Evocation Coffee Lab is currently nestled in an Amarillo business park. It’s actually kind of hard to find if you’ve never been there (they’ll be opening a new location at 34th and Coulter within the next month). Their ‘Lab’ is the coffeehouse and brew bar storefront to their micro-roastery. It’s owned and operated by husband and wife duo Roman and Amy Leal. They opened the craft coffee institution in 2009 and have grown gangbusters every since.
Evocation Is A Coffee Lab
A quick look behind the counter and you can see why they call it a lab. Beakers, tubes, and high-quality scales adorn the stainless steel coffee-prep area. They have the coffee experience down to a fine science. The process of ‘dialing-it-in’ is serious business at Evocation; it requires precise measurement tools to get the best out of coffee. When dialing the coffee in things like coffee-to-water ratio, grind size, brew time, and water temperature can make a huge difference in the end product.
Precision and Care Is the Name of the Game at Evocation
Roman and Amy are people of precision and care. They’re purveyors of the premium. Another thing you’ll notice in the shop is a vinyl collection and stereo station. The analog sound waves have a discernible warmth when they crackle The Beatles, Sinatra, and Coltrane from the Bowers & Wilkins monitor. Not only do the Leal’s sacrifice a bit of space in order to bring customers music in its natural form, with precision and care. They do the same with coffee. Each time they bring your order on a black slate tray, they’re careful to let you know what tasting notes to look for so you can engage in the full experience of it. “You’ll taste cedar, green apple, and champagne grape with today’s Burundi.”
Micro-Roasting Delivers Small Batch Deliciousness
Evocation isn’t just a coffee bar though. They’re also and most notably a micro-roaster. Like beer’s equivalent in the micro-brew category, Evocation roasts small batches for maximum quality control in a roaster bought and fully restored in-house. You can find their coffee in places all over the Texas Panhandle including Lubbock’s J&B Coffee, Plainview’s Broadway Brew, and soon, Amarillo’s 806. While it’s not the case anymore, Palace Coffee showcased Evocation beans in order to establish their first two locations before introducing their own line of roasted beans. You can find Evocation coffee outside of Texas, too, in coffee shops in California and Florida. They’ve even sold direct to customers beyond the U.S. in places like Canada and Iran.
Evocation is inviting for several reasons: the Dave Brubeck, the fresh flowers (their new shop will have succulent walls, coffee plants, and the non-condescending coffee knowledge doled for free.
Evocation has one of the simplest menus you’ve ever seen. But it’s not boring, each drink is made up of a seasonal coffee that is guaranteed to be complex and delicious. If you think all coffee tastes the same, you haven’t had Evocation coffee. It’s amazing the different types of flavors they can get out of a bean by precise brewing methods.
A Favorite Drink:
The individual brewed coffee served in a beaker in-house is a light yet flavorful favorite.