Tulsa becoming known as a coffee destination nationwide
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —
Take a drive around Tulsa and see how many coffee shops you can count. It might take you a while. Pop into one of those shops and the baristas will tell you Tulsa is in the midst of a coffee renaissance.
"It's been sort of known throughout the national coffee community as a place, not necessarily as a place that you travel to for it, but a place where there is some culture for it, but that;s definitely been growing over the past three to five years," said Jacob Ide, barista at the Coffee House on Cherry Street.
Topeca Coffee is sort of the mother ship, a school for baristas attracting students from around the globe to Tulsa. Here they learn to discern the differences between a Starbucks coffee and what they call a specialty coffee. We asked them why they think Tulsa's coffee scene is exploding.
"We have several different Universities here where we attract a different crowd, cost of living is super low," said Tyler Duncan, a specialized instructor at Topeca.
And all these shops will tell you that tastes are changing.
"I think that coffee, good coffee, has simply gone more mainstream. People's tastes are evolving, and they expect more from a cup of coffee and they expect more from a coffee shop," said Ide.
"I think once enough people have that sip, oh that's good, and then they go searching for it, the more a city will reverb to that, and I just think Tulsa is really feeling the pulse to that," said Andrew Unruh, co-owner of Fair Fellow Coffee.
So much so that a national coffee competition will have a regional competition here at the end of the month. Topeca is holding. But why is all this happening here, why not some other city?
"Probably the biggest key is the cost of living, and I think part of it is that a lot of the people who open up the shops here are from the area, and they really want to see the community grow," said Duncan.
But, is this just a fad? The coffee shops don't think so.
"After they have good coffee, whether here or at other roasters, they don't go back," said Unruh. "They will tell you all the time they are spoiled, they are ruined, they can't go back, I don't know what I was drinking for the last 20 years."