Triptych – A Modern (Largely) Coffee Romance

Triptych – A Modern (Largely) Coffee Romance
Lois Robertson and Betz Baker outside of their new home, True Leaf Studio / Photo courtesy of Triptych

By Rob Curran

Betz Baker and Lois Robertson knew exactly how long the most momentous meeting of their business lives would last – 20 minutes…the time it took Lois to come up on an edible.

Betz was working at Kimzey’s coffee shop in Argyle when they met Lois, who they would visit next door at Earl’s 377 to watch her toss pizza. Betz and Lois started dating “right before the ice storm in 2021,” fell in love, and moved in together in Denton in 2022.

About this time last year, Betz and Lois were online, trying to get a deal on some bookshelves. It seemed like a low-risk activity to pair with some marijuana mind ambience, but the drug gods seldom smile on those who try to time their highs. Moments after Lois took the proverbial faith leap, the shelving search somehow turned up a surprisingly affordable portable coffee shop. It’s precisely this kind of disorientating loop-throwing situation, my Irish friend Shaggy used to say ruefully, that only happens when you’re on drugs.

With the sands rushing through the mental egg timer, Betz and Lois quickly established that a coffee shop was both their preferred visions of the food business they had talked of starting; they discovered they were both ready for a huge change; and, finally, they learned that each was quite a bit more spontaneous than your average Joe and/or what each other might have thought.

The decision was made, as it basically had to be, before Lois entered the space that Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones once estimated  to be 2,000 light years from home (an estimate that Shaggy has since confirmed through extensive research).

Texas honey cappuccino dusted with cinnamon and garnished with a Mini Stroopwafel / Photo courtesy of Triptych

“Dean from Java Rocket (previously in Harvest House) was selling his espresso machine (a Linea mini), grinder (a Mazzer super jolly) and a portable fridge for a bundled price,” said Betz. “We shook hands and went home with Sid." Sid is the espresso machine that Betz named after her grandfather)."

The naming of the portable coffee shop took a bit longer. Sid sounded a bit curt (though it might have garnered my vote). Lois is an artist, and one of her spirit paintings is the Hieronymus Bosch piece “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” the tripartite carnivale vision of Eden that looks like a Denton muralist wandered into 1490. Now the cart that Betz and Lois acquired is a substantial craft but you’d need an 18-wheeler to have a name as long as Bosch’s beloved painting. They kept cogitating, and they kept an ear out for the Universe’s opinion in the matter. The Universe, it turned out, had a strong opinion. One of the bakers that Lois followed on Instagram posted a before, in-oven and after picture of a loaf of bread. “Bread triptych” was the caption. Everywhere they looked, the word Triptych seemed to pop up.

And, so, Triptych Coffee was born. After purchasing a cart and a water setup, Betz and Lois opened Sept. 1, 2023. They upgraded the coffee grinder after placing second in an entrepreneurial competition associated with Stoke Coworking.

During town events, their cart frequently appeared outside True Leaf Studio, the boutique plant store at 301 South Locust, just south of the square. Now, Triptych has a full time spot under True Leaf’s awning (and inside the store when it rains). Triptych will feed caffeine habits from Tuesday-to-Saturday from 9 am to 4.30 pm and on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm.

Currently, Triptych's beans come from Creature Coffee in Austin.

People lucky enough to work at the Stoke Coworking Space generally have flexible schedules. But they will move around anything less than a funeral to make sure. I’ve seen people with what appear to be counterfeit laptops posing as co-workers just to score a place in the line on Triptych coffee days.

Betz Baker (foreground) gets regaled by article author Rob Curran (middle) after a long day of slinging espresso at Stoke Coworking / Photo by Shea Scott LoiLoiLlll

I’ve had Triptych's cappuccino and their cappuccino mocha. This coffee is as smooth and on point as Cee-Lo Green singing a Ryan Gosling character chat-up line in High C. 

"Partnering with True Leaf Studio has been a dream so far, and we're stoked to tell y'all that we are extending our hours..." with the grand opening on Friday, March 22. "We'll have a handful of discounts to offer!" promises Betz. 

No confirmation at press time as to whether Shaggy or the original Sid will be in attendance, but I would not be surprised.