A summer spent looking at new cafes under construction around the world ends today with this, the final entry in our 2013 Build-Outs Of Summer series. It's been a wild ride, and we're looking forward to recapping it all for you next week with a very special feature. But for now, let's take a look at a new roster / retailer in Beaverton, Oregon called Dapper & Wise.
They're the roasting off-shoot of a long-established cafe brand in Beaverton called Insomnia Coffee, who've been in operation since around 2007. Beaverton is a sleepy bedroom community located to the west of Portland; in a series of email exchanges, the folks at Dapper & Wise have described themselves as “frontiersmen” for coffee quality outside of PDX city limits, and their website's tagline is “Bravely roasting coffee in the suburbs of Portland, OR”. But their narrative is a familiar one in these parts, where quality-driven independent cafes are developing their own roasting programs in droves. “I heavily dove into the world of roasting,” Evan Aldrete told us by email. “It has been so enriching and rewarding for myself, being a barista for so long and now passing the quality and control up the line.” Sounds like the perfect mindset for a new microroaster to us, regardless of his or her postal code.
As told to Sprudge by Evan Aldrete.
Can you tell us a bit about your new space?
We opened up a retail/roastery in the same shopping center as one of our cafes. We felt this to be an advantage having them so close. Because Dapper & Wise is a separate company we were able to reinvent our own design wheel with branding. The roastery is much more masculine than our cafes and much more simplistic.
What's your approach to serving coffee?
I wish that I could say we have a super genius approach to preparing coffee. In all honesty, we hope to reflect what some our favorite Portland and Bay Area roasters are doing with their coffee. Paying attention to every detail from green to cup. Funny enough, living in the suburbs is hard for the avid coffee geek. Especially when they can't get to P-town. So to our general populous, we are innovative/ creative and in touch with what is really going on in our industry. We also are planning on doing what we do best (because we are people persons) – educating the palates of suburbanites to drink better coffee all the time!
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We roast on a IR-12 (Diedrich). I guess one of the unique pieces of equipment we have is our electrostatic precipitator. Thanks to some long hours at the drawing board and some helpful hints from roasters before us, we fabricated our own non-flame afterburner. It's not a cake walk to clean up, but it saves a ton of gas!
What's your hopeful target opening month?
We are starting now by roasting for our three Insomnia Cafes. We will be opening the front lobby of the roastery later on this fall as a Portland-style setting, featuring a coffee purist menu and three options for espresso, two of them being single origin. Plus a manual brewing bar.