Category Archives: Baristas

Lola Savannah is a posh lounge for espresso or vino

By Lara Berendt

Lola Savannah Coffee Lounge, West Lake Hills, Texas

Lola Savannah is a neighborhood favorite for West Lake residents. Photo by Lara Berendt.

For full disclosure, I must preface this post with the admission that my husband is managing partner at Lola Savannah Coffee Lounge in West Lake Hills. He’s also the reason I’ve become somewhat picky about espresso quality, and I’m not just plugging his business when I say, Lola serves some of the absolute best espresso drinks in the greater-Austin area. Continue reading

Thunderbird on Koenig, beer specials! plus good coffee too

A little clipping next to the Thunderbird register I found funny.

by Zach Miller

OK, I have to say when I arrived at Koenig Thunderbird cafe at 5:30 on a Thursday I was in no way craving anything hot or caffeinated. The 90 degree weather was wearing me thin and something else at this coffee shop sounded way more palatable.

Thunderbird offers daily beer specials.

Beer! For a dollar! Huzzah!
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Teo: traditional espresso and gelato

cappuccino

a traditional cappuccino lightly drizzled with cocoa powder.

by Zach Miller

Teo is a traditional Italian espresso and gelato shop off of 38th Street across from the Seton Hospital. Foursquare has many tips recommending this as the best espresso in town, and who knows they could be right. The La Marzocco espresso machine shows the attention to Italian detail and prowess.
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Apothecary isn’t Just a Cafe and Wine Bar

By Julie Bissinger

Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar, located in central Austin, offers a quiet environment for patrons to relax and enjoy good food and drinks. Photo by Julie Bissinger

Several of my friends recommended that I try out Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar. I’m glad that I listened.  Apothecary served up one of the best lattes I’ve had so far.  Their food was just as good, too.

Located in the Rosedale Village Shopping Center at 4800 Burnet Road, Apothecary is ideal for catching up on work or taking advantage of happy hour deals.  The environment does not resemble that of most other Austin-area coffee shops.  The cluttered, artsy interior that is characteristic of many Austin coffeehouses is replaced with spaciousness and a sophisticated aura.  Apothecary caters to people in their 30s and 40s with its soothing folk/jazz music and wine bar. Continue reading

Houndstooth

Houndstooth's wide selection of coffees.

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.

Monkey Nest: good coffee, great atmosphere!

The clean and neat coffee bar at Monkey Nest

 

By Zach Miller

Monkey Nest is truly the median between the funky coffee houses of Austin and the corporate coffee giant looming on every corner.

I will never admit I like anything related to Starbucks, BUT I have to say Monkey Nest feels like a corporate shop enlivened with master Baristas and a community consciousness I can wrap my head around.

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Houndstooth Baristas prepare for Competition in St. Louis

By Zach Miller

 

Samantha McCrary preparing a cappuccino for the mock judges.

 

To prepare for a barista competition this weekend the Houndstooth Coffee staff held a mock competition.

Although the event mainly brought together friends and employees, this gathering created the comptetition setting for Baristas Daniel Reed and Samantha McCrary.

Each Barista had 15 minutes to prepare their station and then an additional 15 for the brewing and cupping. The competition was graded on first an espresso, then a cappuccino and finally a signature drink . Continue reading