Open since 2014, Twin City Hive Coffee Lounge sits between the intersection of innovation and history.
2014 was a pivotal time in Winston-Salem’s transformation to the City of Arts and Innovation. During the same time period, the Brookstown District found its identity as a new neighborhood of opportunity. With Innovation Quarter to the east and Downtown to the north, owner Terry Miller envisioned the shop encompassing three aspects: coffee, community and conversation.
TCH is more than just a coffee shop. Over the past 6 months, Miller has transformed the space from a small enterprise to a center for coffee education, quality whole beans and a scene where the neighborhood and atmosphere are woven into the fabric of the establishment. The outdoor patio invites patrons to bask in the glow of the sun rising over the historic Indera Mills cotton mill across the street. It’s prime for watching the neighborhood unfold as it wakes up. Some of the patio and lounge furniture was commissioned by Sunnyside Millwork, one of many ways TCH supports local business and entrepreneurial economic activity.
To hear Miller discuss the nuances of his single-origin offerings is like listening to a symphony of science and art come together. The soul of the coffee program at TCH is the espresso roast. It’s a custom blend of three beans: the Arabica Peaberry, a handpicked cherry which provides flavor and exclusivity; the Trebollios from Mexico, which adds body and a deep flavor; and the Kappi Royale, with an intense caffeine concentration and a smooth finish that contributes to the crema that rises to the top of a perfectly pulled shot.
“While coffee is all about the caffeine, what most people don’t know is the lighter the roast, the more caffeine is present,” Miller says while sipping on a demitasse of the house brew. “Judging coffee by its tasting notes is better than deciding what a coffee will taste like based on dark or light roast.”
The coffee footprint of TCH extends far beyond its walls.
The community is a large part of Twin City Hive’s success. Partnerships with Indigo Hotel, UNCSA and Twin City Sweets in Winston-Salem and Vida Pour Tea in Greensboro are results of Miller diversifying his coffee portfolio. Proprietary blends at the newly minted Indigo Hotel have fun names like Deacon Decaf, Wake Up Winston and Winston After Dark, which is part of a tableside French press presentation where the course ground coffee is steeped and pressed to release “liquid gold roasted by air” which is the company’s motto.
When new empires rise, others must fall and another new partnership has formed from this edict. While Colony Urban Farm on West End Boulevard is ceasing operations, the popular brand of honey, Fools Gold, will find new life on the shelves at TCH beginning the second week of June. A nook devoted to beekeeping merchandise, bee education, honey-related merchandise and honey on tap will find a new home inside TCH.
The construction of the new Salem Parkway has cast a red-clay pallor on nearly everything in the Brookstown District. The road closures, bridge construction, road detours and decreased flow of traffic has slowed down the flow of the vibrant, bustling neighborhood. None of that has stopped community nor the conversations surrounding the shop’s success.
When asked about his thoughts on the current construction schedule, Miller laughs, “It’s going to be great when it’s all done!” he says. “When I see online comments where another business has closed, it makes me want to continue to connect people with the coffee and put us in the forefront of their minds so they continue to visit.”
The landscape and footprint of the Marshall Street-Brookstown Road intersection has changed
The customers who visit the physical location know and realize what a special place it is. The Roastery, the open coffee-education center and roaster, is visible to every patron. The effort to connect people with coffee will continue all around the city for a long time to come.