Caffeine Crawl Oklahoma expands to include state-wide coffee culture
BY JASON BURTON
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE
We’ve always bragged about Oklahoma City’s coffee scene, but how much better could it really get? Tulsa was added to this year’s annual event, creating two days covering Caffeine Crawl Oklahoma. To answer the question above, Tulsa, OKC, Edmond, and Norman proved that there’s more to showcase locally when it comes to coffee, tea, and chocolate.
Tulsa kicked off the big event on Friday with six shops participating in four different routes. Foolish Things Coffee Company and Hodges Bend, represented by Topeca Coffee, led each route as the starting point. Justin at Foolish Things presented on the company’s new bean-to-bar chocolate, Middle West Chocolate, and one of their guest roasters with a Chemex brew of Onyx’s Ethiopia. Tyler with Topeca, alongside Jamie of Hodges Bend, passed out the new espresso blend on nitro, fresh off the tap, and talked about Topeca’s business, plus the variety of offerings at Hodges.
Mod’s Coffee & Crepes used housemade gelato to serve up affogatos. Rusty pulled each shot for every stop. Chimera Cafe mixed it up during the day. Two groups got a coffee mocktail using ginger beer and spices, and the later groups received shots of Oddly Correct’s Doom Loop espresso with a choice of chaser: sparkling or Clown Shoes coffee brown ale. Dwelling Spaces with Joebot’s Coffee Bar also had a cold drink waiting for us, but they used the Toddy method for their custom blend, Bigfoot, that Topeca roasts. Elemental Coffee’s roaster, Rachel, made the trek and presented for Antoinette Baking Co. The baristas at Antoinette’s put together a refreshing coffee mocktail using a cardamom syrup, orange and Elemental’s coffee.
Topeca Coffee hosted an After Crawl Party at their main training and roasting facility, following the Crawl routes, full of energy, local beer, a latte art throwdown, and Ian from Topeca DJing.
We woke up the next morning ready to jump right into the 4th annual Oklahoma City Crawl. In Norman, Gray Owl Coffee had the 2 routes starting at once with a presentation on the importance of water and the right grind while we enjoyed baked goods with coffee from Topeca. Second Wind Coffeehouse offered a choice of drinks starting with a cold brew using an Ethiopia from Mariposa Coffee, and the choice of lime or lemon as the main compliment to the coffee. At syrup, Mary Beth covered the details on their vanilla-maple cold drink using Stumptown’s bottled cold brew, and mini chai doughnuts (using Hugo Tea chai) from Holey Rollers. Hugo Tea, which has been on several KC Crawls, served a lavender earl grey tea. A nice combo at this stop.
The newest shop on the Crawl was Clarity Coffee. Steve, who previously presented as Elemental’s roaster, gave an educational demonstration on using the Chemex to brew with. The coffee used was from Novel Coffee as we tried it just right, over-, and under-extracted. Mariposa Coffee Roastery was set up at The Refuge with tables of plates, one with oranges and marshmallows and the other with prunes and grapes. We received a plate with each coffee to explore the flavors in the coffee and in the food items to compare.
Junction Coffee‘s double decker bus played host to us on the top floor with affogatos using Mariposa’s Coffee, and a tasty snack from a local baker. Down the street, Elemental Coffee Roasters was the starting point for a few routes. Trent and Rachel had an iced cascara drink waiting for us using cane sugar, apple cider vinegar, and a sparkling. Also along the lines of tea was matcha served traditionally made at t an urban teahouse. Kristy covered a lot of ground with us on tea, and we loved her energy and passion towards what she does for a living. Another OKC stop was Cuppies and Joe. Elizabeth and team had a lemon cream tarts and a cold brew with a rosemary simple syrup, and fresh strawberry puree waiting for groups.
Later in the day, Edmond’s shops hosted Crawlers at Cafe Evoke, White Bison Coffee at Cupcakes To Go Go, and Compass Coffeehouse. Cafe Evoke put together an iced caramel cappuccino topped with smoked salt and honey. Delicious! As a mobile coffee business, it was nice to have White Bison set up at Cupcakes To Go Go with coffee, cupcakes, and homebrewing tips. Compass Coffeehouse added their own approach to the hype behind butter with coffee by using a local, grass fed butter from Kerrygold, coconut oil, and a coffee from Topeca.
The weekend’s Crawl ended with an After Crawl Party hosted by Coffee Slingers Roasters. On the menu were some light eats, beers from Black Mesa Brewing and 405 Brewing, and a latte art throw down, with one bracket for baristas and another for non professional coffee people. A lot of learning (and drinking) took place on the Crawl with each stop adding their own specialty touch to the coffee, tea, and chocolate we love.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Burton is one of the badasses on The LAB team, a specialty beverage marketing company and creators of the Caffeine Crawl. He has worked in specialty coffee since moving back to Kansas City in 2004, and has traveled the country trying the best espresso, brews, signature drinks and analyzing customer service. With The LAB, he works on branding / design, social media, event planning, strategy and studying consumers. He pours latte art like a 4 year old and works a pourover like a nervous barista competitor. Outside of the industry he stays young being an active father and husband, and winds down with a good beer over some Netflix documentary marathons.