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The Bend Magazine

The Call of the Coral Bean

07/29/2020 05:00PM ● By Julieta Hernandez
By: Julieta Hernandez Photos By: Rachel Benavides

The Coral Bean is a South Texas-native plant with a vivid red hue that stands out in any landscape. It’s attractive to busy hummingbirds, much like coffee shops are attractive to busy city folk. According to owner Curt Flowers, Coral Bean Cafe is another way of naming it Corpus Cafe, without saying Corpus.

Tucked into a busy southside business plaza, Coral Bean Cafe sprouted around November and has since been in the running for the city’s best coffee. Flowers, who runs the show, said that’s his goal: Corpus’ best coffee…and best tacos. “Coffee and tacos is a combination that really only makes sense in Corpus,” he says. Flowers is knowledgeable, energetic, and friendly; just the kind of guy you want to serve you your early morning coffee. For him and his employees, quality assurance is a must.

The little details in Coral Bean’s espresso are monitored closely, which is what makes a good cup of joe every time. This includes measuring espresso shot times, keeping their local coffee beans in airtight containers, and polishing that shiny espresso machine inside and out. “I’m a barista, but in Italy, that means bartender – so, I’m a bartender,” Flowers explains, lining up about five shakers in front of him. “We shake our drinks, or stir them, as if we were at a bar. It’s to get the best out of a drink.”

With the cafe also working on its liquor license, the terminology is a friendly foreshadow. The Botanical Berry Bliss is a yummy non-coffee drink the cafe offers, and it’s probably the hottest thing off the menu right now.

Luckily, Flowers loves making this one. He puts two ounces of hibiscus in hot water to steep. Then in a shaker he combines ½ ounce each of blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry puree; all pureed in house. A bit of sugar syrup for the tartness, fresh green tea, and then the strained hibiscus tea. His technique in shaking a drink is complex and professional, which probably stems from his days running a bar in Chicago before coming to the Coastal Bend. When strained, if the deep magenta color is right, Flowers throws in fresh ice and sends off the fruity, antioxidant-filled drink. Also on the menu is the Machito: a matcha … mojito. The virgin cocktail shakes mint, matcha, and citrus into a refreshing, cooling beverage, and the flavor profiles go a little crazy with the fresh ingredients shining through like they do.

These fun drinks, including a Matcha Arnold Palmer, are suited for anyone who’s down to try something new. The cafe has plans set to host events in their huge, inviting location in the future, as well as bringing alcoholic drinks to the table. As a fresh face in the local cafe scene, Flowers is focused on creating a flawless customer experience with high quality beverages and espresso that will impress even the connoisseurs.

Coral Bean Cafe | (361) 334-0194 | 7426 S Staples St #107