I’m just going to go ahead and preface this post by saying this coffee shop is probably my favorite coffee shop in Tulsa. It’s in a popular yet relatively tame part of town, so it sees good business without being overrun. The atmosphere is relaxed and the place itself just exudes that classic coffee shop vibe. If you live in Tulsa and have never been, or if you’re passing through the area, Shades of Brown is for sure worth a visit. But I promise to keep this review as objective as possible!
Shades doesn’t look all that large from the outside. There’s only a handful of spots behind the building, which means a lot of the time, I find myself having to park in the lot across the street. But once you walk inside, Shades makes really good use of the space that they have. There are plenty of tables and chairs to sit and relax or do work at. There’s even a back room you would totally miss if you didn’t take the chance to walk around.
Not all the furniture matches. But if there’s any place to have eccentric design tastes, a coffee shop is probably where it’ll be most accepted. I was surprised by how many tables and chairs there were inside (and outside on their makeshift patio that’s really just a wide sidewalk). It doesn’t feel crowded, but you can definitely tell that there are plenty of places to sit and stay. That’s a plus not many coffee shops achieve.
There’s a piece of artwork hanging on almost every section of every wall. I would say it’s a bit over done, but I think they know exactly how to spread these masterpieces out to brighten up the room or simply hang a few to accent the already full space.
I can’t remember if the artwork is for sale or not, but these mugs certainly are. I wish I could tell you if they were made by the staff or maybe donated to the coffee shop by the pottery painting business across the street, but I have no idea what the backstory for this little area is. Regardless, it adds a subtle earthy aesthetic to the place and is a great way to make a little extra revenue while promoting a unique artistic medium.
While we’re on the train of aesthetics, is this not the cutest way to provide your guests with a free water after they order?
I ordered an iced dirty chai to-go. My coffee-addict friend, whom I take with me on many of these Coffee Crawl adventures, ordered a vanilla iced coffee. Both were delicious and refreshing, made with not too much espresso, which my headache-prone body thanked me for. I didn’t have one of the pastries they set aside, but I’m sure they would’ve tasted just as good.
I wasn’t going to do this, mostly because I was afraid that later down the road I would find a coffee shop more deserving of this honor, but there’s a first time for everything. Shades of Brown gets a 10/10 rating from me. Sure there are some bugs, but the comfort level I have in a place like this surpasses all those little issues. Let me know what you think of Shades of Brown in the comments section below, and give me some suggestions on a coffee shop you think I should review next!