By RICK KELLEY
HARLINGEN — Like a fine wine, the different essences of coffee can be coaxed from the beans depending on their origin, roasting and preparation.
The aroma from these brews will soon be wafting over the streets of Harlingen’s downtown district.
“What we’re going to be focusing on is the natural flavors of the coffee,” said Thomas Garcia, who along with his wife, Ashley, will soon open Bandera Coffee Co. at 415 W. Van Buren Ave.
“We’ll have stuff like Colombian or Ethiopian or a Kenyan, and each one because of their region, their elevation and the soil that they’re grown in, all have different profiles, and we just want to share those profiles with everybody,” he added.
Thomas Garcia was born in Houston but grew up in Weslaco. His wife, Ashley, primarily was raised here in Harlingen.
“My wife, Ashley, and I had been talking about this for quite some time about what we want to do with our lives,” Garcia said. “We decided about a year ago that we want to do something that we love.
“One of those things every time we go out of town is we always hit up coffee shops when we visit Portland or San Francisco, or anything like that,” he added. “I would love to live in one of those cities. But if we can bring some of that home, why not? That’s what we’re doing.”
Many who shop at the Harlingen Farmers Market will be familiar with Bandera Coffee Co., which has been providing gourmet coffee at Saturday market days.
At the farmers market, they’ve offered varieties such as Ethiopian Kochore Tore, Guatemalan Peña Blanca and Ethiopian Yukiro.
“After it’s brewed and after it’s prepared it’s almost kind of seen as like a wine,” Garcia said. “When you have a wine you always search for flavors. ‘Oh, it’s so oaky,’ or ‘it has notes of berries’ or whatever.
“Same idea with coffee — it’s not hard to find those flavors,” he added. “With coffee it’s the matter of the way it’s roasted, where it’s grown, and how it’s prepared.”