An Amazing Coffee Experience


Warning: Man on the Website! Testosterone Levels Briefly Elevated. The hubby was so excited about this cup of coffee that I told him to blog about and share his experience. I haven’t  seen him this excited since the last release of employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The following post is by Steve Nivin (aka the Big Stud) (aka the man who brings me coffee he made in a french press every morning!)


At the end of our economic forecast breakfast last week, the photographer for the event, Jonathan Alonzo, mentioned to me a coffee shop in town that roasted their own coffee. He claimed not to be a coffee expert, but he said he thought the coffee was really good. He also mentioned that Johnny Hernandez, chef/owner of La Gloria and True Flavors catering introduced him to the place. When one of the top chefs in town takes one of the top photographers to a coffee shop, which leads the photographer to tell me how good the coffee is at the place, that is more than good enough for me. I am certainly going to try it.


I consider myself a foodie and a coffee nerd. Case in point, I actually read books about coffee. So, the next morning I ventured to The Brown Coffee Co. at 1702 W. Kings Highway in the Deco District. It is just off Fredericksburg Road at the corner of Zarzamora and Kings Highway.


When I entered the building, the first thing that I noticed was the smell of really good coffee. I then noticed that it is a rather small, nondescript place with a few tables to sit at and enjoy your coffee. I approached the small counter and ordered a regular size coffee in one of their single origin beans roasted in the shop. (I do not recall where the beans were from.) Once I ordered my coffee, I was in for a real show. On the counter there are simply two small appliances that look like electronic kitchen scales. On top of each is a glass beaker with a ceramic coffee filter cone. The barista takes out a filter and places it in the cone. Gets a bit of hot, filtered water and pours it over the filter to settle the filter into the cone and warm the glass beaker. Once this is accomplished, the water is discarded and the cone with filter placed back on the beaker with all of it on what I assume is the scale. The beans, which again, have been roasted on site, are placed into the grinder and ground to the appropriate size. Yes, they grind the beans at the time of the order; there are not pre-ground beans used here. The ground coffee is then placed into the filter, and it appears the barista is measuring the appropriate amount by weight. Once the grounds are in place, she takes a small wooden stick akin to half of a chopstick and makes a small crater in the coffee grounds. A very small amount of hot water is poured on top of the coffee grinds to settle them down. Once this is done, she pours the rest of the hot water over the grounds to be filtered into the warm beaker. It might sound like it takes a long time to get through this process, but it only takes about 4-5 minutes. The process is a blast to watch and is it ever worth the wait.


Blown away by this show, I was handed my carefully and expertly brewed cup of coffee, and I excitedly took it to my car and went to the office. I took the first sip while sitting in the car and dang near had a religious epiphany right there. As my wife says when she eats something really good, “This is so good I just want to roll around naked in it.” If I could do that with hot coffee without burning myself, I would do it with this coffee. The coffee was the perfect temperature – not so hot that all you got was heat but just the right temperature to extract all of the flavors out of it. And did they ever extract the flavors out of it. I sat in my office and drank this coffee and felt like I was drinking some exotic, high dollar wine because of the complexity of all of the flavors they extracted out of the beans. It was amazing. The flavors even held up and did not change as the coffee cooled, which is one of the standards I use for an outstanding cup of coffee. I have had coffee in Italy, tasted coffee from Austria, had coffee at many restaurants throughout the U.S., drank more than my share of Starbucks, and have Peet’s coffee shipped to the house. I have been fortunate to have some good coffee, and I am obnoxious enough to think that I can make a good cup of coffee at home with my Peet’s coffee, which I still love. This coffee from Brown, though, was far and away the best cup of coffee I have ever had. It’s not even close. I seriously doubt there is a better cup of coffee on the planet. Yes, it is that good.


Now that I have gushed about the coffee, it is necessary to give a couple of caveats. The coffee provided here is for those who actually like the taste of coffee, as you will not find any sweeteners or creamer to put in your coffee here. If you drink it at the café, they will provide you with an actual mug to drink it out of from what I can tell, but you will be drinking it black. You can also get espressos or if you have to have milk, you can also get lattes. I am not a latte kind of guy, but I have been told they are amazing, too. Even if you like sweeteners and creamer in your coffee, I urge you to still give this place a try, as the tastes that come out of this coffee may just sway you to start drinking your coffee black. If you just have to doctor up your coffee, they do sell beans that you can take home and brew your way. The second caveat is that there is no wi fi available.


If you want to check it out further, you can find more information at their website at If you really love coffee, though, I strongly encourage you to drive over there, enjoy the thrill of watching someone engage in their craft with true passion, and delight in an amazing cup of coffee.


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  1. Wow. Thank you so much for your kind words! We look forward to seeing you again here at Brown.


    • The odds are pretty good that you will see the hubby tomorrow! Thanks again for providing San Antonio such wonderful coffee!

  2. David Ross says:

    Steve, I’m the same way as you about my coffee. When I found out Brown Coffee Co. was in our neighborhood I was really excited. I was even more impressed to see and taste what a great coffee experience they offer. Aaron is a great at teaching about coffee. The shop, I think, reflects his whole philosophy about coffee. The coffee is a fruit and doesn’t need all the sweeteners, syrups and other crap to be delicious. So the shop doesn’t need wi-fi, pastries, frappucinos, etc. Let me know if you’re in the neighborhood some time and we’ll go have a cup.

  3. Jenee Blanco says:

    It was nice to meet you today, Steve! I didn’t realize that you were the one to thank for this great blog post I enjoyed reading a few months ago. I’m glad you are enjoying my husband’s coffee. Thank you for your kind words and support!

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