By David Buehrer, Greenway Coffee Company
The South Central region of the United States isn’t exactly the most travelled when it comes to coffee. Overlooking such an expansive and rapidly growing area would be amiss too, however. Pockets of urban sprawl and a west coast movement to the central have created economic boom that transcends coffee into everyday life. As this region matures a few standouts have emerged with forward thinking ideas, service, and identities.
Oklahoma City comes to mind when thinking about the epicenter of the South Central region. Close enough to drive from any point in this region, cafes turned roasters such as Elemental Coffee and Coffee Slingers have offered this renaissance town a coffee culture all it’s own. A town of old and new, OKC is a great example of emerging coffee markets in the South Central.
Louisiana and Mississippi are the counterpoint, just a fledgling to what can become of them. Filled with massive growth and education potential, leaders such as BeanFruit Coffee Company in Jackson, Mississippi and New Orleans coffee consultant Anderson Stockdale are leading the way for future markets with untapped opportunity.
Moving on to Texas is moving on to a whole new world. Possibly the most developed community has begun in Austin, quickly spreading through San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. Catch ultimate service at Once Over Coffee Bar, taste coffees from roasters abroad at Houndstooth, or dive into supreme locality at Caffe Medici, either way is a win in Austin, TX. San Antonio houses Local Coffee, with new locations scheduled to open later this year, and neighbors Brown Coffee Co. Dallas has seen local entrepreneurs Cultivar Coffee open a microroastery and café (inside a breakfast place, no less) and has helped Cuvee Coffee go from Austin local to Texas wide brand. Houston may be most exciting, with most coffee service opening internally. Fusion Beans has a new espresso bar (and beer and wine) opening, named Southside Espresso, as well as us at Greenway Coffee partnering with local bar Anvil to open the coffee bar concept, Blacksmith. Amaya Roasting Company has many Houstonians excited about microlots and various processing measures as it’s consumer base broadens and offerings mature. West Texas mainstays Evocation Coffee should not be missed either.
Kansas and Missouri have been exploding, with Kaldi’s Coffee, PT’s, and Benetti’s leading the way and support outpouring from their local communities. Kaldi’s picking up former SCAA superstar Marcus Boni has us itching to get on the first plane to Missouri, just to see what is planned next for the exciting company. All in all, there are numerous places to see and experience in the South Central, and this is just a taste of the delicious coffees to come out of this exploding region!