Miami students looking for a fresh cup of coffee to enjoy in a friendly, warm atmosphere should look no further than the Oxford Coffee Company, where Miami professor Robert Thurston and his welcoming, informative staff are serving up the freshest coffee in Oxford with a side of coffee expertise.
A coffee roaster and several large bags of coffee beans sat in the window of the 21 Lynn Ave. store, and emphasized Thurston’s focus on fresh, quality coffee. “We roast the coffee ourselves right here. And we buy high-quality coffee to begin with and then we’re very careful about how we roast it,” Thurston said. “You can’t improve on the green coffee that you buy, but you can reckon. So the job here is to reveal the qualities that are in the coffee.” The Oxford Coffee Company offers coffee from exotic locations around the globe, including Ethiopia, Peru, and Sumatra. High-quality beans don’t necessarily equate to high prices, however. “The transportation costs from the roaster to the counter are not exactly high,” Thurston joked.
For a coffee novice, the number of coffee types available at the Oxford Coffee Company might seem daunting. Each country produces coffee of a slightly different flavor, dependent on qualities like body of mouth feel, aroma, finish on the tongue, general flavor, and acidity. “It’s very much like wine,” Thurston said. “I like the Ethiopian, and the Ethiopian sells quite well,” he said. Samples are always available to customers looking to try out many flavors.
Thurston decided to put his passion for coffee into action when he entered Miami’s Retirement with Rehiring Program, through which he will teach history one semester a year for three years. “I thought, well, what the heck. I really like coffee, I really like to go to areas where coffee is growing.” With help from business partners, he amassed enough capital to open shop last December. The layout and appearance of the shop were primarily created by Thurston himself. “What you see here is my design, my ideas. Not the artwork,” he joked. “We really tried for a light, bright, inviting atmosphere. We wanted this place to be a little more upscale but at the same time casual.”
The Oxford Coffee Company has taken off since its opening, and Thurston is already planning for its future. “It’s been a process of experimentation. We’ve made a few mistakes here and there, and learned a lot already about how to deal with it.” A number of members of the Oxford and Miami communities have bought into Thurston’s dedication to quality products already. “We are building up a customer base. I think we’re definitely moving in the right direction.” However successful his business is becoming, Thurston isn’t looking into expansion, preferring to focus on continuing to provide a specialized, memorable experience for his customers. “I have no dreams of opening another coffee shop,” he said.
The Oxford Coffee Company is open Monday-Friday from 7am to 5pm, on Saturdays from 10am-5pm, and on Sundays from 12pm-4pm. For more information, visit the Oxford Coffee Company online store.