As 2016 begins, I’ve decided to begin telling you about some my favorite things in the culinary world, sources for what I consider must-haves. I personally endorse the excellence and quality of the products and the customer service you’ll receive, because I have been sourcing provisions from these companies for a long time, and I’ve never been disappointed. It’s The Brockhaus List of Good Things; it’s a highly personal roster, and I hope it will help you begin your year on a delicious note. (And since I am always excited to learn about new sources, please let me hear about your go-to culinary merchants and sources.)
Morning does not happen unless good coffee is in the mix. “Good” is the important word here. Even in the age of coffee bars on every corner, there is a lot of bad stuff out there, everything from poorly roasted beans to weak and tepid pours.
Houston drinkers are fortunate, because the city is home to a number of good coffee shops, including Greenway Coffee Company, Siphon Coffee, and Catalina, to name but a few, and I’ve had some very good coffee drinks around this town. But I am picky, and I almost always grind and brew my own every morning, sometimes even when I travel — it’s easy to take a cone filter, some filters, a small grinder, and beans with you on your journey. At home and on the road, my beans of choice come (and has been since 1987) from The Kaffeeklatsch.
It is the best coffee I have ever tasted (and I’ve indulged in my daily habit in hundreds of locations, from Paris to Hong Kong, Reykjavik to Cairo, Tokyo to San Francisco). I have found nothing better.
Grant and Kathy Heath opened their shop in 1976, in downtown Huntsville, Alabama, and they’ve been roasting beans in the same location ever since. Roasting is the key here. Yes, they are seasoned purchasers of green beans, and have developed great relationships with producers and brokers over the years, but the magic lies in the way Grant works with his 1929 Jabez Burn roaster. Working in small batches, he and the gas-fired machine take a raw product and transform it into something that has no equal.
Whether you like French Roast for espresso, or prefer beans from Kenyan plantations for your Chemex, I urge you to give The Kaffeeklatsch a try. And don’t forget to let me know what you think.