Matt Toomey Wants You to Appreciate Your Daily Caffeine

Toomey enjoys espresso-based drinks, but goes for drip coffee in the morning.

What is your go-to coffee drink?
Oh boy. It depends on what time of day it is. I have to start off with drip coffee, and then I graduate to espresso-based drinks, and I feel like I have set myself up for that. People are creatures of habit. So I can't get off on the caffeine; I have to have the drip and then the espresso. I'm a drip-coffee guy definitely, but if I'm going to drink espresso, I like a cortado. Like a 1:1 ratio of espresso to milk, and that's perfect for me.

How do you take your drip coffee? Black? Sugar? Cream?
Black. Try and taste what some of the inherit flavors are in there. I have nothing against putting anything in your coffee. I just say taste it first. Sometimes you will find that you can retrain your palate to find different things that you weren't used to.

What is your favorite bean that y'all have?
I am definitely partial to East African, so Ethiopian coffees, Kenyans. I think that they are the most complex and at the same time well rounded. That seems like an inherit contradiction, but typically, Ethiopian coffees are of older varietals and aren't cross-bred to combat growing conditions or some pest; they're all heirloom varietals over there. I think that's what I'm attracted to. You know, you go to the store and buy an heirloom tomato and buy a conventional tomato, slice it, eat it, and be like, duh, I want the heirloom. It's kind of like that for me. They have a broader range of roast ability, so to speak. You can go light roast, or dark roast, and all along the spectrum it's really good, whereas with a lot of other coffees if you get too light, you get some sour notes, or too dark it's too bitter. Ethiopians are just really flexible coffees.

What type of roaster do you use?
It is an American-built, US Roaster Corps, and they are out of Oklahoma City, and we currently use a five kilo, and we are going to be setting up a 12 kilo here downtown whenever we open [The Honeymoon].

Toomey sips on espresso next to the roaster at Boomtown.

How much do y'all roast at a single time?
A little under ten pounds.

When you first started making coffees, what was the first drink ordered that you made?
Oh geez, besides drip coffee, I think it was a mocha. I'm pretty sure it was a mocha. It was probably pretty bad. It was probably like really hot and too sweet.

If you weren't a roaster, what would you be?
I think I'd probably do something like wholistic healing, something like that. I have this calling to be a healer. That's the only answer I have for you really. That sounds kind of funny, but it's true, like a wholistic body approach to well-living.

Where do you go for coffee if you're not getting your coffee here?
Who do I want to plug here? Ha ha! I like a lot of coffee in town. I guess it just depends on proximity. If I'm in the Heights and I don't want to go to Boomtown, I go to Revival. If I'm not going there, I like Southside a lot, Catalina of course, you know the usual suspects. Blacksmith. Like I need to say that. They get enough press. But they're all really good. So right now I'm looking forward to a couple of other places that are going to be opening.

When you go to these places, what do you usually order?
I kind of let them choose for me. We all know each other, so they're usually really excited to share something they're really excited about. I just give them the barista's choice and I usually end up with like an espresso and some alternative brew from a guest coffee, or something like that.

Somebody comes in and doesn't know what to order, what do you suggest that they have?
Well, I always start with drip coffee, for a lot of reasons. I think that it's really easy to make a milk and espresso drink; almost anywhere you go it is going to be good. I think there's more to be told about drip coffee. It's the purest form that you can taste the coffee and you're not ... I don't mean to say tainting it, but you're not adding something to it to give it another flavor profile. You're just getting it as it is. So, for that reason I think it's a really great introductory point for coffee novices or for people who have been drinking coffee forever. People expect to taste something when they put coffee in their mouth, and just like with anything, your palate becomes trained to expect things and you kind of have to, if you're interested in that, retrain it. I give people the black-coffee challenge: drink black coffee for a week and then come back and drink it the way you did and you'll either switch, or you're going to just drink it the way you've always drank it.

The story continues on the next page.

Location Info

Boomtown Coffee

242 W. 19th St., Houston, TX

Category: General

West Alabama Ice House

1919 W. Alabama, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Cafe Artiste

1601 W. Main St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Cafe Luz - CLOSED

907 Franklin, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Kitchen Incubator - CLOSED

907 Franklin St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Revival Market

550 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Southside Espresso

904 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: General

Catalina Coffee

2201 Washington, Houston, TX

Category: General

Blacksmith Coffee Bar

1022 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: General

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My Voice Nation Help

Boomtown is excellent and not just the coffee, the food as well.


I certainly enjoy having Boomtown around. The only problem is too many other people do as well and it's getting like the old Yogi Berra joke!


For wine bars, do you say they want us to appreciate our daily alcohol?

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