Local coffee guru Kurt Osborne has recently taken his hobby to Main Street in Brookings with the opening of his coffee shop, Kool Beans. From cold brew that is comparable to Guinness, tap and all, to coffee cheese produced by SDSU Dairy, Kool Beans brings a unique twist to coffee lovers in the community.
Starting with an old air popper in his garage, Osborne was a curious man with a penchant for all things coffee. Finding success, he began taking his home-roasted coffee to work and sharing it with friends, creating a literal buzz for more. Making his way through a series of home roasters, Osborne’s hobby quickly turned into a full-time career.
“Coffee was a big part of our family while growing up,” Osborne recollected. “I especially remember the church basement and grandparents and everyone gathering around coffee. In the Lutheran world, it is sometimes considered the third sacrament.”
Osborne took his love of roasting from the garage to the local farmer’s market, specializing in cold brew coffee with vanilla or chocolate almond milk. From there, the popularity of such novelties led them to opening Kool Beans.
“Since our cold brew had gone over so well, we knew we wanted to have a cold brew tap. Nitro is one of the newer variations of a product in the coffee world, and at the time of opening, I don’t think there was anyone in Brookings that offered that,” he said. “We serve it in a crystal stout glass, so the presentation resembles a heart Guinness.”
The cold brew presentation isn’t the only aesthetically pleasing detail in the coffee shop.
“All the tables and the bar are made out of up-scaled or recycled products, and all of our cold and hot cups are compostable,” Osborne said.
Osborne says that having recycled materials was important to them, as well as giving back whenever they can. Kool Beans has recently partnered with various companies and programs, including Brookings County Youth Mentoring Program and Betos, a company out of Nicaragua.
“Betos is an organization that employs a lot of folks down there, and they make a lot of burlap and leather products,” he said. “They also make a lot of products out of coffee trees, like lamps and coasters. We are actually the only place north of Texas to sell their products, so that’s special.”
Blessed with perfect timing and the ideal location, Osborne and his team have had the opportunity to expand from just coffee and espresso.
“We have developed three types of coffee cheese. As an homage to our Swedish heritage, we have created the perfect afternoon snack, with flavors like Chedda Buzz, Smokey Joe, and Rokt Vit,” Osborne said. “We have combined fresh cheese with our freshly roasted coffee beans. It sets us aside and offers something new.”
From giving back to the local community to experimenting with coffee, Osborne has set the tone for a warm and inviting space for students and locals alike.
“We love roasting coffee, but it is even more important for us to give back,” he continued, “especially here in Brookings.”
For more information, a product list, and the full history of free trade, visit koolbeanscoffee.net.
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Dutch Apple Strudel
Hawaiian Macadamia Nut
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