Double-Decker Coffee Bus
Maebel. She’s a big, fine English gal, and she’s the double-decker bus in and around downtown Oklahoma City making great brew for Junction Coffee.
Nick and Lori Bollinger were driving down Reno one afternoon when they happened upon a double-decker bus, and a gentleman working on that bus, who happened to be one of the best double decker bus mechanics in the world (yes, folks, this happened in OKC!). That chance meeting turned in to Nick and Lori searching, procuring, and going through mounds of governmental red-tape to find and bring over from the UK their very own double-decker bus.
… and is Oklahoma City ever so glad they did!
When you approach the Junction Coffee double-decker, aside from immediately noticing Maebel’s beautiful exterior, you will see folks hanging out upstairs on the top deck relaxing and enjoying their hot brew. Some may even be having the full “Traditional English Tea” experience with a cozy pot of Earl Grey, or a “Double-Decker” (twelve ounces of espresso nd brewed coffee). Downstairs inside Junction Coffee there is the buzz of order taking, the hiss of the steam wand frothing milk, thick slices of toast for their seasonal gourmet toast popping up out of the toaster, laughing, and the always enjoyable conversation—it’s all almost pub-like.
“I wanted to combine two things that I loved: coffee and conversation,” Nick Bollinger, co-owner of Junction Coffee, said. “I could be happy drinking coffee and talking all day.”
And that is what I discovered when stepping into Junction Coffee and Maebel’s belly for the first time. Both Nick and Lori Bollinger were so gracious and hospitable—it was like stepping in to someone’s home.
“You have to try our gourmet toasts!” Lori Bollinger, the other half of Junction Coffee, offers. “Prairie Thunder does our baking, and our gourmet toasts are seasonal. I like to bake and experiment in the kitchen, so whatever else is added to our toasts is something I come up with.”
Today, Lori made me a sweet Cranberry and Mint Toast, along with a new Gingerbread Cookie Toast. Both of them delicious but that Gingerbread Cookie Toast had my heart—it started with a thick slice of pumpernickel bread perfectly toasted, with a generous schmear of sweet cinnamon whipped cream cheese, then topped with Lori’s homemade gingerbread cookie crumble. Every single bit of it was a perfect delight.
Right behind all that deliciousness was Junction’s version of a “Vienna” (or “Cortado”) coffee that Nick made for me. A nice, rich espresso pulled over whipped cream that had me in full-on comfy mode. My sights were set on one of Maebel’s interior benches for a lie-down. The tang and tannin from the espresso-layered-over-thatwhipped- cream was the perfect combo—or dessert—depending on your mood at the time. I’ll call it a delicious experience.
One of the great things as a chef, consumer, and food-lover that I am really digging about Oklahoma City is this openness and entrepreneurial explosion going on in the food and beverage scene as of late. Great businesses, culinary geniuses, coffee makers and cookie bakers, are coming into “Action City” full of gusto and great ideas. I, for one, am happy that the Bollingers have brought us Junction Coffee, and I’m equally excited Oklahoma City has the British beauty, Maebel, to hang out with and to enjoy. Good on you, Junction Coffee!