This post is written by Matthew Lovett, a local freelance writer and former barista.
Though just about every food or drink option served at downtown hangout Café Brioso is certainly delicious, it seems that was only the beginning for coffee roastmaster/co-owner Jeff Davis. That’s why he made it a point to bring his true focus and passion — coffee — to the forefront in his brand’s newest venture, Brioso Coffee.
“[Brioso Coffee] is super-focused on coffee. We’re not getting distracted by a bunch of different needs,” says Davis. “We can be really focused on executing the cups and the recipes and communicating with the customers about the coffee… We’re putting ourselves in a coffee vacuum.”
Davis explains the “new home” at 329 E. Long St. allows the Brioso Coffee brand to better cater to their wholesale accounts through the accessibility of the location and the additional space, which allows them roast more coffee. Eventually, the majority of the coffee roasting is set to be done on Long Street.
For anyone that’s been to Café Brioso (located at 14 E. Gay St.), Brioso Coffee might be a bit of a culture shock. Framed by exposed brick, the interior has a bit of an older-era Columbus charm. It’s actually a straight-up coffee shop, and more spacious than the storefront gives it credit for. It helps that there are long tables to make the spot conducive to bringing a whole crew of friends or finding one’s own solitude (yes, there’s wi-fi). It’s topped off with an upgraded roasting system that plays centerpiece to the whole shop, providing a bit of eye candy to enthusiasts and regular joe-drinkers alike.
Though not too far away from their Café Brioso roots, Brioso Coffee opens up more opportunity to reach a greater audience. Davis mentions “[in this area] we got the students of CCAD and Columbus State, we got the residential neighborhood springing up really fast and we’ve got downtown workers.”
That sense of opportunity also carries over into the coffee offerings it dons on its menu. It might seem bare-bones compared to the Gay Street spot, but it showcases an expanded manual brew and specialty coffee options. The previously understated pour-over bar at Café Brioso is now front-and-center here, set to brew up around three different coffee options regularly. Customers are encouraged to try out one of Brioso’s higher-end coffee options via a pour-over, or the seldom-seen Blossom method.
In addition, latte lovers and espresso nerds might be intrigued to find out that the house espresso blend has been updated as well. The renewed recipe has been engineered to mesh with milk better while being delicious served by itself — Davis even says the “cappuccino’s even better” now.
Brioso Coffee was already a huge step for Davis and his crew, and they’re still growing into the space, so expect the spot to be tinkered with and flourish over time. At the moment, Davis is playing with the idea of doing coffee cuppings (the process of tasting and observing the aroma of coffee) for the public or even sprucing up the original Café Brioso. Nothing’s set in stone, though, and that’s how Davis likes it.
“[We’re] getting to where it’s a comfortable starting point,” Davis says. “We’re going to grow into it organically, based on how things go and what the customers want. That’s how we built Café Brioso, and that’s part of its magic – we just allowed it to become a product of its environment.”
Check it out for yourself: Brioso Coffee is open Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday – Sunday, 8 a.m. to noon.