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Tasty Tuesdays: Best Espresso in Austin

18 October 2011 3,518 views 45 Comments

We have so much to catch up on you guys! I’m so sorry that it’s been a little over a month since I last posted. Life has just been a whirlwind with the trip to Europe, coming back and catching up, etc.

My little sabbatical has given me time to think about the direction I want to take the blog, the reasons I love writing, and the service I want to provide.

I realized how much I have missed Tasty Tuesdays. So without further ado, they’re back!

Un Cafe in Tain l'Hermitage, France

Un Cafe in Tain l'Hermitage, France

Adam and I got really into drinking espresso when we were in France. We drank up to three double espressos a day — and I loved the fact that you could grab one at any bar or restaurant — not just coffee shops, and that every level of society drinks espresso — not just those with more money to spend.

In fact, the amount you pay for an espresso in France depends on where you are in the restaurant — standing at the bar is the cheapest, and sitting at a table with a street view is the most expensive.

It’s not as easy to grab an espresso in the states to enjoy on the spot — not all coffee shops even have real cups. So I’m wondering what some of your favorite spots for espresso are in the city. I love Cafe Medici, La Boite, and Once Over Coffee Bar.

Also, if you have an espresso maker at home that you would recommend, share the brand name here as well! We’re looking to make a habit of our addiction, and I don’t think buying all of our coffee drinks outside the house is very sustainable for our wallets.

So share in the comments below — who serves the best cafe in Austin? If you make espresso at home, would you recommend your espresso maker?

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  • Shelley

    Cafe Medici is my favorite as well but I'm warming up to Houndstooth.

  • Iser

    Houndstooth Coffee!!!!!

  • Iser

    Or Austin Java, if they are hosting a very important CRC meeting this evening :)

  • Juliberwald

    I'm generally an optimist, but I just don't believe it exists in the same way here in Austin, or the States, the way it does in Europe. It's an uphill battle to keep the addiction going. That said, I think Quattro Gatti, the new Italian restaurant on Congress, may be on to something. Or, maybe it's better to just when-in-Rome it, and go for a plain old cup of Ruta Maya coffee.

  • jodibart

    Thanks, guys!

    Shelley/Iser: What is your favorite roast from Houndstooth. I believe they offer three or four different roasters, right?

    Juli: I think you are right, sadly. We might have to just invest in a good home espresso maker. Also, I miss you! Lets plan lunch soon :-)

  • Rlreevesjr

    Once Over is still the king: Here's why http://chowpapi.com/wordpress/

    Glad to see you back in the fray Jodi.

    What food trailers are you hitting these days?

    RL

  • David Ansel

    Once Over, Houndstooth, and Medici all use the same roaster… props to Cuvee Coffee.

  • Shelley

    Cafe Medici is my favorite as well but I'm warming up to Houndstooth.

  • Iser

    Houndstooth Coffee!!!!!

  • Iser

    Or Austin Java, if they are hosting a very important CRC meeting this evening :)

  • Juliberwald

    I'm generally an optimist, but I just don't believe it exists in the same way here in Austin, or the States, the way it does in Europe. It's an uphill battle to keep the addiction going. That said, I think Quattro Gatti, the new Italian restaurant on Congress, may be on to something. Or, maybe it's better to just when-in-Rome it, and go for a plain old cup of Ruta Maya coffee.

  • jodibart

    Thanks, guys!

    Shelley/Iser: What is your favorite roast from Houndstooth. I believe they offer three or four different roasters, right?

    Juli: I think you are right, sadly. We might have to just invest in a good home espresso maker. Also, I miss you! Lets plan lunch soon :-)

  • Rlreevesjr

    Once Over is still the king: Here's why http://chowpapi.com/wordpress/

    Glad to see you back in the fray Jodi.

    What food trailers are you hitting these days?

    RL

  • David Ansel

    Once Over, Houndstooth, and Medici all use the same roaster… props to Cuvee Coffee.

  • marcoskirsch

    Every Saturday and Sunday morning I make either turkish or espresso coffee. It's becoming somewhat of a tradition. For the espresso I use a stovetop maker, not a machine – I really recommend getting one if you don't own one already!

  • linda

    glad you are back!
    cannot wait to read about all the wonderful & special adventures/moments from your trip!

  • jodibart

    Hey RL! Thanks for sharing the link. That blog post was written before Houndstooth opened up, and I think they are under-selling Medici. 

    We should meet up for lunch one of these days! There are a lot of trailers on my list of places to check out: Cha Thai, Dock and Roll, Kitchen Window, Municipal Taste, One Love, Osmo's…and I'm sure there are many others that I haven't yet heard of.

    Send me an email at tastytouring@gmail.com and we can set up a lunch date!

  • jodibart

    Cuvee is the bomb. Lorenzo Perkins, who used to be with Medici, works at Cuvee now. The coffee folk in Austin are a tight group!

  • jodibart

    I like those tin stovetop makers. Thanks for the tip, Marcos! You have some great coffee in SF though! Have you tried Blue Bottle or any other famous local brews?

  • jodibart

    I'll be “grinding” out posts about the trip very shortly! Thanks for checking back in, Linda. I <3 your comments.

  • Lindajbart

    Tastytouring, I have missed you. Waiting for further  postings on the trip.

  • Paul C

    Medici is hit and miss …    I've never had a good espresso from Once Over.    Thunderbird is mostly good ( i'd say 75% of the time i get a good one ) …  Houndstooth is by far the most consistent.

    I have a Saeco Incanto at home which make a pretty good espresso ..  not perfect,  but excellent for a fully automatic.

  • Paul C

    Medici is hit and miss …    I've never had a good espresso from Once Over.    Thunderbird is mostly good ( i'd say 75% of the time i get a good one ) …  Houndstooth is by far the most consistent.

    I have a Saeco Incanto at home which make a pretty good espresso ..  not perfect,  but excellent for a fully automatic.

  • http://www.foodjoy.org Foodjoy

    I had a surprisingly great espresso at Violet Crown Cinema recently. The barista made one espresso, decided it wasn't up to her standard, and made a second one for me. After one sip, I was immediately sorry that I hadn't ordered a double. I'm not sure if that level of service is the norm for VCC, but I'll be trying them again.

  • jodibart

    Thunderbird is closest to my house so good to know you enjoy their espressos. I'll have to add the Saeco Incanto to our list of home machines to check out. Thanks, Paul!

  • jodibart

    Violet Crown is a lovely place and they are smart to make good espresso to make sure people stay awake while watching documentaries in their comfy chairs — especially the ones in the first row!

  • Megan Myers

    I swear I had a comment here… anyway I have never had an amazing espresso here. The best I've had in the States was at Cucina Urbana in San Diego. 
    For home machines, my friend Chris (owns Thunderbird and Downhouse in Houston) says the myPressi Twist is the best.

  • http://twitter.com/angrysong angrysong

    Caffe Medici, especially downtown and West Lynn, Houndstooth and once over.

  • Ti Mougne

    We highly recommend the Nespresso machine for your home.  We've had ours since 2006! We discovered it while staying with Francis' uncle in Switzerland.  We have the Essenza model and the aeroccino for frothing and steaming milk (which does an amazing job).  Check it out here: http://www.nespresso.com/#/us/

  • http://twitter.com/angrysong angrysong

    Caffe Medici, especially downtown and West Lynn, Houndstooth and once over.

  • Ti Mougne

    We highly recommend the Nespresso machine for your home.  We've had ours since 2006! We discovered it while staying with Francis' uncle in Switzerland.  We have the Essenza model and the aeroccino for frothing and steaming milk (which does an amazing job).  Check it out here: http://www.nespresso.com/#/us/

  • marcoskirsch

    I've had Blue Bottle. I also went to Ritual Coffee Roasters, which is supposed to be a big deal among coffee connoisseurs (I thought it was pretty good).

    But mostly I drink Colombian coffee from my french press on weekdays, Israeli Elite turkish or Colombian (can't remember the Colombian brands!) on weekends.

  • marcoskirsch

    I've had Blue Bottle. I also went to Ritual Coffee Roasters, which is supposed to be a big deal among coffee connoisseurs (I thought it was pretty good).

    But mostly I drink Colombian coffee from my french press on weekdays, Israeli Elite turkish or Colombian (can't remember the Colombian brands!) on weekends.

  • Sommer Maxwell

    My faces are Pacha's cold brewed espresso and 34th Street Cafe. I like mine with a little local honey :)

  • Sommer Maxwell

    My faces are Pacha's cold brewed espresso and 34th Street Cafe. I like mine with a little local honey :)

  • jodibart

    Thank you very much, Megan. We will look into that machine!

  • jodibart

    Yep. Agree on all counts!

  • jodibart

    Thank you so much for the rec, Ti!

  • jodibart

    Honey makes EVERYTHING better!

  • ExpressoJunkie

    John at JP's Java takes care of my daily fix, mmm. Firewater!

  • ExpressoJunkie

    John at JP's Java takes care of my daily fix, mmm. Firewater!

  • Ryan

    Aeropress for making espresso at home. Cheap, fast, easy to clean, and makes a great cup.

  • jodibart

    Thanks, Ryan :-)

  • jodibart

    Thanks, Ryan :-)

  • jodibart

    Thanks, Ryan :-)