Specialty Coffee Shop and Roastery Set to Open in Midtown Houston
After more than a year of construction and planning, Korean-born coffee specialist Soonkack Kook is ready to open Un Caffè Premium Roastery in a few weeks at 3217 Milam near Wooster’s Garden and the second location of d’Alba in Midtown. (The space was formerly a scooter-rental shop.) Kook is hoping he will be able to host a soft opening by the end of February, as long as there are no delays with the last round of inspections.
For Kook, opening his own small business is all about the details. Since 2008, he’s cut his teeth working in restaurants and coffee shops, most recently at Forth & Nomad in the Heights. He has earned a multitude of accreditations along the way. He’s certified as a Q Arabica Grader, an authorized SCA Trainer (AST), CTechP and obtained the SCA Coffee Skills Diploma.
As the sole proprietor, he’s put his technical know-how front and center. He’s opening with a brand new PROBAT (P12) roaster in addition to a smaller Ikawa 100g sample roaster and an 800g arc roaster from Showroom Coffee. Kook is covering every detail, including the quality of the water, which will be run through a top-of-the-line MRS-600HE-11 Everpure High Efficiency Reverse Osmosis System. Other similarly impressive machines line the back bar.
Kook explains all of this with earnest charm — a defining part of a first-rate hospitality experience. He says he’ll be more than happy to share his knowledge and passion with guests. While standard options like espresso drinks, pour-overs, drip coffee and cold brew are givens, the menu will also feature fun specialties including decadent einspänners (Viennese coffee with whipped cream), chai lattes, matcha and hot cocoa.
Un Caffè’s vestibule leads to a chic, contemporary, oblong space with spacious banquette seating opposite the coffee counter. The roasting room, located at the back of the shop, features a large window so guests can watch the whole process up close. Parking is available on the southeast corner of Milam and Elgin, with metered street parking available in front.
Un Caffé will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mario-Sebastian Berry is a wine and spirits vendor who has been in the hospitality industry since 2002. Currently, he represents Blanco, Texas-based Andalusia Whiskey Co. and multiple wine labels. Somehow, he also finds time to be Houston Food Finder’s associate editor and social media manager.