It’s warming up here in Houston, Texas, but the serious coffee drinkers among us will still stay focused on our daily caffeine not matter how hot it gets. Even when temperatures rise above the current-mid-60’s, and into the 100-plus range, you can find coffee drinkers enjoying their conversations with friends, family, and other coffee fans at local cafes all over Texas.
We recently interviewed some coffee shop owners and learned a bit more about the local coffee economy in and around Houston.
Here are a few tidbits about what we learned:
- Coffee is actually a seasonal drink, but the fanatics (you know who you are) never go away and will always be great for business
- True coffee lovers are quite polarized on Starbucks vs. local coffee house (we tend to prefer the local players)
- Buying coffee is a constant task you must stay on top of in order to ensure the right price, the best quality, and the quickest service
- Coffee that’s been sitting too long on the shelf is only going to frustrate the end customers (the coffee drinkers), so be cautious about where your coffee has been and how long it’s been sitting where it was before you got it
On that last note, we found coffee house owners tend to be very loyal to their trusted network of coffee suppliers. Here’s why:
- If you buy from someone you know and trust, you have more confidence that you know exactly where the coffee has been and how fresh it truly is
- We learned that coffee is sometimes purchased in bulk from a variety of different countries near the equator, and the beans are then shipped to their local distributors in a conex shipping container
- For example, when a container full of burlap sacks arrives in Houston, Texas, that shipment of coffee beans is then sent out to the right stakeholders and it continues on its way in the fast paced coffeeconomy (yup, we just made up that term)
- If you are dealing with a new or not yet trusted player in the coffee buying business, they might have had a huge shipment of beans that they just cannot sell
- If this happens, a seller might be stuck with a conex box all sealed with locks and full of stock that will sit for way too long
- Word of caution: always go with someone you know who will take caution in how long coffee sits before it sells
Our preference is to have a brief conversation with the employee taking our order at the coffee shop, or the owner, just to learn a bit about how each coffee shop buys its coffee.
Favorite coffee house in Houston include Fioza, Starbucks in Meyerland and Bellaire, and of course, several other small mom and pops all across the city. Feel free to post your favorite in the comments section below, and please tell us why you chose it.