If you’ve ever thought about starting a coffee business in your garage, a trip to Fretboard Coffee in Columbia, MO may be in order. Located in the North Village Arts District, Fretboard doesn’t hide the fact that it is located in a garage. An elaborate system of glass tubes and jars for their cold brew process gives the shop a bit of a basement lab feel. The experience strips away any pretense and really highlights the fact that this place is all about the coffee.
The shop is small with limited seating inside, but is supplemented with ample tables and chairs outside. Staff is friendly, accommodating and helpful in making selections. The vibe is very laid back and the drinks are carefully crafted.
Beans are roasted on site. In fact the roaster occupies a space right inside the door and at the edge of the bar. Three varieties of French Pressed coffee are available for a quick cup of Joe. In addition to cold brew, Fretboard offers pour overs, siphon, chemex and aeropress methods of extracting flavor from a great selection of beans. A variety of teas and a selection of local pastries round out the menu for Fretboard customers.
You can choose from several varieties of single source beans and some custom blends for your beverage. Coffees from Kenya, Ethiopia, Sumatra, Brazil, and Guatemala allow patrons to explore and satisfy their individual tastes. The different varieties of beans are packaged for retail purchase as well. There was a substantial discount on my pour over when I purchased a bag of beans. An unexpected but very welcomed incentive with immediate rewards.
As the name implies, there is an underlying theme of music. Each bag of beans contains a card with information on the music that was playing during the roasting process. I found Fretboard to be comfortable with a great selection of drinks from a large variety of beans roasted in the shop.