Dustin Sauder - High Brow Coffee + Tea
Musician and coffee lover, Dustin Sauder, has created one of the most warm and inviting spaces to hang out in Franklin. Whether you're sipping on coffee, eating a fresh baked pastry, or sharing a conversation with friends, you understand the heart behind High Brow: "I just love what coffee does. It brings people together!"
We loved discussing the story of High Brow with Dustin while drinking one of the best chai tea lattes around. We are excited to show off his well crafted shop!
Living Franklin: How long have you lived in Franklin?
Dustin Sauder: I moved here in 2004 to do music. I was born and raised in the Amish country of Pennsylvania.
LF: How did you become the owner of High Brow?
DS: My journey in coffee started when I was on the road doing music. I hit up a ton of specialty shops all across the country and really fell in love with coffee. Rather than playing with a bunch of different artists, I was with one full time so I wasn't always super busy. I had a good bit of down time 2 years back when Honest Coffee was starting in the Factory as a pop up in front of Franklin Juice. I got to know the guy there and started working with them 2-3 days a week as a barista. During that time, I learned a lot about coffee and was able to “cut my teeth” while still doing music. Around the same time, I came to a “what’s next” point in my life. The road thing was a childhood dream fulfilled… but now what? I grew up in a small business family. My dad, grandpa, and brother ran a small business, so I always loved small businesses, and thought it would be fun to make something fly! I then started down the road of opening my own shop. We looked at locations in West Nashville, Murfreesboro, and a few other places, but ultimately chose Franklin. Not only do we live near the Factory, but we also love the city of Franklin. I wasn't originally seeking to purchase an existing shop, but when the opportunity arose, I had to explore it further. It was totally a God thing! October 12th became day one for me owning and running High Brow. We are excited to continue what was started here, put our own vibe in it, and serve this community well.
LF: Anything new or exciting happening at the shop?
DS: Over the last four or five months we rebranded and expanded our seating from 8 seats in the center to 16! We are trying to create a space where you can feel comfortable to have a meeting or just hang out. We also added more outdoor seating, which will be nice when it’s not so hot! I love that we're in the heart of a neighborhood, and our goal is to make this place as family friendly as possible. We have two kids of our own so we really want to create that family feel. Always trying to make people feel comfortable!
LF: What is your go to on the High Brow menu/drink of choice?
DS: I have a few… Espresso, 6 oz cappucino, or cortado.
LF: What are some other menu items that you are proud of?
DS: We have a massive tea selection. We can do either hot or iced. I’m really proud of our chai. It’s a loose leaf organic chai, organic molasses, local honey and sugar. It's a concentrate that we make in house.
LF: Can you talk about the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?
DS: We do iced coffee here. It’s a Japanese method where the coffee is flash chilled over ice and served within 24 hours. It’s super fresh! Cold brew can be a stronger flavor, but muted, and definitely has more caffeine. In my opinion, iced coffee showcases the coffee more.
LF: What inspired your love for coffee?
DS: I just love what coffee does. It brings people together! Even most of the regulars of the shop, all know each other. I love the sense of community it brings.
LF: Whats your favorite album or artist to play in the shop?
DS: Lately, I've been digging the more 80’s inspired new stuff, a band called Fickle Friends and The 1975. I'm also a big fan of Bears Den, but it’s kind of all up to the barista, within reason. We all have decent taste in music I would say.
LF: What's your favorite lunch spot in Franklin?
DS: There’s a killer panini at high brow... laughs… Lately, my wife and I have been digging 55 South, Meridees, or Franklin Mercantile. I like the salad bar at Mercantile and the chicken salad at Meridees.
LF: Tell us something about High Brow that people may not know.
DS: The quality of our ingredients! Everything is made in house. All of our latte flavors are made from scratch. For example, our bourbon caramel is a whiskey reduction, and our mocha is made from a home made ganache. You can’t get it anywhere else! We have a lot of organic ingredients and we try to source almost everything from local places.