The Early Riser
An earthy aroma surges through Arthur Furman’s Travis Heights abode. The coffee machine crackles as the steaming water filters through the complex Ethiopian grounds and dribbles down, drop by drop. Arthur had programmed the coffee maker the night before, arranging his morning in advance, so that every minute could be savored. Time is of the essence for Arthur, who has a saturated schedule as an architect, family man and most recently founder of Sunriser Coffee. Emerging two years ago on the premise of “alertness of mind and calmness of body,” Sunriser Coffee delivers a punch of much-needed caffeine with an unorthodox twist: it’s infused with CBD.
“At the core of our values is the idea of present moment awareness and self-acceptance,” Arthur says. “These days it's easy to become overwhelmed with screens and FOMO and social comparisons. Sunriser’s combination of caffeine and cannabis aims to align the mind and the body with focused energy.”
With caffeine known as an energy stimulant and CBD’s reputation as a calming property, combining the two substances may seem paradoxical to a mainstream mind. But, like an authentic Austinite, Arthur has always thought outside the lines. He believes the union of CBD and caffeine is the key to achieving what he calls a “flow state” - a frame of mind in which your anxiety melts away to reveal the most confident version of yourself.
“Too much caffeine by itself I think takes you out of the moment. It causes more anxiety, it can cause physical jitters and I think it makes me more distracted and less focused,” Arthur says. “CBD reduces anxiety and calms the nervous system, which counterbalances the jittery effect. And, I think that sets you up to be more in the present moment. That’s the goal with Sunriser - to set up the conditions to allow for a flow state.”
Complementing the concept of the brand, the story behind the birth of Sunriser is equally unique. A passion for creating and over ten years of experience as an architect spurred Arthur’s lifetime interest in formulating a product and message of his very own. It all began in the kitchen, which served as a laboratory for Arthur, soon after he discovered his affinity for CBD products.
“I was an early adopter for CBD, maybe 6 or 7 years ago. It really clicked with me and the benefits of it and the way it made me feel before a lot of people knew what it was,” Arthur says. “I started making cold brew at home and researching different forms of CBD powders and oils, and I ended up making a cold brew coffee that was really good. It was an instant lightbulb moment.”
Born in Austin, Arthur was also raised in the eccentric city quite literally down the street from his current address - a happy coincidence that occurred a few years ago when he popped in for a visit to his parents’ house and noticed a property down the road was up for sale. Needless to say, his roots have always been a priority, and translating the coveted ‘Austin feel’ to his projects was a given. Paying homage to his hometown, Sunriser products are bottled and packaged in Austin. Even the aesthetic of the brand was conceived by an Austin-based design studio and creative consultancy, LAND.
“I wanted it to feel very Austin. I wanted the brand to be rooted in Austin. I was born here, and I grew up here,” Arthur says. “As we grow and get distribution outside, even outside of Texas, it will always say ‘Austin, Texas’ on the packaging. That’s important - to represent my hometown.”
Switching off between days solely dedicated to sitting at his drafting table, “sketching and drawing for hours,” and managing the many details that come with a booming venture like Sunriser, Arthur always integrates family into the process. Whether it’s the business partnership he shares with his wife Annie Laurie - by way of joint architecture firm, Side Angle Side - or continuing on his Texan legacy through his daughters, family is a priority.
“I have two daughters - 8 and 10 years old. We are all adjusting to the new ‘working from home’ life. The kids are doing a lot of their school at home these days, so we look for opportunities to get out of the house,” Arthur says. “We ride bikes as a family, and we’ll go to Ladybird Lake and walk around the lake or go out to places like Reimers Ranch Park on the Pedernales River.”
When Arthur’s free time isn’t going toward traversing through Austin with family or taking precious time to practice mindfulness through meditation, he’s appreciating the Texas landscape. Taking a departure from the modern world at his family getaway in the Hill Country on the Medina River, just north of Bandera, the location offers “no TV, no Wi-Fi - just swimming, hiking and fire pits.” The ideal Texas experience.
“Texas is an international brand. Wherever you go in the world it seems like folks are fascinated by Texas,” Arthur says. “The rugged independence, the swagger, the connection to the land are all part of the romantic idea of Texas.”
Arthur’s dedication to building things that last, whether in his personal life or career, ensure that his Texan legacy will withstand the test of time. Well-versed in what it means to be a Texas gentleman, he is able to put that on display with Texas Standard. Even when working from home, pieces like the Trailscape Tee and Tejas Guayabera allow Arthur to feel like a professional, without compromising comfort.
“The feel of the clothes is really great. The texture and the quality of the fabrics are super comfy,” Arthur says. “A lot of the stuff I got is perfect for this new lifestyle. It’s casual and comfy, but it’s still nice and high-end, so it’s that perfect combo.”
Wherever he may be, Arthur’s ambition is only growing. Although, Sunriser products are already available in about 100 locations, in and around Austin, like the Wheatsville Co-op and neighborhood favorite, Thom’s Market. Like a bona fide Texan, Arthur’s next move involves rolling up his sleeves and getting to work.
“The next steps for Sunriser include several new flavors of CBD nitro cold brew. We have plans to release more ground coffee from different origins, like South American beans. Before too long we’ll have a Guatemalan and maybe a Peruvian origin so that there will be some variation,” Arthur says. “We’ve built a great following in Austin, and we’re looking to expand distribution across Texas."