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(Re)introducing Fiction Coffee at Common Desk!

 - June 20, 2024
Fiction Coffee Feature

If there’s one thing Common Desk executes just as well as community, it’s coffee. Whether you’ve only recently stopped by or have been a loyal member for years, you know that around here, we’re crazy for quality caffeine. If you scroll back in time, you’ll find a handful of blog posts on coffee subjects ranging from our favorite spots in certain markets to what to expect from our coffee program. With plenty of coffee content readily available for your consumption, you may be thinking, what else is there left to say about the almighty bean juice? We’re glad you asked. As is the nature of life, things have evolved and shifted at Common Desk and we’re here to give a 2024 update on what to expect from our coffee offerings across our coworking spaces and to dive into our new seasonal releases for the summer months.

This past fall, we said a bittersweet goodbye to our brick-and-mortar Fiction Coffee locations. In streamlining our portfolio, we decided to exit our buildings to focus on weaving the Fiction experience into our coworking locations, and we’re happy to share that the full integration has begun! Our staff has been working hard behind the scenes to create a seamless coffee process inside all of our coworking spaces, so whether you’re in North Carolina, San Antonio, or Salt Lake City, you can expect a cohesive menu, delicious drink, and no-sweat ordering steps despite geographical work location.

So, why are we so crazy for coffee and what exactly is the Fiction Coffee experience? Beverages are dependable anchors for intentional moments. We’re all about points of connection throughout our professional lives and there’s nothing like pausing in our morning routine or midday process to chat with like-minded individuals over a quality batch of drip coffee or espresso. However, we know that doesn’t necessarily make us unique. Most coworking and office spaces have coffee. What makes Fiction inside Common Desk different? For starters, we mean business when it comes to hospitality. Between our coworking locations and the Fiction spirit, we’re a group that beckons others in, invites them to take a seat for the long haul, and gives them the floor to share their unique story. By putting hospitality first for our professionals and beyond, our patrons experience the Fiction retreat supported by the Common Desk difference in their professional workspace.

Fiction Coffee

Founded in 2017, Fiction Coffee was born out of our love for points of connection throughout the workday. While building professional communities around Texas, we figured we could do more and found the ‘more’ intimately presented in our coffee process. Let’s be real, craft coffee culture can be intimidating and less than welcoming.  With Fiction, we identified an avenue to demystify a good cup of coffee and reduce the snobbery associated with the industry. Fiction became a place for professionals, neighbors, and our city’s guests to escape the reality of their workday and indulge in quality-made drinks with a barista crew that genuinely cared for their lives, work, and thoughts regarding their beverage. We caught up with Community Associate, Jordan Neel to share what he loves best about Common Desk’s approach to coffee. “I love surprising people with how good our coffee drinks are. Most people expect “normal office coffee” like Folgers or Keurig, so it’s fun to see the pleasant surprise on their faces when they take that first sip and say, “Wow, this is good!” I love that baristas act as ‘unlicensed counselors’. People take breaks from their day, enjoy a drink, and feel free to talk about what’s happening in their lives. It’s satisfying to know that we care about all the details, even our standard drip coffee. For me, coffee is an extension of the hospitality we hope members feel in every area of the space!”

For six years, we delivered delicious drinks and experiential coffee moments to Dallas, Houston, and North Carolina inside our Fiction spaces. We loved every opportunity to mesh the day-making motto of Common Desk with the reprieve from reality that Fiction championed. Fiction’s essence is linked to our coworking spaces and lives on in every cup we serve in our Common Desk communities. Here’s what you can expect from Fiction’s integration into our spaces.

Standard Menu

As Fiction becomes a Common Desk norm, our members and guests can count on Fiction traditions like imaginative recipes, quirky drink titles, and tastes inspired by the seasons in each of our spaces where espresso is offered. Here’s what our Director of Community, Jade Mauldin, had to say regarding the new menu standards: “While Fiction Coffee will only be in select Common Desk locations, our curated menu will feature seasonal rotations—spring and summer, fall and winter—ensuring that every visit to our coffee bar delivers relevant flavors to the present season. This commitment to a consistent menu means you can always count on your favorite Fiction selections, no matter where you visit.”

Year-round, members and guests can choose from three staple drinks. The Hug in a Mug Latte, Brown Sugar Capp, and Bees Knees Latte, with Counter Culture’s Hologram coffee bean which is a medium-roast blend that we’ve depended on for years, as their base. With tasting notes ranging from floral to sweet, there’s certainly something for everyone on our fixed menu whether you’re conservative or like to get adventurous with your brew. Below, you’ll see a few of our summer all-stars for the season. Taste them while you can!

The Castaway
The Castaway
The Honeymoon
The Botanist

Suppliers We’re Proud Of

Fiction is a third-wave coffee experience. The ‘waves’ of coffee refer to the evolutionary periods of the coffee industry. The first wave of coffee dates back to the 1800s, when coffee was viewed as a product worth developing, distributing, and investing in globally. The second wave began around the 1970s and emphasized coffee as a social endeavor. Customers regarded the craft and quality of beverages less and indulged in the atmosphere, architecture, and overall experience that shops offered. The third wave of coffee is described as a response to poor coffee and a push for specialty craft beverages, quality ingredients, and responsible sourcing that protects coffee farmers and the environment. If you’re interested in learning more about the waves of coffee, you may enjoy this article by Driven Coffee Roasters and this one by Essense Coffee. 

Because we care about what goes into your cup, we’re highlighting our partners and their products so every time you order, you can be confident that the components that make your drink special come from companies we trust.

Counter Culture Coffee

In 1995, the founders of Counter Culture attended a Sustainable Coffee Congress in Washington, DC to discuss building sustainable supply chains for the future of coffee. Since then, Counter Culture has become a leading coffee roaster and supplier contributing to the integrity, longevity, and sustainability of coffee farmers, shops, and distribution worldwide. Counter Culture delivers beautiful coffee blends to the market, giving consumers choices between year-round blends, seasonal offerings, and single-origin options. If you’ve been with Common Desk for some time, you’re likely familiar with Counter Culture’s famous blends Big Trouble, Hologram, and Fast Forward which we keep hot and fresh in every coworking space. Aside from providing incredible products with a mind to help preserve coffee production for the long haul, Counter Culture also trains and equips people around the US going into the coffee business. We’ve had the joy of attending barista, latte art, and cupping classes that have been imperative in developing our skills, appreciation, and knowledge of coffee as an art form. The cool part is that anyone can participate in their class offerings. To check out their repertoire of classes, click here! We can’t get enough of Counter Culture and asked Community Lead, Marie Drosche, her thoughts regarding our long-term friends. 

“Hologram is my favorite brew from Counter Culture! Not only because it’s what we use for espresso but because the bright flavor and syrup mouthfeel are perfect any time of day. It also holds a special place at Common Desk, as it’s the medium for most coffee training. The Counter Culture teams that train our staff are incredibly thorough. We’re trained on far more than just how to make the coffee, but also what we should be looking for taste-wise and skills our teams need to be confident behind the bar!”

Pink House Alchemy

Founded in a 100-year-old pink house in Fayetteville, Arkansas the flavor experts at Pink House were our obvious choice for quality, all-natural simple syrups made with passion. Described as a ‘farm to bottle’ experience, Pink House Alchemy produces small-batch syrups and bitters inspired by mother nature’s tasting notes spanning everything from herbs and barks to botanicals, roots, and fruits. We’re proud to support this small, women-owned group of entrepreneurs who share our love for sophisticated flavors. You may recognize some Pink House staples behind our hospitality bar like their pH Delight, Lavender, and Vanilla bean syrups. Community Lead Ashley Miller chimed in with her appreciation for and experience with Pink House’s products saying, “I love that we use syrups from Pink House Alchemy because they’re carefully handcrafted in small batches and we get to support a small women-owned business. They’re delivered freshly bottled and our members love the bright and distinct flavor profiles they provide. They pair perfectly with our espresso-based beverages and lattes; we’ve also used them at happy hours to mix into cocktails. My personal favorites are the vanilla bean and the lavender syrups.”

For many of us on staff, Fiction is an indulgent part of our workday flow. From perfecting latte art to making our members’ favorite drinks, being behind the espresso bar is a ritual and rite of passage that our community teams become well-acquainted with. Like your tried and true pair of jeans or that perfectly broken-in leather jacket, slipping into the Fiction routine is a beloved and familiar process across our markets—ask Briscoe! Community Associate, Briscoe Burnett, has years of experience as a barista. After managing a prior Fiction location, Burnett crossed over onto our community team and can be found making days and coffees in our spaces.

“Keeping my love for coffee in my back pocket while transitioning to the Community Team has been one of my favorite feelings of familiarity. Knowing that I could carry over the experience, and the simple act of service in crafting and sharing a good cup of coffee with someone has been an integral part of how I best show up for my community. I firmly believe that the care you put into something makes itself known in the outcome, and authentic service is the best way to translate that.”

 If you’ve read this far, we’d love to offer you 10% off the beverage of your choice wherever espresso is offered at Common Desk! All you need to do is show your community team this portion of the blog and ta-da, coffee on us (one-time use only)! As we continue through the summer, we hope you’ll join us for great conversation and quality coffee at the hospitality bar. After all, there are new favorites for you to choose from and we can’t wait to hear what you think.

Jessica Madden

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