The Quest for a Good Cup – Part 7, Bright-Eyed Brew Company

For cold brew fans, the place to be is on Washington Avenue in Ocean Springs at the new home of Bright-Eyed Brew Company. For owners Ryan and Katherine Reaux their dream job is serving up what they describe as “third wave” fare – a product prepared to order, with ingredients prepared for the task. For Bright-Eyed Brew this means roasting your own green coffee beans and, as Ryan tells it, “Creating happiness through a product that you sell”. Learning about the process of creating those cups of happiness was quite a treat for me, as I sipped my cup of Café Au Lait. I am now aware that my first-morning cup of “life-giving nectar” made at my home is of the “first wave” kind – made from shelf-bought coffee. The secret to my home brew is heaping scoops of my favorite brand of grind that make my dark roast cup taste so good. Pots of coffee are basically the “second wave” kind providing the volume of coffee. All good in their own way, but useful as we decide what we want when we need it.

Bright Eyed Brew Co - Inside
Bright Eyed Brew Co

As with any of the local coffee shops that I have visited, this one has its own unique feature – Belgium waffles – made to order. More education for me, as I learned that these are made from dough with sugar pearls mixed in for flavor. Whether enjoyed with a cup of nitro, cold brew or any of the other named cups of coffee made with evermore shots of expresso, this quaint coffee shop delivers on its promise of creating a quality experience. The latte art that is made possible with nitro adds a nice touch. For Ryan and Katherine, this journey began in 2016 with a booth at the Ocean Springs Fresh Market, rain or shine, cold or not, where their cold brew was served up to eager customers.

The opportunity to get out of under a tent came last fall at their current location. The journey included deep dives into many avenues of preparing good coffee of all kinds, including roasting your own beans and the process of preparing third wave fare. And as you would expect, it was in Ryan’s words “fun”. “The research was key to figuring it out”. And the journey is far from over as this new beginning is all about creating a culture within the local community and the clientele that make their way to 623 Washington Ave in Ocean Springs. The signature cold brew can be found at numerous locations across south Mississippi and is often provided for local events, including school and community functions. The give-a-way baskets of goodies have become a regular draw through the shop’s active Facebook campaign and Bright-Eyed Brew hats don’t stay on the shelf long. And as with all of the other great coffee shops that I have visited, these two young entrepreneurs are doing it all for the “love” of people.

So next time you find your way to downtown Ocean Springs, drop in for a waffle and a great cup of coffee and ask Ryan for his take on what good coffee should be – a great conversation for sure.   More on other great coffee spots to come!!! Because, there is always time for a great cup of coffee, at a fair price, made by your friends and neighbors, in the place that we all call home.

Hope to see you at “your” favorite coffee shop soon!!!

Photos courtesy of Ryan & Katherine Reaux


Written by Mark W. LaSalle, Ph.D.

Mark is a naturalist and wetland ecologist, providing expertise on wetlands, water quality and environmental impacts of humans. He has also developed and conducted a number of environmental education programs and workshops for youth, teachers, realtors, and the general public on a variety of subjects including wetlands, natural history, and environmental landscaping. Mark is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (B.S. and M.S. degrees) and Mississippi State University (Ph.D.). Mark is the recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation Conservation Educator Award, the Gulf Guardian Award, and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award.


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