Caffe Medici: Leading Austin’s Specialty Coffee Pack

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Coffee Austin

Even though my father, brother and I took several previous trips together in Austin, it wasn’t until getting to know barista Lorenzo Perkins at the last two United States Barista Championships that Caffe Medici began blipping on my coffee radar. On previous trips, Jo’s was my coffee stop of choice, with a pair of branches touting contemporary design, the Iced Turbo and fried pies. During SXSW, a high-rise called the Austonian opened downtown, including compelling street-level food and cocktail options, plus a showcase branch of Caffe Medici, which proved to outshine Jo’s for design and coffee during my recent exploration of Texas’ capital.

Coffee Austin
A mezzanine provides a bird’s eye view of downstairs cafe goers and a more conducive work environment.

Coffee Austin
Caffe Medici features patio seating out front, a square bar with twin La Marzocco FB 80 MP espresso machines and seats on all sides. Order at a separate counter from a massive overhead menu, where you can pick up cold and hot brewed coffee, in the morning, foiled wrapped tacos from nearby Tacodeli, and throughout the day, pastries.

Coffee Austin
My initial visits involved iced coffee, since it was blazing hot and humid, and transitioned to espresso.

Coffee Austin
Ultimately, I ended up ordering Caffe Freddo ($4.20) two shots shaken with ice, milk and simple syrup, frothy, served in a Gibraltar glass, not very different than Intelligentsia’s Angeleno, but half the size, half the potency and with pure cane sugar instead of agave.

Barista Austin
Barista Christina Hurt said, “It’s great to be able to work at a place where you can get behind what you’re serving.” She and her fellow employees are clearly engaged with coffee, as evidenced by the rapt attention they paid to a laptop screen during Lorenzo Perkins’ appearance in the finals of this year’s United States Barista Championship, held in Houston. He placed fifth, further evidence of the company’s commitment. He normally works at the Austonian branch, but even in his absence, you’re evidently apt to have a good coffee experience.


Joshua Lurie

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

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