3 bean salute
Last fall we told you about plans for the upcoming Lincoln School Development at 2727 N. Cascade Ave., an Ivywild School-esque move to turn an old elementary school into a hip cultural spot. At that time we mentioned that Local Relic had signed on to be the anchor brewery. And we now know that a coffee biz has also signed on.
Building3 Coffee Roasters (building3coffeeroasters.com) currently sells beans online, to Peak Place, and to the Wild Goose Meeting House. But come sometime in spring, it aims to be open with a coffee shop at Lincoln, fed by an adjacent roasting area.
The man behind the brand, a tribute to his three children, is 32-year-old Sean Buckles, who's left 12 years of service as an Army engineer to devote himself to the coffee craft. He's three-fourths of his way through a Level One roaster certification from Tulsa's Topeca Coffee Roasters, a campus of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. And he also made a mentor out of a Southern California roaster who operates several shops named Augies. Buckles has even bought the same small drum roaster, capable of handling 12-pound batches, so as to dial in the same methodology.
In mid-February, Buckles plans to travel with a couple of Augies' crew members to Costa Rica and El Salvador, with an importer named Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders, to meet farmers and set up some direct-trade clients to feature at Building3.
"I have a passion for growing a sustainable business," he says, noting that coffee was always a hobby interest for him that he became more serious about as he prepared to leave the Army.
As a roaster, he says he falls toward a "light, third-wave style," meaning "I never over-roast ... I get just a little past first-crack — my typical roast is 13 minutes — you'll never see oils on my beans." He says the lighter roasting "captures volatile aromatics and flavor compounds that a lot of darker roasts burn through."
Though expanding into alcohol offerings is an option, expect Building3 to open with a strong focus on just its coffee. "I don't want to get into 50 different things, I want to do one thing really well," he says.
His wife and co-owner Jenna Buckles will also be involved, and former Switchback Coffee Roasters barista Heather Joy will manage the cafe. Baked goods will likely come from a bakery that's also signed on to Lincoln, to open at the same time ideally. More here about that business soon.
CRA expo approaches
Organizers are encouraging people to buy tickets online early, due to a new ticket limit, for the 21st Annual Pikes Peak Food & Wine Expo (ppcra.com), set for noon to 3 p.m., Sunday, March 6, at The Broadmoor World Arena. The Pikes Peak Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association will host more than 60 area restaurant and drink entities for samplings; tickets are $45, proceeds from which go to local charities and culinary education programs. The Expo will again include chef and bartender competitions.