Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Austin >
May 10, 2008 01:47 PM

The state of coffee in Austin

Count me as one of the folks considering a relocation to Austin (from the San Francisco Bay Area). I've read with great interest all of the posts about all of the various food types we will have (or not have) with the move. What about coffee? I am a home roaster and really enjoy carefully crafted, some might call micro-roasted coffee. I drink a lot of coffee at home but do like to get out and about to cafes. What kind of options will I have? Thanks Austin hounds.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: ieathereforeiam

      Thanks for this info. How about coffeehouses in general? Any particular favorites I should know about?

    2. I will preface by saying that I am not at all a coffee aficionado, aside from I just like a good cup of joe.

      Check out Mozart's. They roast their own, and the location/scenery is pretty tough to beat... right on the shores of Lake Austin.

      Mozart's Coffee Roasters
      3826 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX

      1. I don't know the particulars regarding roasts, etc., but the best coffee I've ever had was at Caffe Medici on West Lynn. I'm not a fan of mixed espresso drinks - I always order straight brewed coffee. They use a french press for all their brewed coffee, so if it's not busy you may have to wait 5 minutes or so for them to press it fresh. Well worth the wait. Nice space to boot.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Allison L.

          Medici is ok, but inconsistent. Pacha is not what you are looking for. An ugly looking building houses what I've found to be about the best, Thunderbird Coffee on Koenig on Grover or Woodrow... they have been very consistent. Not very charming space, but the coffee is good. I roast my own also, now live in Portland (Stumptown) and just returned from NYC where the coffee scene is also pretty bleak, however, a former SF Blue Bottle barista has just opened a spot and it rocks, but that's another board. Unfortunately, most of the "famous" coffee places in Austin don't know what they are doing behind the machine. I tried Medici many times and though better than most, misses the mark most of the time. They don't even have the correct accent over the word Caffe. It's all in the details, now isn't it?

          1. re: sambamaster

            Hmmm - I live near Thunderbird and go there frequently, but I've never found the coffee in any form to be destination-worthy. However, the service is friendlier - It seems like they have gotten rid of some of the more snarly employees.

        2. Another good place for fresh roasted coffee is Cainfrani on the square in Georgetown, Texas, just a little north of Austin and well worth the drive.

          2 Replies
          1. re: judiftx1

            >> Another good place for fresh roasted coffee is Cainfrani on the square in Georgetown, Texas, just a little north of Austin and well worth the drive. <<

            A good suggestion. One of the few places around that 1) roasts their own beans on the premises, and 2) will brew you a single cup on the spot using your choice of beans. Maybe I'm just picky, but I think that the quality at even the best of these places (Medici, Mozart's, Anderson's, etc...) suffers a bit when the coffee is brewed in large batches. I much prefer a single, fresh-brewed cup. Scooter's will do it for you too if you catch them at the right time of day.

            1. re: markewallace

              If you're looking for a fresh cup every time, JP's Java (San Jacinto & Duval) has a Clover brewer, the only one in the state. I tried it once and really enjoyed it, but I couldn't justify the daily cost.

          2. Pacha (46th and Burnet) serves Fair Trade coffees, has a good Central American vibe to it, but limited parking. I like stopping by Genuine Joe (2001 W. Anderson Ln), also a nice place to relax, has that Austin funk to it and has a huge parking lot.