By Zach Miller
Houndstooth is without a doubt in the top tier of Austin coffee shops. They pull beans from four roasters: Cuvee, Counter Culture, Intelligensia and Verve. Because these four companies roast beans from the best regions across the globe, Houndstooth aims to have and brew with the finest beans around.
This is by far the best espresso I’ve had. Not implying I’ve had a that much or any outside of Austin, but as far as what I have come across, Houndstooth ranks number one. Chocolatey, hearty, fruity, sweet, their coffee covers all realms of flavor and never feels like a second rate cup.
Every Barista is as knowledgeable, friendly and as skilled at brewing a premium cup as a professional in their craft should me. They serve at least two different regional espressos at all times and can compare and contrast the coffee. One of their Baristas will be competing against the rest of the country in the United States Barista Championship. He moved on from the regional championship about a week ago.
The idea behind Houndstooth is to promote Barista culture in Austin. The coffee bar is uncharacteristically low for a reason. Instead of having a high bar creating a wall between the brewing and the customer like many coffee shops. Houndstooth wants to promote knowledge of the brewing process as well as having a higher level of transparency in their preparation and cleanliness. Also, the coffee bar is in the middle of the shop. Any employee can hear and interact with anyone inside. This was, as the owner put it, to create a conversational environment between the customer and the staff.
Although I wish this place was huge, its on the smaller side of the coffee shops in town. In their defense, they are less than a year old. They have some cool modern seating inside and out, with a little couch nook behind the bar.
They are a few dimes more expensive than other shops, but I think the best cup in town is worth it.