Austin Coffee Worth Seeking

Bridge Austin

People flock to Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk to watch bats fly into the night sky.

Learn about five places to drink specialty coffee in Austin, the Texas capital, home to the massive University of Texas, and the state’s primary innovation hub. Listings appear in alphabetical order, not in order of my personal preference.

1. Flat Track Coffee

Coffee Austin

Coffee, motorbikes and a colorful atmosphere define Flat Track.

Sterling Roberts and Matthew Bolick graduated from their initial post inside Farewell Books, planting Flat Track Coffee a bit further east of I-35 to start 2016. The cinder block building is fashionable thanks to colorful loteria cards and a portrait of late singer Selena painted on the side. The roastery and bike shop features communal seating, a 6-kilo San Franciscan roaster in back, and a Mirage two-group espresso machine behind the counter. Flat Track also produces delectable cold brew, which provides relief in sweltering Austin.

2. Fleet Coffee

Coffee Austin

Patrick Pierce and Lorenzo Perkins built on success with Caffe Medici by opening Fleet Coffee.

Longtime coffee pros Lorenzo Perkins and business partner Patrick Pierce met at Caffe Medici. The duo opened Fleet Coffee this spring. Their triangular space features a small patio shaded with a sail and wooden banquette seating. Key coffee elements include a three-group La Marzocco espresso machine, V60 brewers, and beans from roasters like Madcap, Sweet Bloom, Wrecking Ball, and Wild Gift. Signature drinks differentiate Fleet Coffee from nearby coffeehouses. Saturday Morning Ritual is one fun signature beverage featuring Fruity Pebble milk, espresso, and a Rice Krispies treat. They also offer seasonal sig drinks.

3. Mañana Coffee & Juice

Coffee Austin

Mañana Coffee & Juice is an enticing amenity for people who stay at South Congress Hotel.

Mañana Coffee & Juice opened in the spring of 2016 in back of South Congress Hotel, a stylish new boutique hotel. The space features a blue tiled bar, counter and table seating, and a three-group La Marzocco espresso machine with exposed innards, aka the cafe’s engine. Yes, you can get juice, wheatgrass shots, or Kusmi Tea, but the Cuvée Coffee program interested me more. They made me a textbook cortado, and have nitro cold brew on tap.

4. Seventh Flag Coffee Co. [CLOSED]

Coffee Austin

Seventh Flag is designed to unite people through coffee and community.

Before statehood, six countries laid claim to Texas. The seventh flag is designed to unite all people. Seventh Flag Coffee Co. has preached unity for two years in South Austin. A big patio with picnic tables gives way to an interior with peaked roof, steer skull, wood tables, L-shaped bar, and rarely used fireplace. The cafe features beans from City of Saints Coffee Roasters, which often end up in a two-group La Marzocco espresso machine, french press, and cold brew. Their Citizen espresso blend melds especially well with Mill King moo milk.

5. Vintage Heart Coffee [CLOSED]

Coffee Austin

Vintage Heart draws passersby with eye-popping coffee visuals.

Distractions aplenty surround the entrance to Vintage Heart Coffee, a specialty cafe that Mallory Alison debuted in 2012 in East Austin. A sprawling coffee-focused cartoon mural coats outside walls, drawing the eye. The interior is far less dynamic, but still cozy, with art-lined grey walls and student-filled seats. They brew Third Coast Coffee, employing a two-group La Marzocco espresso machine and cold brew.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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