Brown Coffee Co.

  • Daily Diversion: Different tastes at Brown Coffee Co. with Aaron Blanco


    I wish I could embed aroma in this video about Brown Coffee Co., where owner Aaron Blanco has created a following by unlocking the pungent, fruity flavors of the coffee bean.

    Aaron Blanco of Brown Coffee Co. in San AntonioAaron is going to compete in a national barista contest, and Brian Chasnoff wrote a nice feature story about Blanco’s approach to brewing a good cup of coffee:

    Aaron Blanco is the sort of barista who describes a particular coffee bean as “brooding” and “mysterious” and another as exuding a taste of “candied strawberry and red berries smothered in milk chocolate.”

    And that’s without any cream or sugar added. In fact, at Blanco’s homegrown coffee bar, Brown Coffee Company, you won’t find any milk or sweeteners for your morning cup, the better to accentuate the bean itself.

    If that sounds like a bitter cup to swallow, consider this: Blanco, 38, recently roasted and steamed his way into the U.S. Barista Championship, having advanced beyond the South Central Regional Barista Competition in Austin.

    He’ll travel to Anaheim, Calif., next week to compete against 49 other baristas from across the nation.

    He defines himself as “a purist.”

    “Coffee’s a fruit,” Blanco said, “so it should taste sweet, like a fruit, if you do your job right.”

    Brown Coffee Co. is in my neighborhood near the Deco District, and every time I visit I learn something new. On that note, here’s an instructional video about the Chemex coffee maker Aaron uses.

  • Daily diversion: Brown Coffee Co.

    Aaron Blanco of Brown Coffee Co. roasts fresh coffee a few blocks from my house in a small building on North Zarzamora Street near the Deco District. I swung by today on my day off and it’s always an adventure. As Aaron often preaches, the coffee bean is a fruit, and his lightly roasted coffee actually tastes fruity. I always learn something — and usually get wired on espresso — when I visit.

    Brown Coffee Co. in San AntonioToday I was stoked because in addition to buying a bag of Ethiopian coffee, I picked up his last hand-powered Burr grinder. Can’t wait to try the thing.

    Aaron teaches coffee classes on weekends and he’s adding a small cafe area. He also teamed up with a culinary expert who makes fresh cheese in the same building. They’re having a grand opening on July 10.