|We like coffee in our family. (This was taken at Counter Cafe-btw)|
- I absolutely love coffee. However, I am not a connoisseur. Instead, I am an enthusiast. I worked in the coffee industry for ten years before starting my career in teaching and then real estate. This does not, by any means, make me an expert or a super taster.
- This is not necessarily an article about the coffee. It is an article about coffee shops.
- Furthermore, the title of “best coffee shop in Austin” has been the subject of a long-running debate. However, it is not the subject of this blog post. I am not writing about the best shops in Austin. I am writing about my favorite shops in Austin. You can’t argue with what my favorite shops are.
- I have been to tons of cafes all over the country. However, I haven’t been to them all. And, sadly, I haven’t even been to all of the shops in Austin! So, I’m sure that this list will change in the next year or two as I try more and more shops out.
- Dominican Joe (515 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704).
The DoJoe Crew-circa 2009. (I’m the tall guy in the back with the green shirt)
Ok, in the interest of full disclosure, I must reveal that I have a major emotional attachment to this coffee shop. I worked at Dominican Joe (DoJoe) during my college days at UT and even a little after that. In fact, this is where I met my wife, Kristen! (She was my manager.) During my time at DoJoe, I met some people who are still some of my best friends. We, as a staff, were truly like a family. And a certain lovely lady literally became family!
Additionally, I interned with Makarios, which is the non-profit that the shop supports, in the Dominican Republic during my last summer as a college student. I actually got the chance to work in the schools that were started by Sharla, the Executive Director of the organization. In short: This place is the real freakin’ deal. I still go into this shop and feel incredibly grateful and nostalgic. I could go on forever but I want to keep this short.
I get the bottomless coffee.
- Caffe Medici (1101 West Lynn, Austin, TX 78703).
Similar to DoJoe, I actually used to work at Caffe Medici! When I got engaged to my manager, Kristen, at Dominican Joe, I thought it might be weird to be the boss’s fiancé. So, I decided to move over to Medici. These guys were sort of the pioneers of craft/artisan coffee in, well, the southern United States! They taught me to pay meticulous detail to the grind, milk temperatures, espresso extraction/consistency, and presentation of the drinks I made as well as the overall process of the coffee experience. I learned so much during my time there and I love the owner, Michael, and his passion for elevating the coffee culture in Austin as a whole.
Medici (pronounced Médici) now has several locations across central Austin: One on the university drag; one in The Austonian; and one on S. Lamar (by the Alamo Drafthouse). Still, my favorite spot is the flagship store on West Lynn (in Clarksville), which happens to be the location where I worked. If I could make a list of my 20 favorite shops in town, 80% of them owe their existence to Medici. Thank you, Michael!
I get the cappuccino with a little (house-made) chocolate .
- Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors (1111 Chicon St, Austin, Texas 78702).
I have only been to this particular shop a few times…but it’s friggin’ amazing. This is one of a handful of east Austin shops that have popped up in the last couple of years that are truly paving the way with respect to east side coffee excellence. I love the decor. I love the chill location. I love the chill baristas. Just go.
I get the cortado.