There’s something going on right now in the Denver specialty coffee scene, and as proof we’re offering up not one but two new Build-Outs today from the Mile High City. Earlier today we featured a new coffee roaster called Commonwealth Coffee, and now we’re rounding out the day with a look at Corvus Coffee, an ambitious roaster / retailer with sweet gear, an aesthetic eye, and big plans.
As told to Sprudge by Phil Goodlaxson.
Can you tell us a bit about your new space?
We’re creating a space which emphasizes visibility to every aspect of finding a making great coffee. We feel there is a void in the Denver market when it comes to roaster/retailers really showing off their roasting operations. We recently purchased a beautiful Giesen W15, and have built one half of the space around showing this off, and letting customers watch us roast and cup. The retail bar will feature a La Marzocco Strada MP, matching color with our roaster, and a training bar for our wholesale accounts, staff, and consumer brewing classes with a Strada MP and Linea EE. Seating is designed to capture that slow coffee and conversation feel which we have enjoyed so much in our facility we’re moving out of. The main bar has a leaning bar all the way around it, which will force our baristas to maintain their workspace with greater dedication, but also allow customer to feel more involved in their beverage as it’s being made. The rest of the seating, including patio, is bar and/or community seating. All the tables and bars are custom made for us out of blued steel by a local welder, and topped with white oak planks from our head roaster’s family barn in Kansas.
The roasting area will have a bar separating it from the retail area, and besides some large plate steel signs at eye levee describing what people are seeing (roasting and cupping areas), the roasting and cupping labs will be fully visible to all our customers.
What’s your approach to serving coffee?
Our mindset around coffee is that our work reflects the work of the farmer. We’re very loud proponents of the idea that great coffee isn’t roasted, it’s grown. We view ourselves as managers of the coffee we find. All of our coffees have a farmer’s name attached to them, and we communicate interesting aspects about origin to every customer who comes into our space. While we are anticipating a great customer count at this new space, we’ve taken great pains to ensure we don’t loose this visibility to the farmer while managing larger lines of customers. We are putting together a large coffee menu which will be featured prominently behind our brewing and espresso bar with the daily coffee offerings, including key information about the farm. I don’t feel it’s necessary to offer a lot of options to engage customers, so we’ll be featuring one espresso per day, but that could change during the day or every day; and we’ll have two brewed coffee options. In this way, our baristas can fully dial in a single coffee, and have confidence they are able to serve and communicate everything regarding this coffee effectively.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We’re looking into becoming a regional distributor for Alpha Dominche, and if we don’t have a Modbar on our bar by the time we open, it will be shipping out shortly after. Until that time, we’re going to give baristas access to Aerobie AeroPress, wood neck, Chemex, and French press brewers. I view brewing methods as something which should be a barista tool, not a menu option, and as baristas dial in brewed coffee each morning, they will be expected to make intelligent decisions about how to brew either of their coffees.
What’s your hopeful target opening month? What’s your location?
We’re planning our grand opening for the first week in October, and we’re located at 1740 S. Broadway.
Can’t get enough Build-Outs? There’s just a few days of ’em left, so read through the archives here.