As California-based Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf franchises make their way into the Houston market, the Jewish community there is hoping the company will continue some recent efforts to make the stores kosher.
According to a recent Houston Chronicle report, observant Jewish people have a some kosher coffee options in Texas’ second-largest city, but those are few and far between. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, meanwhile, has opened some locations in Southern California, Austin, Nevada and Arizona that are 100% kosher. The company plans on expanding to Houston next year. Kosher coffee presents some interesting challenges to coffee processers and cafes, according to the Chronicle report:
What does it take to make a kosher cup of coffee, or for that matter a kosher danish? While coffee beans and tea leaves are inherently kosher, the process of drying, decaffeination and flavoring can make them questionable purchases for Jews. With pastries, the usual rules apply including those concerning animal products, proper preparations and fit amalgams that exclude such things as meat and dairy combinations. The safest bet is that if a certified rabbi oversees the process the food is guaranteed kosher.
Specific plans have not been announced, but a company spokesman told the paper that Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will be well aware of Houston’s Jewish community when it begins operating coffee shops there next year.
“Part of that will be a recognition of Jews in Houston and we would want to connect with a kosher bakery,” he told the Chronicle.