New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 27, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Sunday, November 27, 2005 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 7 A
AHEADBUSINESSRichners bring their style of java, tea to The Szing
By Leigh Jones
When Dan and Anita Wehner ordered their first cup of coffee in America after arriving from Switzeriand, they wondered if the waiter had brought them water by accident.
Subsequent cups at different restaurants made them realize most Americans just did not drink their brew as strong as Europeans.
The Richners eventually retreated into their own kitchen to experience java the way they used to drink it and ponder a way to share their love of gourmet coffee with their new neighbors.
“We just wanted to educate people about good coffee and tea,” Dan said. “There are so many misconceptions out there. Its just hard to find really good coffee here.”
It took the couple 2-1 /2 years to formulate their plan to open an Internet coffee house. They spent most of the time working on their own house blends and making contacts with overseas companies that could import high quality products.
The Szing opened its doors a month ago, giving New Braunfelsers a new way to exjx‘-rience their caffeine intake.
“Everything we sell is special,” Anita said. "We use all-natural ingredients and roast our coffee every night fresh for the next day.”
AT A GLANCE
■ What: The Szing
■ When: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday
■ Where: 1528 E. Common St., suite 12
■ Web: www.theszing.com
Buying coffee at 'The Szing is a unique experience.
The beans, for one thing, are green. Green?
“We roast it for you,” Dan explained. “You buy the bag, we give you a complimentary drink while you wait for us to roast it to your liking.” Although most customers have no idea how they want their coffee roasted, the Richners hope people will begin to be adventurous.
“We want to encourage people to play around and figure out what they like,” Dan said. “Create your own special roast.” The eight coffee beans offered at I he Szing are imported from eight different countries, giving the store a truly international feel.
For customers who want less caffeine or a different taste sensation itll together, the store also offers 32 varieties of loose tea, including caffeinated and herbal varieties, Native American blends and the popular Indian Chai.
Because customers cannot live on coffee and tea alone, the shop also sells pastries and sandwiches, served on crusty European bread with fresh sauces and imported meats.
While the Richners almost are fanatical about their coffee and tea, they are just as excited about the technical side of their business.
Two sides of the shop are lined with banks of computers, both PCs and Macs, connected to the Internet.
Anita loves to have people ask how much they would have to pay to use the computers.
“It s free,” she said with a big grin. “We even have wireless access, so you can bring your own laptop if you like.”
Dan, who worked in the computer industry for 15 years, just sh(X)k his head at tile thought of all the places people had to pay to use the Internet.
“The Internet today is such a commodity,” he said. “Theres no reason to charge for it.”
As their business grows, the couple plans to expand their product offerings to include more coffee bean variety, select alcoholic beverages and different ethnic coffee preparations — I iirkish, Vietnamese, Cuban and Serbian.
They also plan to expand their store hours further into the evening and begin a delivery service within city limits.
The Szing employee Jessica Reininger prepares a fresh cup of cappuccino.
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396 N. Seguin 625-6826
New Braunfels Downtown
A continuing series featuring women of Comal County who make a significant contribution to our community
salutes Laura Linhart-Kistner
Development Officer for the College of Fine Arts and Communications at Texas State University
Owner of Events, Etc Professional fund raising and event coordination
Comal ISD Board of Trustees Treasurer
Comal Public School Foundation
City of New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
Comal County Emergency Children’s Shelter
Chair of Bandstand Restoration Committee
UT at Austin Ex-Students Association
Former Main Street Director,
Married to Kirk, mother of Kelsey and Kyle