1. Satellite of Love - Bespoken
Satellite of Love
Tried & True Coffee Co. & Bespoken Coffee Roasters
We drive an hour and a half into the Willamette Valley. Portland and the grey freeway are behind us and we are in farmland, emerald fields hosting our hotel-home for the night. Open skies, sweeping rain, the worn red brick of downtown Corvallis. We step out of the rain and into Tried & True Coffee Co. Fresh cut flowers sit next to a framed menu on the front counter. The pale robin’s-egg-blue of the espresso cups matches the blue of the flower pots and the vintage light sconces. Textured white wallpaper covers the back wall.
I was looking forward to visiting Tried & True because I remember seeing Collin Schneider compete in the NW Regional Barista Competition in 2013. He spoke of striking the balance between culinary craft and hospitality. He framed his routine around the respect for his customer’s preferences. He shared the experience of a customer in his cafe and showed how the profiles of two select single-origin coffees could make customers with vastly different flavor preferences equally happy.
Collin and his wife Ann acquired their coffee experience over years working at specialty shops in the Portland area, most recently with the Sterling / Coffeehouse NW team. After the birth of their second child, they were ready to embark on a new adventure. The Schneiders decided to take their love of coffee back to the Willamette Valley where they had family roots in the landscape. It was the right time for their family to build something in the Corvallis community.
Once they arrived, the threads of connection began to tie together, somewhat magically. Collin took a part-time job at a winery and, through conversations at tastings, heard about a couple who were interested in opening a cafe. Ann and Colin got connected to Don and Christy Orwick and found each other’s dreams aligning perfectly. The Orwicks already had a cafe space and the Schneiders were able to bring their coffee experience to the project.
Bespoken Coffee Roasters was born in June 2014 and the Tried and True Coffee Co. storefront opened in October.
“We’ve transported, as much as we can, the Portland consciousness of quality.” And they have succeeded.
“Where once big cities and urban centers were vacuums for talent and all these people that wanted to do coffee, now it’s becoming a centrifuge that’s spinning out of control. We’re seeing places in suburbs opening up, we’re seeing coffee-conscious people in all these other places. We’re probably not on the forefront, we’re on a middle arm of this galaxy that’s spreading out from Portland and Seattle and other places.” The swirling, expanding galaxy of coffee.
The Tried & True cafe staff also came together as a star-crossed crew: their first four interviews became their four employees. After years of serving coffee in downtown Portland, they were prepared for the potential culture shock of introducing boutique coffee to a small-town center. But the shock never came: the awareness of quality-conscious coffee was already present and the community has been very welcoming. Collin speaks warmly of his new neighborhood: Corvallis has been excited to support a new business.
And Bespoken Coffee Roasters is more than ready to suit their needs.
“Bespoken is the imagery of approaching coffee like it is unique, like it is a person in need of a specifically-measured suited garment. We’re tailors of coffee.” The Schneiders were eager to create a tailor-made coffee experience for each person coming into their shop and so Savile Row imagery was natural. A custom tailor emphasizes the good parts of a person’s profile and minimizes the poor (if any) and the staff of Tried & True work to bring out the best flavor profiles of every coffee for their customers.
The Schneiders are reinventing the Mom and Pop storefront with hospitality and warmth. When they first announced the Bespoken project, their aim was simple: “Since Ann and I were lovestruck high school sophomores, we knew coffee was something we loved, something we wanted to do together.”
The galaxy is expanding and we are glad for it.
WORDS: Anna Sjogren
PHOTOS: Christa Hand
WHERE TO DRINK BESPOKEN:
Tried & True Coffee Co.
160 SW Madison
Either / Or Cafe
Varies - Either/Or is a charming multi-roaster cafe in Sellwood with a rotating coffee selection.
8235 SE 13th Ave, Suite 2