook page, provides catering and offers gift certificates.

Mango Tree Coffee hours are Monday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is closed on Sundays.