Rising Star Barista at the Greenway Plaza Food Court

There were a couple of coffee connoisseurs sampling the espresso blends at Tuscany Coffee in the Greenway Plaza food court when I stopped by to check it out. "We come by to sample the espresso every day," they told me. And they aren't the only ones. Barista David Buehrer has developed quite a following lately.

I tried two "guest espressos," coffee blends that Buehrer ships in from other outstanding espresso roasters around the state. The San Antonio blend was outrageously acidic -- it reminded me of an espresso with lemon added. The Spicewood blend was much smoother and mellower, with a nutty aroma. Buehrer also makes a mean sugar cane latte if you like your coffee with milk and sugar.

David Buehrer's 15 minutes of fame began when he came out of nowhere to win the espresso cocktail portion of a competition in Dallas called "The Ultimate Barista Challenge" earlier this month. The regional qualifier for the national contest for "baristi" includes four categories -- espresso frappe, latte art, espresso cocktails, and best of brew.

Buehrer's cocktail was called an "Occam's Razor" and combined his espresso blend with ancho tequila, Creme de Cacao, heavy cream and chile tincture -- the finished cocktail was garnished with mulled mint. Buehrer occasionally teams up with mixologist Bobby Heugel to create coffee cocktails at Anvil on Westheimer. In fact, some have called him the Bobby Heugel of coffee.

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