Lavish flavors captured in adventurous concoctions are at the heart of Wild, a vividly designed coffee shop, cocktail bar and dispensary in Houston.
Opened last month by cousins Adyson and Andrew Alvis, the duo behind Houston establishments Grinder’s Coffee Bar and The CBD Apothecary, the new shop has one menu for cannabis-based provisions, one for creative craft cocktails and one for a coffee program focused on beans sourced and roasted for the shop by Jacob Ibarra of Tenfold Coffee.
About 1,800 of the Houston Heights location’s 2,500 total square feet is devoted to its manifold drink-mongering, including separate bar stations for in-house and drive-through customers.
A 2-group Faema E71E espresso machine paired with a Faema Groundbreaker grinder and Puqpress auto tamper make quick work of drinks for motorists on the go, while a 2-group Slayer Steam LP espresso machine and Mahlkönig E65S GbW grinder prepare drinks for indoor service.
An Anfim Cody II grinder is reserved for single-origin espresso and an EK43 grinds for drip and pourover brews in Loveramics drinkware. Beyond the traditional espresso menu, Wild offers a few CBD and hemp-inclusive lattes, and the company makes its own coffee bitters for mocktails and cocktails.
“It’s a proprietary method and the ingredients change seasonally,” Kevin Dikdan, food and beverage director for Wild Concepts, told Daily Coffee News of the bitters. “But we can say that it incorporates fresh coffee, a variety of aromatics and bittering agents, as well as multiple extraction methods.”
Bitters, brew and other ingredients add depth to the cocktail program designed for Wild by Laurie Harvey and Kris Sowell of Ladies of Libation.
Coffee-inclusive concoctions include the Secret Weapon Carajillo, featuring espresso mixed with mezcal, Cointreau, Kahlua, Licor 43, candied orange and cinnamon; and the Lucky Charms, in which coffee meets Irish whiskey, Drambuie, honey and marshmallows.
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“We’re looking to have our cake and eat it, too, providing some of the best coffee and cocktails in Houston and, eventually, beyond,” said Dikdan. “We’re looking for rare and exotic coffees, often from microlots, and we prioritize ethical farm practices and trade prices.”
The Wild environment is awash in leafy plants, woven pendants and natural materials that are electrified by the alien buzz of neon lights.
“Our design is inspired by our travels all over the world, most heavily influenced by Bali and Southeast Asia as well as the South American jungle,” said Dikdan. “You can see animals native to both habitats showcased on the front of our coffee and CBD packaging, as well as plants and local art pieces scattered throughout the space.”
Whole bean offerings in Wild-branded bags are sold at the cafe and online. While the company has no immediate plans to bring roasting in house, Dikdan suggested another retail location may be forthcoming.
“If the results from our first month of opening are of any indication, it seems that our clientele has been very receptive to the concept of premium infused coffee,” said Dikdan. “We are already looking into our next location and have every intention of scaling up so long as we can maintain our same high-quality standard across the supply chain.”