by GENEVA NATAL
Coffee shops mean more to people than just the coffee. It’s about a place to hang out, relax or study, and enjoy a warm beverage.
Fall is finally here, and along with it comes a drop in temperature and an increase in the need for coffee. Many college students regularly go to coffee shops, many of which change their food or drink menus to celebrate the season. Sugar Browns, Yellow House, and Golden
Stripe are among the local coffee shops in Lubbock giving people a taste of fall.
Sugar Browns Coffee, located at 1947 19th St. in Lubbock, caters to local college students. Sugar Browns has many offerings to celebrate the fall season, besides the infamous pumpkin spice latte, including pumpkin spice chocolate chip muffins and maple pecan scones.
On any given day, Sugar Browns has “ a selection of different coffee varieties and brew methods, such as the French Press, Chemex, or the Stagg XF,” according to the manager Taylor McAlpine. Try out their expresso if you are looking for an extra boost. Their cappuccino and americano do the trick to get through the late night study session.
The Sugar Browns famous latte is described as “a rich caramelized sugar” by McAlpine, who recommends this to new customers to try on their first visit. However, they do have other lattes. If the sugar brown isn’t for you, try a delicious mocha or plain vanilla latte. Sugar Browns even has a non-coffee menu which includes chia tea, london frog, and a fan favorite this time of year, hot chocolate.
These drinks are made with what McAlpine calls, “private label roast from award-winning, nationally recognized, Texas-based roasters,” which allows the freshest coffee to be served. Sugar Browns is known for serving great coffee, having the best kolaches in town, and being an avid supporter of creativity.”
“It’s this sense of collaboration and community that I love about the coffee industry,” he adds. Sugar Browns also hosts a special Pumpkin Painting event during the First Friday Art Trail.
The atmosphere at Sugar Browns is unique. Like other coffee shops, it has the fresh smell and the low lights for comfort. However, at Sugar Browns the seats are comfortable, the area is open, and there’s a place for everyone. There are booths for couples, chairs and long tables for study groups, bar stools, and even a patio, which is a big hit with students, as a place to relax and read.
“Sugar Browns is known for its warm and welcoming environment,” according to McAlpine.
“We have a young customer base that loves to spend time hanging out on our patio, spending time with friends, or studying for their next time in our shop,” McAlpine added. “We frequently receive compliments about the different Spotify playlists we have playing.”
Sugar Browns is a must to visit while in Lubbock. The staff cares about the customer and the coffee they make for each person. Each person who walks through the door is instantly engaged, and the extra effort is apparent.
“The most significant difference is our heart,” says McAlpine. “You can see it in our logo, the ‘Heart and Spro’. We engage with customers in a more personal way, and we try to get to know them and make them feel as part of the Sugar Browns family.”
Yellow House Coffee, located at 3017 34th St. in Lubbock, serves many college students on their homemade furniture. The seating is recycled, meaning it’s made out of pipes and refurbished material which is very intriguing to new customers. The low lighting allows customers to relax as they buy a cup of coffee.
“It’s a meeting place for college students, a good place to regroup after a long week,” says manager Collin Elas.
Yellow House caters to student clientele very well by offering community tables for studying and free Wifi for customers.
“For newer people, I would say try a latte or one of our house-made flavors,” Elas says.
Traditional coffees such as the latte, cappuccino, and cold brew are only a few drinks recommended for new customers. There are other non-coffee items, including cookies, scones, bagels, and muffins. On Saturdays, Yellow House offers a full hot breakfast menu. There is even a variety of different drinks for non-coffee drinkers such as hot chocolate, mineral water, hot apple cider, lemonade, and italian cream sodas. All are offered year round, though the menu changes throughout the year.
Yellow House also offers a seasonal menu which includes both drinks and pastries available upon request. At this time of year, the seasonal menu includes the infamous Pumpkin Spice latte and even seasonal homemade syrups that are definitely worth trying.
“We also buy directly from Oakland coffee,” said Elas. “Through direct trade and meticulously roasting, we follow quality control which we have developed over time. In the coffee industry, we use direct trade, which means we have direct relationships with farmers.”
Students are a big part of their clientele, because of what makes Yellow House Coffee memorable.
“It’s our culture,” Elas explained. “Our product is constant. That makes us stick out here.”
Golden Stripe coffee shop has unique qualities that make their coffee one of a kind. The owners are graduates of South Plains College. Zach and Zane Montandon own the coffee shop located at 2610 Salem Ave., Suite 5, in Cactus Alley in Lubbock.
The brothers, who grew up loving coffee, started with a mobile espresso and expanded to what became Gold Stripe Coffee. Both Zach and Zane yearned to make their coffee exceptional, so before they opened their store, they did taste testing and made sure the quality of their coffee was the closest to perfection.
“We get coffee from countries like Brazil, Guatemala, and Mexico, which come in as green coffee beans, unroasted seeds of coffee fruit,” said Zach Montandon.
They credit the farmers who are growing the crops and the hard work they put in so that the brothers have the ability to do what they want to do in the coffee industry.
Both owners said they love the challenges that come with importing raw coffee beans and roasting them in house, the craftsmanship of an espresso or latte art, and bringing smiles to their customers. Each menu item is made with love, including the filtered coffee that varies depending on the beans that are used. The expressos and lattes are some of the most ordered and best to try out for a new customer. There is decaf and even sugar-free vanilla for customers, or you can add an extra shot in your expresso. Either way, add a waffle, which is a must try item, and you can even add toppings such as mocha, lechera, or caramel.
“We believe we are created to create,” said Zach Montandon.
Gold Stripe even offers classes on the second Saturday of the month. This month is latte art to teach others to create.
With a welcoming, modern, and friendly vibe, Golden Stripe is open to anyone who walks in and wants a cup of coffee.