Bellwether is a specialty coffee shop, whiskey club, men’s boutique and a members-only co-working space for creative entrepreneurs in Denver. For all the things Bellwether offers, slow-brewed, quality coffee tops the list. The shop works with local roasters (including Boxcar, Corvus Coffee Co, Method Coffee and MiddleState) to create the perfect cup of coffee.
We asked co-owner Rustin Coburn to discuss Bellwether’s finely-tuned approach to coffee.
Paste:Why does Bellwether focus on manual brewing processes?
Rustin Coburn: For our house coffee, we do French Press. We have a few different single origins that we serve through pour over, and then we have all of the espresso drinks that we have chosen to do on an old-school manual machine (Rancilio Classe 6). Our baristas love this machine because they have a lot more control, and they can pull better shots.
With the way we were designing everything for it to be a very simple, and a very curated space, we wanted to focus on a small selection of things that were high quality, and create a good experience for everybody.
If you want an ice coffee, you could quickly get it off the tap. That is all on nitrogen, which is really cool. The nitrogen aerates the coffee and almost has this cascading effect when it’s first poured. We use Method Coffee, a small local roaster, and they’ve dedicated more time than most people to perfecting the cold brew.
Paste: What is Bellwether’s coffee philosophy?
RC: Number one: great service. We’re always striving to serve the best product that we can, but there’s a lot of competition. I think what we do with the best of the best is create a phenomenal experience around that coffee.
Paste: What issues are important to you in terms of buying beans?
RC: I look for partnerships with individuals who really care about each step and have spent the time to actually travel to where they source their beans and build relationships themselves with the farmers.
Paste: What is Bellwether’s signature drink?
RC: The Chico: half cold brew/half whiskey on tap. It’s a very, very smooth and very, very dangerous and delicious summertime drink.
Paste: How do you see Denver’s coffee scene evolving?
RC: Coffee in Denver is starting to get recognized on a pretty large scale, which is exciting. I think it’s one of those crafts that has endless potential, like wine. It’s going to be this constant push of exploring different ways to roast, different ways to brew, different ways to combine things and also on the presentation side. I think the more coffee shops can continue to make their craft great and also make it approachable for the average consumer, that’s really important.
Bellwether is located at 5126 E. Colfax Avenue, Denver, Colorado.