Sunday, April 20, 2014
The Unofficial Austin Caffeine Crawl
Saturday a few coffee loving ladies and I went around Austin for a little caffeine crawl. I of course was the decaf taster. We hit up four shops, Houndstooth, Caffe Medici, Cenote, and Brew & Brew. They were all really great and I had never been to any of them before! There are SO many awesome coffee shops in Austin, it's such a competitive market. Trust me, I know. But they're all different and it was cool to check some new ones out. I'll definitely be back to a couple of them!
First we hit up Houndstooth, which happened to be my favorite. I LOVED the space. It was clean and open and well furnished. Also, yay natural light! So many coffee shops are like little caves, which is a plus for some, but I love my windows. And the espresso was delicious. That cappuccino up top was from Houndstooth and I looooved it. Also, that's a Mexican chocolate donut. It was spicy! They actually carry pastries from the same local bakery that we do, although I'm not sure where their fancy donuts are from.
Next up was Caffe Medici (the original), which was my least favorite. Not to hate on them at all, it was great! I just preferred the other shops. It's in a cute little house, with unfortunately, limited seating. It's in a cool (and very cute) neighborhood, Clarksville, that I haven't really explored much at all. I got a macchiato (that cute little heart baby down there) and it was very good!
Heeeeyyyyy, ladies! How cute is this picture?
Next up was Cenote, which was on the east side, also in a very cute house. This place had killer outdoor seating and the weather was PERFECT for taking advantage. They've also got a decent looking menu of real food (not just pastries!) if you're hungry. People were brunchin' like crazy. I had an iced americano and it was deeelish and incredibly refreshing. I thoroughly enjoyed sipping on it on their patio. Also, giant octopus sculpture?! (I stole the group shot from Lauren's facebook, thanks girrrrrl!)
The last stop on our list was Brew & Brew, which was probably my second favorite, just because of the space. I'm a real sucker for ambiance. This place was on the east side as well, and had this awesome garage door that was open so we could enjoy the weather. They are called "Brew & Brew" because they have a large variety of beers as well as coffees, and they do pairings with the two! How neat is that? I had a pour over decaf coffee because they didn't do decaf espresso, whomp whomp. This place is serious about their coffee, hence, the lack of decaf. I tried to joke with the girl at the register and she did not crack a smile (the downfall of places like this. I promise, you can take your craft seriously and still give good customer service!).
That's a terrible photo, but LOOK AT THEIR ESPRESSO BAR! It's basically UNDER the counter! They really just have fixtures for their groupheads and steam wands, like a faucet or a tap. So simple and very pretty. Not sure how functional it is (how would you handle a morning rush with just two group heads?) but it sure is nice to look at.
And speaking of terrible photos, here's a real bad group shot. Because standing with the light behind you is ALWAYS a good idea.
I had a really good time with these ladies and was very impressed by each shop we visited. These shops are seriously passionate about their coffee, and it shows. Someone made a comment that it was nice to go to a coffee shop with people who really appreciate coffee. SO TRUE. Bless Brendon's heart, but that boy just doesn't appreciate a good coffee shop like I do. Although he begrudgingly goes along with me, and pretends (sometimes) to enjoy it, it's just an expensive way to caffeinate yourself to him. Which is true. So it's no fault of his at all, it's just lovely to go with people who know the trade and are passionate about coffee. Even if you're drinking decaf.
This must happen again! Soon! There are SO many coffee shops to try! And I need mas girl time!