Sunday, July 19th, 2015

Just a heads up, Mars Cafe Drake Location is now operating under our new summer hours. Make sure you stop by and see us!

MONDAY-FRIDAY : 6:30am-6:30pm

SATURDAY & SUNDAY : 7:30am-6:30pm

Don’t fret, we’ll return to regular store hours by the end of August. Visit our Facebook to stay up to date on all Mars happenings!

Hoppy Hour

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

We’re hosting a monthly “Hoppy Hour” every third Thursday of the month with free samples of your favorite IPA beers.  Visit us for April’s event featuring Peace Tree Brewing Company’s No Coast IPA.


Hoppy Hour

Mars Coffee Bar Coming to East Village in March

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (December 18, 2014) – Mars Cafe announces plans to open Des Moines’ first third wave coffee bar in the East Village, next to the future Raygun and Thelma’s Treats at 505 E. 5th Street, in late March 2015. Mars Coffee Bar will offer a coffee experience that unites the finest beans with scientific measurements and expert brewing methods.

With a focus on the coffee culture, Mars Coffee Bar will serve up artisanal drip and pour over coffee, espresso and lattes, along with special coffee classes and training workshops. The coffee bar will share a space with Thelma’s Treats that opens up to Raygun for indoor walk-thru traffic.

“We’ve been interested in getting Mars into the East Village since it opened,” says Raygun owner, Mike Draper. “The combination of Raygun, Thelma’s, and Mars Coffee Bar together will be unstoppable.”

The quaint space will differ from the larger, Mars Cafe in Dogtown, as it won’t have a full food menu. The focal point will be the coffee, served aside a selection of teas, Italian sodas, and pastries, similar to coffee bars like Stumptown, Intelligentsia, or Dogwood.

“The third wave coffee movement has been trending across the country for several years. Now, it’s starting to evolve the Des Moines coffee culture,” says Mars barista and co-owner, Daniel Bosman. “Coffee drinkers are getting bored with mainstream offerings and are looking for something less generic, higher quality, and sustainable. Mars Cafe has been on the forefront of this movement for years, and now with the addition of the Mars Coffee Bar, we can take this progressive way of thinking about coffee to the next level.”

Mars sources premium blends, single origin, organic, and espresso beans from artisanal coffee roaster, Kickapoo Coffee. Based in Viroqua, Wisconsin, they work directly with small-scale, fair trade farmers from around the world, whose organic and sustainable methods result in the finest beans.

Mars Cafe originally opened in 2006 by Phil & Nicole James and Larry & Jennifer James. After briefly closing in 2012, it was reopened by new owners. Mars Cafe and Mars Coffee Bar are currently locally owned by Mark Movic, Angela Johnson, Amedeo Rossi, Justin Schoen, and Daniel Bosman.
Twitter: @marscafe
Instagram: @marscafe

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Daniel Bosman Explains How to Make the Perfect Chemex Pour Over

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Originally posted on 9/30/13 by Laura Billingsley on

Pour-over coffee might seem like a new trend, but it’s actually an old brewing method. Before electric coffee machines became common, the pour-over method was a simple system for making coffee with minimal equipment.

The search for pour-over coffee in Des Moines invariably leads to Mars Cafe in the Drake neighborhood and head barista Daniel Bosman. It’s a safe bet you don’t put as much time into thinking about your coffee as Bosman does. He knows a lot about coffee and about why most people are probably doing it wrong.

Do you freeze your coffee grounds?

“Please don’t do that,” he said.

Do you grind up a whole week’s worth of coffee and put it in a canister? According to Bosman (and most coffee experts) it’s best to grind beans just before brewing them.

[click here to read the full article at]


Organic Mexican El Triunfo

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

We are now serving the Organic Mexican El Triunfo from CESMACH Cooperative as our daily “light” roast. This coffee has a rich, full body with tart apple acidity and notes of nougat and candied almond on the elegant finish. It has notes of Sugar Wafer, Apple & Nougat

About the Grower

Traditionally, Mexico has been a country not typically known for producing stellar coffee. For years, the coffees we’ve seen coming out of Mexico have been inconsistent and at times poorly processed, masking the potential greatness that exists in Central America’s largest country. Mexico has all the right ingredients for being a quality force to be reckoned with: high altitudes (1200-1800 Meters), heirloom varieties (typica and bourbon), and very fertile soils.

This single farmer lot from Renau Perez is an example of an extremely progressive move by one of Mexico’s most progressive cooperatives: CESMACH. The acronym stands for Campesinos Ecologicos de la Sierra Madre de Chiapas. The cooperative has a total of 480 small to medium sized members who have been churning out excellent coffee for the last several years. And this year, in collaboration with Cafe Imports, CESMACH has decided to separate out individual farmer lots from some of their best farmers, including Mr. Perez.

The results have been amazing. We were able to purchase two of these lots from individual farmers and are loving the unique beauty of these coffees. Typically Mexican coffees are fairly mild with notes of nut and cocoa, but these lots are full of wonderful shades of fruit, apple toned acidity, with strong toffee and caramel flavors.

For more information, visit Kickapoo Coffee

New Summer 2013 Hours

Monday, May 20th, 2013

This week we’re beginning our summer hours: closing time will be 7pm on Sunday – Thursday.  We’ll still be open late (until 10pm) on Friday and Saturday. Make sure to visit our calendar to check out all the great Sound Rover event’s we’ll have over the summer months!

Far(Mars) Market

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Mars Cafe and Kickapoo Coffee are headed to the Downtown Farmer’s Market this Saturday, May 18!

Two of our best baristas, Logan and Merle, will be down along with Neal and Luke from Kickapoo to serve some amazing drinks and chat you up. We’ll be offering iced toddy, Chemex pour overs, and organic Colombian single origin drip coffee. (If you want my advice, spring for a Chemex.)

We’ll also have whole beans for sale with some really delicious choices. Do I sense a list coming on? Yes, I do.

1. Natural Process Ethiopian Biloya
2. Bolivian David Chambi
3. Ethiopian Yergacheffe
4. Kenya Kangocho Peaberry
5. Ecuador Palanda
6. Peru Huabal

I haven’t had a chance to try all of these myself, but I can vouch to the highest degree for the Bolivian and the Peaberry. The David Chambi has some serious brown sugar happening, and is a really nice rounded cup. It’s exactly the smell I’d want to wake up to in the morning. The Kenya Peaberry is a really crisp drink, with a full body, and some wonderful citrus smells. Both of these coffees are awesome done up v60 style.

The takeaway here is, hit up the Farmer’s Market, because there is some incredible local produce available (And who doesn’t love buying local foods?), and while you’re down there, give us a visit. Everyone at our little table will be happy to answer any questions you’ve got about preparation methods, sourcing, roasting, or the weather.


Host Your Event at Mars!

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Interested in hosing an event at Mars? We are perfect for social gatherings, music, art show, wedding reception, birthday, movie premiere, Magic the Gathering tournament, etc.  Public events can be held at no charge, private events will incur a minimum order charge. If interested please email Justin for more information.


The Art of Daron Richardson

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Come check out Daron Richardson’s art opening Friday, July 20th from 7-9pm. Rumor has it, there will be a DJs, spoken word, and free Summer Shandy!

Skinny Cosmonaut With Whip, By Buffalo Bonker

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Paintings by Buffalo Bonker, opening show Friday, June 8th, 6-8p.  This series features familiar scenes painted with different levels of distortion and cropping which interacts with the level of recognition. Art will be on display through June.