Photo courtesy of Matt Ludwikowski
Brash Coffee is opening its first Atlanta store in the Westside Provisions District in early summer 2015. In 2011, owner Matt Ludwikowski was working at Octane and took a trip to El Salvador with one intention: work directly with coffee farmers to learn as much about coffee as he could. He practiced what he learned and, two years later, opened the first Brash Coffee store in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
What is Brash Coffee all about?
Brash Coffee is an honest company that sources beans directly from farmers in El Salvador that I’m friends with and visit with annually. We roast the beans ourselves and brew it mostly by hand. Currently, we are roasting in Athens and hope to move our roasting operation to Atlanta.
What’s the space in White Provisions going to look like?
The space will be on the grassy knoll in front of Yeah! Burger, on the corner of Howell Mill Road and 14th Street. We’re actually building a shipping container store, and it’s going to be the same interior as our store in Chattanooga. My philosophy for the Brash stores is to build them like a coffee kitchen. When you walk into a Brash Coffee, you’re just walking into a room with a big table where you can stand or sit at the bar and complete your entire experience without having to move. You can place an order, talk to the barista, pay for your coffee and enjoy it, all in one spot. This way, you don’t feel like you’re in the way.
How does Brash Coffee fit into the Westside coffee scene?
When it really comes down to it, the coffee scene in general is very amiable. We all visit each other’s shops, and we want to be people who create amazing coffee and build a community by celebrating that. We are concerned mostly with just being ourselves and looking to support our friends and the community.
This first store in Atlanta, because of the space, will foster a five-to-ten minute coffee experience. There won’t be any tables inside, as it’s just bar seating inside with an outdoor patio. I see Brash as a communal space where people come to see their friends, hang out, and talk. If we open a second location, that will be bigger and enable people to sit and stay to work or study.
What are some menu offerings people can expect?
We will have drip coffees, espresso, macchiato, cortado, cappuccino, and latte styles available, and those can be made hot or iced. We’ll also have a locally made ginger soda and handmade pastries and snacks. We won’t have any caramel sauce or mochas because we want the coffee to speak for itself.
Because I know the farmers so well, I am using their names to delineate the different coffees. This way, you can order a dripped coffee named for Ruben Magana from El Salvador and learn a bit about the farmer and how the product tastes. Ruben’s coffee is made using a full-natural coffee process that brings the fruit flavors to the forefront. These are conversations we want to have in the store.