A Contrast of Coffee

As a modern American city, San Antonio is home to a pleasant array of places to a grab a caffeine fix. Every neighborhood seems to have a coffee shop that personifies the vibe of its surroundings. I still haven’t made it out to more than maybe half, if not less – since there seems to be a new spot opening every other week.

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I was first fascinated by Café Punta del Cielo even before I had a chance to visit. Four years ago San Antonio was chosen as the flagship American location for the urban Mexican coffee chain. Though they have since moved from the original location in Downtown, the Alamo City’s Café Punta del Cielo Stone Oak still remains the only site for the chain in the whole United States (out of 180+ worldwide in Mexico, Spain and Hong Kong).

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A notable portion of San Antonio’s tourism angle focuses on experiencing folk Mexican culture. While that has its own merit, there’s an equally worthy experience to be had when visiting trendy modern Café Punta del Cielo. The taste of Mexican Culture 2016.

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I am personally a sucker for the design aspect. The sleek modern interior, tasteful font choices, minimalist logo – they are admittedly what pulled me into visting. But it’s the no milk no sugar needed delicious espresso and moist tres leches that brings me back.

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In addition to the expected items like lattes, chai tea and cappuccinos, the shop also carries a rich Mexican hot chocolate and summer staple spicy chamoyada. And according to their chalkboard, breakfast tacos.

But just to give a nice bit of contrast to the streamlined international franchise that is Café Punta del Cielo, PRESS coffee in the historic Alta Vista neighborhood is local down to the mugs made the old fashioned way at San Antonio mainstay Southwest School of Art by Blake Kennedy.

As my future alma mater, SSA already has a place in my heart so I’m a little biased. However, if your order is a London Fog and macchioto, you will not get to personally experience said cups. Hint hint. But you can purchase them from PRESS and support local art. You’re welcome.

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A view of the historic Alta Vista neighborhood from inside PRESS.

In addition to missing out on cute drinking vessels by ordering tea and espresso, we also missed out on experiencing the shop’s namesake. With French press coffee as the star of the menu, there is nothing arbitrary about the name PRESS. Now I just have another reason to go back.

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Despite the obvious differences between Café Punta del Cielo and PRESS Coffee, there is more common ground than just the beverage theme. PRESS too advertises a selection of breakfast tacos. After all, they are both coffee shops in San Antonio.

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