We’re into the thick of Build-Outs season now, folks, as construction begins on new cafe projects all around the world, taking advantage of those long summer hours and late evening light. But some spots got a jump on the rest of the us, like Vessel Coffee Roasters of Spokane, which kicked open its doors on June 25th.
Spokane is an underrated and growing coffee town—we’ve profiled the scene here previously on Sprudge, and its exciting to see growth continue as the city continues to attract new businesses and cool cafes. So let’s look in on Vessel, open now in Spokane, Washington.
As told to Sprudge by Ike Bubna, Co-Owner of Vessel Coffee Roasters.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
We are a new coffee roasting company in Spokane, Washington, co-owned by Ike Bubna and Sean Tobin. We love Spokane, people, and great coffee. Our flagship coffee shop, roastery, and company are designed with those things in mind.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
Our building is about 2,600 square feet located on the north side of Spokane, Washington. The building sat empty for quite some time and needed lots of work. Our landlord, Jim Orcutt, was inspired by our passion and vision for Vessel, so he agreed to apply for a change of use for the building and invest significantly in remodeling the building in an effort to make an ideal home for Vessel.
The building was built in the 1950s and has now gone through a complete restoration both inside and out. We exposed the original wood ceilings, refinished the concrete floors, added more windows to the front of the building, and there is a patio on the north side of the building now. There is space inside for our flagship coffee shop and roasting operations. We have a separate room for green coffee storage. With the size of our building we have space for community tables, multiple two-top tables, two couches with a coffee table and fireplace, and bar seating along the front windows.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Our approach to coffee is that it starts with serving people. During our first staff training we talked about our mission as being that “We serve people (coffee).” We care just as much about hospitality as we do our beverage quality. So we have two Lead Baristas on staff, one has the job to lead the staff in hospitality and the other to lead the staff in beverage quality. These are both important to us and both aspects equally drive our approach to coffee. In terms of our approach to roasting coffee, we try to focus on coffees that are in season, and aim to highlight vibrancy and flavor clarity in our single origins. We tend towards light to medium roasts that are roasted with quality flavor and proper roast development in mind. We have single origin coffees available as well as decaf, a 509 Seasonal Espresso Blend, and an Expo Blend for drip coffee.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We roast on a 1.5-kilo Proaster we purchased from First Crack Coffee. Our 5-kilo Proaster is on its way and will be out on the floor visible for the public to observe roasting. Our custom built cupping table doubles as our production table for weighing and packing roasted coffee. We have wonderful scales for pour-overs and espresso from Acaia. For pour-overs and batch brew coffee we grind our coffee on a Mahlkönig EK 43. We brew our batch and iced coffee on an older model FETCO Double Brewer. For espresso, we have Mahlkönig Twin K30 for decaf and single origins and for our espresso blend we use a Nuova Simonelli Mythos One Clima Pro. Our espresso machine is a Kees van der Westen Spirit Duette with a custom decal on the back panel.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
We just opened on Saturday June 25, 2016.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Our tables, window bar, finish wood work, and custom indoor bike rack were built by two local craftsman: Ryan Ricard and Nick Pontarolo. Graphic design work was done by Dillon Lawrence. The coffee shop layout and design were a collaboration between Ike Bubna and Sean Tobin.
What’s the address?
Photos courtesy of Vessel Coffee Roasters Co-Owner Sean Tobin.