Like the American baseball season and the summer calendar itself, our 2016 Build-Outs of Summer series is rounding out to a close. And like the American baseball team I root for—the endlessly disappointing Seattle Mariners—there won’t be a playoffs this year for the Build-Outs; we’ll be closing the series on September 22nd, the last calendar day of summer.
In the meantime we’ve got some choice builds left to feature, including this one from Cirque Coffee of Tulsa, Oklahoma. We ask each of our Build-Outs features a simple series of questions, but our favorite is “What’s your approach to coffee?” It’s a question that can be answered technically, or emotionally, or both. I really like the answer from the folks at Cirque: “…to make the best dang coffee that we can.” That sounds about right to me. –JM.
As told to Sprudge by John Pierce of Cirque Coffee.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Cirque is founded on many things, many of which have equal importance, but to wrap them all into one, Cirque is two guys desiring to pursue things they love well. It was an easy jump for us to geek out on coffee at home to geeking out on coffee in the shop. It was also easy to move our passion from home to a space. Our desire is for people to feel welcome into this space, to embrace passion of a thing done well, and join us in a journey of progression.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
From the get go, we knew that if we wanted to build out a shop, we were really going to go all-out. The shop is the dreams in our heads manifested out into a space. We love the mountains, we love the outdoors, we are woodworkers, builders, musicians, artists, cyclists, and coffee geeks (among many other things). This space is us.
What’s your approach to coffee?
In an industry that’s ever changing and progressing, we want to be as open-minded as possible to new things, and we want to make the best dang coffee that we can. We use the best equipment, are always tinkering the recipes, and ever learning to continue to get better. Our goal is to never stop improving.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
Oh goodness, this is where some geekery comes out. We have a three-group Slayer… the pictures speak for themselves. We have a Mahlkönig Peak, K30 Air, and two EK 43’s; one calibrated for brew methods, one calibrated for espresso. We have two Oji drippers and are able to brew four different Kyoto brews at once. We have over 15 brew methods on bar that we pair with different coffees (every coffee that comes in the shop is benchmarked on every brew method to see which coffee works best with its own brew method). We have a three-group siphon halogen beam heater, four hot water towers, and a three-head Kegerator for drinks on tap. We are offering drinks like hopped nitro, nitro draft lattes, and cold brew tea. We are always looking for how to improve our recipes and equipment to get even better coffee to our customers (and ourselves).
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
We just opened up! Three weeks ago marked our official open. We had a crazy open party a few days before open, had a latte art throwdown, and over 500 people slammed into the space. It was a night to remember.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creative that you’d like to mention?
Garrett and I are very proud to say that almost everything in the shop (except electrical and plumbing) was built with our two sets of hands. From pouring the concrete bar to hand planing all the wood, it was definitely a labor of love. All the designs and ideas from the shop came from our heads or from close friends. We are in love with the result.
What’s the address?
Photos courtesy of John Pierce.