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our way or the highway...San Antonio's premier cafe
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
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Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

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Posted Tue Feb 18, 2014, 4:44pm
Subject: our way or the highway...San Antonio's premier cafe
 

or so it seems at Brown Coffee Company in San Antonio on 1800 Broadway.

We were out there with the kids for President's Day weekend. I brought everything I needed to make coffee for me and the wife...MyPressi Twist, 2 extra NO2 cartridges, a spare pf basket, a scale, tamper, regular and decaf beans, a thermometer, and then I realized I left the grinder at home...arrrrrgggggghhh!!!!

So we went to Brown, a half hour drive from our hotel over by Sea World.  I explained to the barista how I make my wife's latte at home...basically a latte with only a half shot spro in it. Then he told me..."we don't customize"...huh?...you don't customize?...wtf?  No, really, they don't. Hell, they don't even make lattes the normal way. I mean, it's not like we were asking for a caramel mocha! Geez, you can't even get a double cappa there.  I wonder if they even serve drinks to go? Well, since we drove all that way...and there was no chance in hell I'd ever return...I got a cappa. It was really good, but I am still pissed off at the experience.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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victoriacoffees
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victoriacoffees
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Location: Victoria
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Posted Tue Feb 18, 2014, 8:06pm
Subject: Re: our way or the highway...San Antonio's premier cafe
 

I've never been there but have heard it was a nice place.

Most of the shops I know would gladly customize a drink within reason. Give them a second try, maybe the barista was having an off day.

 
-John
www.victoriacoffees.com
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,024
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
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Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Feb 18, 2014, 9:35pm
Subject: Re: our way or the highway...San Antonio's premier cafe
 

yeah, it's a nice place and they have great equipment, and the barista did a pretty good job - but I have to also say, I've had better drinks off a Robur/Slayer combo.  He wasn't the owner - who has been praised on HB.  Maybe this guy isn't allowed to customize...but that's not what he said.  He said "we don't", as in the entire cafe...ever.  If, and it's a big if, I ever went in there again...it would pretty much be to find out from the owner if that's really the case...that none of the baristi, including himself, ever make drinks tweaked in milk and espresso content to their customers taste.

An off day?  Well, that's a pretty remote chance.  The guy was pretty full of himself.  He actually tried to justify their stand by saying their shots are not bitter like other espressos...as if the baristi at that cafe are the only ones capable of producing a balanced shot...and as if no one who's never been to their cafe has ever had one.  It was like being condescending in a friendly way.

I've never been to any specialty cafe that wouldn't be willing to make a latte using only half a shot - which is how my wife likes them.

 
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JuanR
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Joined: 30 Nov 2012
Posts: 30
Location: Houston
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jul 22, 2014, 9:56am
Subject: Re: our way or the highway...San Antonio's premier cafe
 

I've had the same experience.  I've been there twice.  They make excellent espresso and coffee, but the policy is pretty ridiculous.  I don't use sugar or milk in my drinks, so the first time I went I didn't even notice this.  The second time I went with my wife and when she asked for a little bit of sugar for her cappuccino she was told no way.  They do have agave syrup that they use for one drink on their menu, but the barista said he was not allowed by store policy to add it to any other drinks.  So he was willing to make her that one drink, that she didn't want, but god forbid she should ask for some syrup or sugar in her cappuccino.  There is no reason to deny someone sugar if that's how they drink their coffee; she was not asking for some outlandish syrup, whipped cream, ice cream coffee shake concoction, just a teaspoon of sugar.

The barista was very nice and knowledgeable on his product (as well as knowledgeable about good restaurants in the area, which was great), and it was clear that this was a management decision that he was just abiding by as a good employee.  I've never been to another specialty shop that had this attitude, but I've been to quite a few shops that are much better than Brown that have no problem giving customers a little bit of sugar to add to their coffee.  I honestly don't see why they would make a big deal out of it.
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DanoM
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Posted Tue Jul 22, 2014, 10:21am
Subject: Re: our way or the highway...San Antonio's premier cafe
 

No sugar rule huh?

I've been to places with a no sugar rule, but they provided house made simple syrup for customers.  Better blending in the drink was the driver I think.

No sugar at all seems a bit drastic and overboard.
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Ian
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Ian
Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1,466
Location: England

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Posted Tue Jul 22, 2014, 10:30am
Subject: Re: our way or the highway...San Antonio's premier cafe
 

JuanR Said:

I've had the same experience.  I've been there twice.  They make excellent espresso and coffee, but the policy is pretty ridiculous.  I don't use sugar or milk in my drinks, so the first time I went I didn't even notice this.  The second time I went with my wife and when she asked for a little bit of sugar for her cappuccino she was told no way.  They do have agave syrup that they use for one drink on their menu, but the barista said he was not allowed by store policy to add it to any other drinks.  So he was willing to make her that one drink, that she didn't want, but god forbid she should ask for some syrup or sugar in her cappuccino.  There is no reason to deny someone sugar if that's how they drink their coffee; she was not asking for some outlandish syrup, whipped cream, ice cream coffee shake concoction, just a teaspoon of sugar.

The barista was very nice and knowledgeable on his product (as well as knowledgeable about good restaurants in the area, which was great), and it was clear that this was a management decision that he was just abiding by as a good employee.  I've never been to another specialty shop that had this attitude, but I've been to quite a few shops that are much better than Brown that have no problem giving customers a little bit of sugar to add to their coffee.  I honestly don't see why they would make a big deal out of it.

Posted July 22, 2014 link

Sounds like they are right up themselves  :/

 
www.videojug.com/film/how-to-behave-on-an-internet-forum
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grumpybarista
Senior Member
grumpybarista
Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 224
Location: Detroit
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: LP Pub1
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Posted Tue Jul 22, 2014, 10:32am
Subject: Re: our way or the highway...San Antonio's premier cafe
 

Never have understood the reasoning that certain coffee shops have about denying a customer their choice. In virtually every other food/drink establishment you can customize your food or drink to you heart's content. But the snobbery about coffee has to end.
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