Topeca Coffee Roasters has added a 2,500-square-foot laboratory and training facility to its roastery headquarters in Tulsa, Ok.
Topeca Coffee is calling the facility, an SCAA-certified teaching lab, the Topeca Instruments Division, and the company is offering courses under the SCAA’s coffee professional “Pathways” program, for baristas, roasters, tasters, buyers and Golden Cup Technicians.
The Topeca team tells Daily Coffee News that they hope the facility, the first of its kind in the region, will attract existing and aspiring coffee professionals from throughout the United States, while also attracting local baristas, home roasters and coffee enthusiasts through additional on-site programming.
The professional lab includes five main areas: a 18-student-capacity classroom; an espresso training bar; a coffee preparation bar; a cupping and analysis lab; and a sample roasting and roaster training space. There is also a cocktail training bar, because 1) Why Not?, and 2) Topeca Coffee currently owns two craft cocktail bars locally, including Hodges Bend.
Atop the espresso bar are two La Marzocco models, a Linea and a Strada, and Topeca Coffee Roasters Coffee Director Ian Picco recently told Daily Coffee News that the team plans to add two additional Unic models. Compak grinders fill out the espresso bar and the manual- and batch-brew bar. Walled off from the rest of the training spaces, the cupping lab includes Mahlkonig grinders and a La Marzocco GS3 for espresso analysis. Last but not least, the roasting area includes a Proaster 1.5k model and a Quest M3 sample roaster.
For the interior, Topeca collaborated with local firm W Design to create a clean, modern industrial look that also preserves many of the touches of the existing building. Hard materials such as brick, cement, wood and steel help define the space, while much of the building’s original tin ceiling was able to be salvaged.
“We still have a few little finishing touches, which we hope to wrap up by the summer,” Picco says.
Nick Brown is the editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. Feedback and story ideas are welcome at publisher (at) dailycoffeenews.com, or see the "About Us" page for contact information.