The Cornell brothers, whom Peter Cornell named his Nolensville coffee shop after, are pictured here. His grandfather Ralph T. Cornell, on the right, was a father figure to him. The other brothers pictured are Emmersen, top, J. Harvey, left, and Peter, center, whom Peter Cornell is named after. (Photo: Courtesy of Peter Cornell)
A new coffee bar has opened in Nolensville, giving visitors a taste of global flavors with small batches of beans sourced from around the world.
Cornell Brothers Coffee, launched in June, aims to bring delicious, sustainably sourced coffee to town. Behind the new coffee bar is Peter Cornell, a man who didn’t have his first espresso until his mid-20s but now doesn’t travel without his own French press, beans and grinder in his luggage.
“Sometimes you can’t find an espresso if you’re in the middle of nowhere or you’re in the middle of another country,” he said.
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Cornell, his wife, Amy, and son, Jacob, who goes by Goose, moved to Brentwood two years ago from Los Angeles in search of top schools. A musician and songwriter, Cornell views the coffee shop as his “second act.”
The coffee bar, located inside Oh My Chives Natural Co-Op and Market on Nolensville Road, comes from two of Cornell’s top priorities: admiration of his family and a deep love of espresso. The first cup Cornell had was simple: six shots of espresso on ice with milk. He still drinks it the same way daily, but now subs out the soy milk for almond milk.
To pay respect to his heritage, Cornell named the business in honor of the actual Cornell brothers: his grandfather Ralph T. and Ralph’s three brothers, Emmersen, Harvey and Peter. A nearly 100-year-old photo of the brothers oversees the coffee bar.
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Ralph filled the role of a father figure for Cornell, and he’s named after Peter, his mom’s favorite uncle. Cornell eventually adopted the last name as his surname. When he told his grandfather, the man wept, overcome with joy that the family name would live on.
“To be able to carry on that part of our bloodline has always been a wonderful thing,” he said. “And now I get to take it to the next level.”
Cornell once went to a coffee house that was serious about its java. When he asked questions about their practices to learn about their process, they were tight-lipped. That won’t fly at Cornell Brothers, he said. He welcomes curiosity about their brews.
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The coffee menu ranges from cold brew to a chai latte to iced specialty drinks. Prices for a cup range from $2.75 to $5.50.
An assortment of teas are available, along with hot chocolate.
Baked items are available, including gluten-free options.
Reach Brinley Hineman at email@example.com and on Twitter @brinleyhineman. To stay updated on Williamson County news, sign up for our newsletter.
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