Summermoon: South Austin’s coffee secret

By Lara Berendt

Summermoon Coffee Bar interior. Photo by Lara Berendt.

Summermoon Coffee Bar on South First Street offers delicious fire-roasted coffee drinks, served by charming, happy baristas. Photo by Lara Berendt.

I’ve been excited to visit Summermoon Coffee Bar since I first read their many rave reviews on Yelp, but I live northeast of downtown, and don’t get to South Austin very often. Today I finally stopped into the chic lounge on South First Street and, although it’s sort of a hole in the wall, it exceeded my expectations.

The shop has a small parking lot, a cozy little patio, and a beautifully decorated interior. As I approached the counter I was warmly greeted by a barista, who guided me through my order. I knew I wanted to try one of their signature coffee drinks, the Summermoon (a hot latte) or the Wintermoon (an iced latte), but I don’t like anything terribly sweet, and I don’t usually drink milk.

Summermoon drink and empanada.

An iced Quartermoon and spinach empanada comprised a lovely late breakfast at Summermoon Coffee Bar. Photo by Lara Berendt.

After counseling me, the barista suggested an iced soy milk Quartermoon, which would be significantly less sweet than a regular Wintermoon or a Halfmoon. All of these signature drinks contain a mysterious mix of several ingredients, about which the baristas are rumored to be very secretive.

Summermoon menu.

This shop's prices may be steeper but the service, quality and ambience are well worth it. Photo by Lara Berendt.

I ordered a spinach empanada to accompany my mystery drink. Both items were delicious, and I can’t wait to return to try other treats. The menu also includes more traditional (and straightforward) coffee drinks, pizza, pastries, breakfast tacos and their organic, fire-roasted coffee beans are available by the bag. I must warn, however, that my tab for the drink and empanada came to more than $7 before tip, so be prepared to pay a little extra for those divine secret ingredients.

While small, the shop’s interior has plenty of tables and outlets, making it an ideal work/study spot. The music was perfect—I think I heard Andrew Bird crooning while I was munching. Above all, the baristas were exceedingly friendly and helpful, making my whole experience a pleasure. The next time I’m in the South Austin area, I’ll make it a point to revisit this shop for another decadent coffee drink.

Summermoon Coffee Bar
3115 S. First St., Ste. 1B
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 804-1665
View Yelp page

Summermoon counter view

Summermoon sells their organic, fair-trade coffee beans by the bag near the counter. Photo by Lara Berendt.


2 responses to “Summermoon: South Austin’s coffee secret

  1. I usually just drink black coffee, but when I do want to order something new or different I never know what to get. I think I would feel comfortable talking to a server here to find out what I want. Coffee can be so sophisticated! I don’t know much about coffee jargon or what exactly things are, but I’d like to. This sounds like a good place to start.

  2. I’ve only been to Summermoon once (on a recommendation from a friend), but I really liked it! I really like how they break down the degrees of sweet from full to half to quarter because everyone likes a different level of sweetness and most coffee shops don’t make an effort to differentiate. But it is a pretty small coffee shop, and in my experience it’s hard to focus when even just one party is talking since it’s such an intimate environment.

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