With a coffee shop on every corner these days, you might think loyalty is a thing of the past. But at Aspen Coffee, Oklahoma’s first small-batch roaster, a ground-breaking approach and robust sense of community have fueled a 28-year coffee culture.
In 1994, longtime friends Matt Johnston and Kelly Lyda tapped into the emerging coffee shop phenomenon and opened the first Aspen Coffee in Stillwater, OK. Little did they know, they were pioneering the craft coffee movement in Oklahoma. “It’s interesting how the coffee industry has evolved,” Matt reflects. “Early on, it seemed like a lot of shops opened simply because it sounded cool to have a coffee shop, even if coffee wasn’t really their passion. Now, there are incredible independent coffee shops everywhere. I’m a big believer in supporting all local coffee.”
Four Stillwater locations and two Edmond cafes later, this buzzing coffee shop still gives you all the feels of the original magic they stirred up 28 years ago. There’s a reason their lattes are legendary, with full, rich flavor and no burnt taste or harsh after-bite. Not only do they source the best beans from all around the globe, but they micro-roast them to keep the coffee as fresh as possible. Business partner Kelly Lyda, under the nickname Fast Eddie, is the Master Roaster in Stillwater. “Kelly can really distinguish the tiny nuances of each variety of bean–color, temperature, sound and smell–when the batches are smaller,” Matt explains.
A great bean deserves a great brew, and each Aspen Coffee drink is handcrafted by enthusiasts who proudly obsess over every step in the process. Using semi-automatic LaMarzocco espresso machines, they’re kickin’ it old-school with nothing preprogrammed into the machine. The baristas can completely control and monitor each shot of espresso and each pitcher of steamed milk.
“Since there are so many really good local coffee shops in Oklahoma, we strive to create an overall experience at Aspen. We want to build relationships along with serving great coffee,” Matt says. The new Edmond location on 150th St., which opened in 2022 after moving from the 15th St. location, is a spacious hangout that also offers easy grab-and-go access, especially with a drive-thru. Inside, the sun-drenched café invites you to spread out and do homework, meet with clients or curl up on the couches for cozy conversations with friends.
Love at First Shot
Life is just better with espresso. And when Aspen meticulously melds it into tasty lattes, it’s a slam dunk, especially with an endless variety of flavor options. If you’re feelin’ chill, the Granita frozen latte is your new best friend. The Cortado is another top choice, with equal parts espresso and steamed milk.
Aspen’s baked goods are the perfect soul mate to your favorite drink. Cookies, scones, breads and more are made from scratch and baked fresh daily at each location. The breakfast burritos and biscuit sandwiches are available all day. And for the ultimate treat, try the chocolate-covered espresso beans—yum, and oh yeah!
Over the decades, Aspen has developed a fun following of fans known as “Aspenheads.” Even before social media, loyal patrons proudly wore their Aspen t-shirts and took pics while traveling and enjoying great adventures. “It’s incredible,” Matt admits. “We are completely humbled that Aspenheads would think of us while visiting amazing places all over the world. People really get a feeling of community when you hang their pic on the wall.”
Stop by Aspen Coffee in Edmond at 2450 NW 150th St. or 3649 E. 2nd St., or visit aspencoffeecompany.com.