Take a look inside any Houston coffee shop or café and you will find customers chatting over cups of coffee or espresso drinks. Some may be black or small shots of espresso but most are bigger cups with crafted rosetta or heart shapes decorating the surface of the drink. Depending on what you order you may receive a creamy warmth or a caramelized textured experience as you savor your drink. The two main ingredients that create these sweet and satisfying drinks are obvious: espresso and milk. Most of us know that the espresso comes from carefully sourced coffee beans. Importers, roasters, and sometimes shop owners carefully check the quality of the bean at it’s source, as well as the process used to harvest them. If such care is taken with the espresso, then why not the same with the milk? Why not go to milk origin and discover the quality and process of harvesting coffee’s important companion.
It isn’t hard to argue that Vietnamese Iced Coffee has become one of Houston’s favorite ways to cool off during the summer. This sweet rich coffee drink can be found at dozens of Vietnamese restaurants and cafes, as well as coffee shops like Blacksmith and Paper Co. Within the past year bottled versions, like local Caphin, have appeared on the scene too and quickly grown in popularity. Recently Caphin debuted in Central Market and sold out within a day. Continue reading
I am willing to bet that at least every other day a new food truck appears on the scene in Houston. Add that to the army of existing trucks and it can be hard to stand out among the rest. So, when a new truck opens up that happens to be a ‘57 Cadillac pulling a ‘62 Shasta camper and serves espresso drinks it has no problem making headlines. The real news, I discovered after chatting with Cadillac Coffee owners Meghan Ackerman and Austin Lane, is that the retro theme is no gimmick and not their focus either. Quality, hand-crafted coffee drinks are what they want to give their customers and not just a show. Continue reading
Another awesome coffee that I’ve found this month is Fort Bend Coffee’s Colombia El Diviso. Since I was introduced to it, I have already been through two and a half bags and will be getting some more shortly! It produces a good mellow balanced cup while providing plenty of complexity if you allow it. Continue reading
Houston has such a diverse mixture of cultures that you can drive 10 minutes in any direction and be able to sample food from any part of the world. So, it’s not surprising that you can also find different coffee recipes from around the world as well. Every culture has their own variation of coffee, whether for ceremony or just to cover the taste of burnt low quality beans. Today I’m starting a series that I will be updating periodically, focusing on the different ethnic coffee drinks that you can find in Houston.
One of the best coffees that I have come across this past month is Fusion Bean’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from the Idido Misty Valley. Of course Ethiopian beans are from the birthplace of coffee and considered to be some of the best in the world, but this particular lot is my favorite. I have had it before at Southside Espresso as a shot and loved the strong taste of fresh blueberries cut with lemon zest and a clean aftertaste. The last time that I was there, though, I asked them to make it for me as a pour over. After tasting it, I immediately bought a bag for home. Continue reading
There is a really good article in the New York Times on-line edition that discusses the growth of New York’s coffee scene. It has gone from a few “hard core coffee shops, the ones that felt like underground clubs” to, in the past year, one coffee shop opening almost every three days. The article goes on to say that the scene is not only expanding but it is maturing as well. More New Yorkers know about and are looking for good coffee: e.g. freshly roasted, single origin, and individually crafted drinks. Could this ever happen in Houston? Yes it will, and I can not wait to see it! Continue reading
Spring-time weather has arrived in Houston! Well, at least for a couple of days anyway and that means it’s time to start thinking about how to cool off during the coming summer. For coffee drinkers that means switching to a cold version of our favorite hot drink. I’ve been trying quite a few lately around town, and found a wide variety of tastes. Some are punch-you-in-the-face bold while others are like a cool towel carefully draped on your face after a close shave. The difference in taste depends, of course, on the beans used but also is affected by the brewing method. I think that the best version I have tasted so far is the Japanese iced pour-over. Continue reading