Oklahoma-based coffee company T3 Roasters has opened a flagship brick-and-mortar roastery and coffee bar called T3 Coffee Co., inside a thoroughly remodeled historic building in downtown Collinsville.
The building is almost as old as the town itself, which is celebrating the 125th anniversary of its foundation 20 miles northeast of Tulsa this year.
“We are excited to be part of a town with such a vibrant and rich history,” T3 Coffee Co-Founder Gary Tucker told Daily Coffee News, while also noting some of the rich history of the building.
Built in 1912 to originally house a meat market, the structure has since been home to a dry cleaner, a machine shop, a food pantry and more. It then sat vacant for decades, falling into disrepair before T3 took it over for two years of renovation and restoration.
Guests can now pass through the restored original façade onto restored floors that spread out between exposed original brick walls.
“In the early 1900s, Collinsville had one of the largest brick plants in the state,” Tucker said. “These bricks were critical in the development of the town.”
The project also involved reconstructing the framework for 35 individual windows across the front corner of the building, which now allow plenty of natural light to shine in on the cafe and the production roastery. Two gleaming 2018 Diedrich IR-12 roasters now stand in plain view.
“In a community that largely consists of drive-through coffee locations for caffeine and convenience, it was important for us to have a space to educate our community on coffee production and the roasting process,” said Tucker. “Both roasters are prominently displayed inside our cafe so customers can watch the roasting in action. The rest of our production process along with warehousing is located in the back half of our building.”
With one roaster fully automated and the other fully manual, Tucker takes a data-driven approach to roasting, with green coffees largely sourced through Anthem Coffee Imports and Genuine Origin. Additional offerings come through specialists such as woman-owned Tulsa-based Brazilian coffee importer Bertagna Coffee, and nonprofits such as the Winds of Peace Foundation, through which T3 buys from Nicaraguan farmers.
“We like to take a roots-to-roaster approach, focusing on traceability and direct trade,” said Tucker. “We support organizations that practice sustainability and ethical sourcing practices. As a small business ourselves, we understand the importance of supporting other small businesses, both across the street and around the world.”
At the bar, customers can order a full range of espresso drinks, manual pourovers, and still or nitro cold brews. Baked goods are delivered fresh from local bakeries and more substantial eats are available at food trucks stationed right outside.
After 18 years of electrical engineering and physics-related work in the energy industry and seven years as a hobby roaster, Gary Tucker launched T3 with his wife Linda Tucker in February of 2020. Their 8-year-old daughter Maddie Tucker rounds out the three T’s of T3.
At the new location, a 1,200-square-foot rooftop patio will open in the Spring, while extra room in the back of the building could accommodate future growth. The company celebrated the cafe’s hard-earned grand opening in December.
“After two years of work, we were ready to open our doors, and our community was excited as well. We welcomed over 800 people through our doors that day,” said Tucker. “With this new space comes lots of room for growth and expansion, both for the roastery and cafe.”