Coffee Love Remains Strong in Greater Tulsa

Out & About in Greater Tulsa by EMILY RAMSEY
Managing Editor

FRESHNESS IS KEY: Brian Franklin, owner of DoubleShot Coffee Company, enjoys a cup of coffee in his coffee shop at 1730 S. Boston Ave. Franklin opened DoubleShot in 2004.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

Tulsans certainly don’t suffer from a lack of choices when it comes to finding a place for their morning pick-me-up. Tulsa is home to quite the quantity of coffee shops, all of them with their individualized atmospheres, flavor profiles and, for some, roasting techniques.

Topeca Coffee, Nordaggio’s Coffee and Espresso Bar, and DoubleShot Coffee Company, all locally owned, are just a handful of area coffeehouses that roast their own beans.

DoubleShot owner Brian Franklin’s reason for opening a coffee shop was directly related to coffee roasting.

Once he began drinking coffee as an adult, he became interested in how coffee was created. “The next step was roasting at home,” he says. So he bought a roaster, and that’s what he did.

As he learned how to properly roast coffee beans, he realized that “there weren’t many places locally where you didn’t get stale coffee,” says Franklin.

He opened his coffee shop in 2004, at 1730 S. Boston Ave., two years after Starbucks opened its first greater Tulsa location, in Utica Square.

“We have really seen a change in the coffee culture of America over the years,” says owner of Nordaggio’s Tor Nordstrom, who is anything but a stranger to coffee.

Nordstrom grew up in Seattle, the heart of coffee country, and when he came to Tulsa for college, quickly noticed the area’s lack of coffeehouses. So he opened Nordaggio’s in 1998 at 8156 S. Lewis Ave.

Since opening, coffee and coffee shops have increased in popularity both nationally and locally. “The coffee scene has really grown to where it rivals the sophistication of wine,” says Nordstrom.

To keep pace, a few years after opening Nordaggio’s, Nordstrom began roasting and selling his own beans and works to maintain high quality roasters, “making sure the coffee tastes like it smells,” he says.

Additionally, Nordstrom just completed renovations to his coffee shop, which included interior updates, such as the addition of a new full coffee bar made of reclaimed wood from the 1890s, he says.

For Franklin, freshly roasted coffee is a large reason he’s been able to remain successful in the local coffee business. He roasts two times per week and promises never to sell beans that are older than seven days. Any beans more than a week old, he donates to a local organization.

A few years ago, he expanded his shop into the adjoining storefront to provide for additional storage and roasting room.

“The coffee I roast has a clean finish; you don’t feel like you have to brush your teeth afterwards,” he says. “I knew that if people tasted it, and then went back to their old coffee, they wouldn’t be satisfied.”

Besides offering quality coffee, Franklin also believes that his attention to detail and love of experimentation draws in and keeps customers.

“I like to think about how things work and how to change the flavor and get different nuances,” he says. For example, just one degree of change in the roast can noticeably change the bean’s flavor.

That experimentation, then, translates into benefits for his customers: “our customers are experimenting with us, experiencing the changes with the roast and the brewing method.”

Updated 09-29-2014

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