Cup of Joe. Bean juice. Java. No matter what you call it, coffee has become a staple in millions, possibly billions, of people’s morning routines all across the globe. Picked, roasted, and brewed, the beverage these beans produce is comparable to no other. It has a distinctive flavor, yet somehow manages to yield different flavor notes. It has the same color, but there’s a complexity of one cup to the next that makes each roast unique. This past weekend, Erick and I got to celebrate the wonderful drink and explore these nuances at the 5th Annual San Antonio Coffee Festival.
The day the festival was held, it was a brisk 23 degrees outside. I’m not sure if Erick and I were more excited to taste the coffees or just get a warm cup in our hands! We walked around scoping out the vendors and looking at everything the had froze (it is a rare thing in San Antonio!) and then each picked 4 different coffees we wanted to try. A flight of 4 tastings was just $5, and although there were 15 different vendors and 30+ coffees, 4 was an alright caffeine level for me.
My love of coffee didn’t begin until I was 18 and a freshman in college. Any coffee I drank prior to then was more of a syrup or a little coffee in my sugar, so it doesn’t count. I would fill my thermos with… wait for it… INSTANT coffee, ** GASP ** leave it black and be on my way.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I took the PourLab classes from Brown Coffee and really learned a thing or two about the beans. (You can sign up for the classes here.) I never knew how the grind or temperature of the water could effect the taste so much, and now I can sometimes taste restaurant coffee and know that it has been sitting at too high of a temperature, or that it wasn’t roasted or ground fresh. Coffee snob, I know.
Though I may be more particular about my brew today, I do not consider myself a connoisseur. I simply know that I like more mild roasts over dark, and I now know how to properly make a cup. (Yes, there are right and wrong ways depending on how you are brewing.)
After finishing our flight, our favorite coffee out of those we sipped came from Big Bend Coffee Roasters. Their beans from Mexico were mellow and had great taste. Not too strong, and not too subtle. Definitely a cup of yummy goodness! We were disappointed that our current favorite coffee roaster, Quantum Coffee, didn’t attend the event, and still think they hold the crown for best cup of coffee overall. (You can snag a bag of their beans and see for yourself from Chocollazo. )
To soak up some of the caffeine, we ate lunch at Paloma Blanca. If there is anything that warms you up better than a hot cup of coffee in your hands, it is queso in your mouth! Haha! Pozole was a nice touch, too.
We are already excited for next year’s festival and aren’t quite sure how we missed out on the last 4 years! Dangit! I recommend following the San Antonio Coffee Festival on Facebook to stay in-the-know.
Wishing you endless energy and love until your next cup of coffee,