Tenfold ... Five?

This Roastery Is Brewing Up Interest in the Heights

Tenfold Coffee Company hopes to educate while serving up a well-sourced cup of joe.

By Rebecca Noel October 1, 2020

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Workflow is such a key consideration when designing a coffee bar. We prefer an ‘alley’ like bar so that ordering and bar flow is clear for the customer and Tenfold staff alike. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Our other hope in designing the bar was to keep it as open and visible as possible. We want you, our customer, to be able to peer through and gain insight into how we prepare coffee. Hopefully, it will inspire you to enagage with coffee in new and creative ways!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📸 @vamjr_⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #coffeebar #workflow #cafedesign #customerfacing #customerservice #customerexperience #customersatisfaction #espressomachine #espressobar #espressolove #hospitalitydesign #hospitalityinteriors #hospitalityindustry #hospitalitybusiness

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Upon entering TENFOLD COFFEE COMPANY at 101 Aurora St in the Heights, you’ll find potted tropical plants speckled by natural light, assorted pastries on the counter, and, possibly, founder Jacob Ibarra handpicking artisanal tiles for the shop’s new education space. Apart from purveying carefully curated coffees from growers across the globe, Tenfold’s mission is to educate Houston’s coffee lovers in everything from latte art to the elements of coffee tasting. 

“I want this to be a creative space—I want to drum up curiosity,” says Ibarra, who intends to offer a variety of classes, several of which will be free. 

Ibarra, a native Houstonian and Texas A&M alum, found his love for coffee during a gap year in Costa Rica. 

“You were just surrounded by coffee there,” he says. “There was coffee when you woke up, a coffee break at 11 a.m., another at 3 p.m., and then there was coffee brewing when you got back home at the end of the day.” 

From there he moved to Seattle, where his entry into the coffee industry was solidified when he began roasting and later buying from growers around the world for the roasting company Caffé Vita before landing a gig as the inaugural director of coffee at Five Senses, a specialty roaster in Australia.

Now, after more than ten years in the industry, Ibarra has returned home to bring his expertise to the Bayou City.

“Of all the cities of its size, Houston probably has the fewest coffee shops,” says Ibarra. “And there’s still so much room for education.” 

Tenfold sells coffee wholesale and through a subscription service along with its new brick-and-mortar digs. The shop’s offerings are all sourced from farms Ibarra himself has visited, as the company seeks not only to supply quality coffee, but also to source its wares responsibly. 

“We’re focusing on growers in five primary countries: Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Burundi, and Ethiopia,” says Ibarra. “Each one of these have micro-regions and microclimates and amazing variety, and by limiting it to five countries we can be better partners in the supply chain.” 

Tenfold, along with offering a unique coffee experience in an airy space—complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, industrial fixtures, and a state-of-the-art Probat P12 roaster open for viewing—also makes the opportunity to learn the nitty gritty of a cup of joe accessible to the average Joe.

For now Tenfold has a limited menu of classic coffee drinks, including latte, flat white, cappuccino, cold brew, Americano, cortado, and pour-over. Tea and hot chocolate are also available.

Tenfold is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

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