Episode 6: Coffee culture in San Antonio

KSAT Explains looks at coffee history and culture, and why specialty coffee has become a trend

SAN ANTONIO – Coffee used to be just a morning beverage or the drink people needed to start their day. Now it seems coffee is ingrained in our culture.

Coffee houses have become social spots and several shops have popped up across San Antonio in the past decade. In this week’s episode of KSAT Explains, we take a deep dive into the coffee culture in the Alamo City.


First, here’s some quick coffee facts we learned while researching this topic.

  • The origins of coffee are a bit mysterious. No one is 100 percent sure how it was discovered or exactly when. According to the National Coffee Association, the most popular theory dates back to 9th century Ethiopia when some people believe coffee was discovered by a goat herder named Kaldi who noticed his goats seemed wired after eating the berries from a certain tree.
  • Ethiopians also perform coffee ceremonies. It is a ritualized form of making and drinking coffee for the purpose of getting together with relatives, neighbors or connect with one another. A woman who is a senior member of the community will roast coffee, prepare and grind it.
  • Coffee came to the new world in the mid-1600s after it had already become widely consumed in the Arabian Peninsula and then Europe. It gained popularity in the United States after the Boston Tea Party of 1773 when colonists fought back against a heavy tax on tea imposed by King George III. Switching from tea to coffee became somewhat of a patriotic act.
  • Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world. It is estimated that around 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day.

Coffee has evolved over centuries and how it gets to your cup is an interesting journey. We examined how it starts, how it’s roasted and processed.

If you want a good cup of coffee in San Antonio, you have several options. From coffee houses to trucks, there’s something for everyone, but that was not always the case. Here’s a look at the evolution of the coffee industry here at home.

One of San Antonio’s most well-known coffee connoisseurs is Spurs guard Patty Mills. His love for coffee not only helps the Spurs bond as a team, but also led to a fundraiser in May to help victims of domestic violence.

Making coffee has become an art form and the perfect brew can be done at home. KSAT Meteorologist Sarah Spivey’s husband Michael Bringardner is a local barista. Click here to check out his step-by-step guide to brew a great cup of coffee.

KSAT Explains: Make the "perfect" cup of coffee

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