Bindle Coffee Serves Up Blend of Local History and International Flavors
Whether someone is seeking a relaxing location to work or study at, a convenient stopover to recharge during a road trip, or simply a comfortable place to catch up with friends at, newly opened Bindle Coffee in Fort Collins is the perfect spot to sit and savor extraordinary coffees from all different regions of the world, while observing the roasting process taking place right before your eyes.
Transformed from once being the garage of the mechanic on the historic Jessup Farm in the 1800s, Bindle Coffee has now found a home in this same location, reincorporating much of the rustic charm that could once be found in years past, even keeping the old garage door intact. Featuring a cozy decor with tables assembled using wood from an 1880s barn and put together by hand by Bindle co-owner Andrew and his father-in-law, vintage chairs collected from a farmer's homestead in Nebraska, a gorgeous front counter, also hand-crafted by Andrew, created from a 1920s boxcar train floorboard, as well as many other distinct decorations, customers are met with an authentic and homey experience upon just stepping inside the door.
There's more than just the unique furnishings that attract people to Bindle and keep them coming back again. What makes this shop stand out from others, is the genuine passion that owners Andrew and Jenn Webb have for coffee as a whole. Bindle Coffee is sustainably sourced and has partnered with Crop to Cup, to ensure direct and long-term relationships between farms and shop. Andrew explained to me that a coffee bean is actually the seed of a fruit, and just as other fruits have optimum harvesting seasons, different regions also have varying times when their coffee is season and most flavorful. Because of this, Bindle opts to switch out their coffee offerings every three to four months, based on the region that is producing beans in peak season. A map is displayed on one of the walls, highlighting where their beans have been harvested from. The beans arrive to the store in large burlap bags where they are then transported by hand into the roaster which sits behind the counter.They are monitored by Bindle employees as the complete roasting process takes place using a computer software program that hooks up to the machine. Customers can literally watch as the beans spin 'round and 'round, changing in color from green to tan to dark brown, with the aroma becoming much stronger as they roast. About twelve minutes later, once the beans have finished, Andrew goes through the batch, picking out and discarding any that are defected. For instance, if they had been picked too early or were burnt during the process. He explained that leaving these in the batch could cause the coffee to taste bad, similar to how burnt pieces of popcorn would alter the flavors of the whole bag. They also make sure to never roast their coffee too dark because doing so can significantly diminish flavors.
"Having the roaster onsite is cool for people to see, because they don't realize what all goes in to just one cup of coffee," says Andrew.
Along with the manual roasting machine, the store also has a fully manual espresso machine that dates back to 1905. All of the syrups are handmade in-house, as well as the pastries, which are all made from scratch in the back kitchen by Jenn herself using mostly local and organic ingredients. I found everything offered on the menu to be appealing and affordable. They even provide informational cards that include tasting notes for each type of coffee, along with its origin and specific harvesting details.
With the motto "Breathe in, breathe out" in mind, the owners of Bindle had a vision to create a destination that would act as a place where someone on the move could rest, recharge and reconnect. A bindle is the sack that a hobo carries, and unaware of this before, I learned that the difference between a hobo and a homeless person is that a hobo is actually recognized as being a travelling employee, oftentimes hopping trains in the 1800s as a means of transportation. Ironically though, Bindle was already chosen as the name for the new coffee shop based on the idea of having a restover-type setting, prior to actually moving in and discovering that the neighboring building once doubled as a train stop over 100 years ago. A sign with their motto now hangs on the back wall, serving as not only a reminder of how far they have come since just having an idea, to also reminding customers to take a deep breath when dealing with everything life might be throwing their way. For Andrew, it's not only rewarding to see their vision come to life, but also being able to witness such a variety of people coming through their door on a regular basis who normally wouldn't even be in the same room together. Connections are sparked and relationships form simply by customers standing in line next to each other.
The entire Jessup Farm development has recently been updated and while the agriculturally historical buildings still remain as the heart of the property, a rejuvenation of life and business has started to take place within an area that has now become the very first artisan village to be built in Northern Colorado. Moving into the 130-year-old neighboring barn will be a brand new barrel-aging microbrewery and a farm-to-table restaurant can now be found inside the old Jessup ranch house. Community members are welcome to attend the farmer's market that takes place every Thursday in the middle of the village.
Bindle Coffee is located at 1933 Jessup Drive and is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Be sure to keep an eye out for their seasonal pumpkin coffee creation coming soon, just in time to warm you up for the fall!