Corpus Christi: Coffee and Beer

During our final days at North Padre Island, I ran low on my home-roasted coffee.  Normally, under such circumstances, I switch to tea or something else.  The chances of getting anything really fresh from a coffeeshop or grocery store is nil.  

Sometimes, it's possible to go directly to a small roaster and ask what was roasted recently.  I found a small roaster in Corpus Christi called Driftwood Coffee Company.  And when I say small roaster, I mean their coffee roaster was really small.  In my own shop, I had a 12 kg roaster that comfortably did batches of 20 lbs every 15-20 minutes.  If I understood the barista correctly, Driftwood was roasting in five pound batches.

The retail shelves were date-stamped for the day that the coffee was roasted.  That's very rare--even in specialty shops.  When I paid attention to Starbucks or even Peets, they used to have a best used by date that projected months out from the date of roasting.  At home, I typically don't use anything that's more than a week or so out from roast date.  

I was very pleased to be able to pick out a bag of Mexican coffee beans that had been roasted that very day.  The price wasn't so pleasing at about $15 for 12 ounces, but I was desperate and enjoy supporting small businesses that do things the right way. As for why I roast coffee myself, I should point out that I typically pay about $5/lb for raw coffee beans and am able to control the degree of roast to my own likes/dislikes.

The Mexican was very lightly roasted.  But that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  The coffee was quite good when brewed.  The degree of lightness was so shocking to me that I began experimenting with lighter roasts when I got back home.  I typically roast to the beginning of second crack (which is typically first oil).  Buying the Mexican from Driftwood inspired me to experiment again with my own roasts. Getting into a rut is never a good thing. 

After our shopping trip to Driftwood, we took a long walk along the gulf in downtown Corpus Christi.  North Padre was very foggy, but the fog was lifting in Corpus, eventually turning into a beautiful day.


 
Memorial to Selena, Queen of Tejano Music
 

After getting in about four miles, we headed over to Nueces Brewing for a late lunch and beers.


The food and beer were both good.  Just as we arrived, the Governor of Texas announced the end of all Covid restrictions.  The employees were celebrating. We headed outside to the deck.


On a previous trip to Corpus Christi, we discovered Lorelei Brewing, which is just on the other side of the bridge from North Padre.  We really liked the beer and the vibe.  Not much had changed, except that masks were required inside. Even though the Governor ended restrictions, responsible businesses continued to set their own rules. We patronize responsible businesses.

On a weekday afternoon, we were basically alone on the outdoor deck.

 
 

Turning to the present, I need to note the possible passing of blogger and long-time commenter Michael Herrmann.Update:  Never mind: he’s still alive. :)





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