[Editor's note: Please welcome Julia Bass as a DAB guest contributor! Julia is a NYC native who recently relocated to Austin. As a newbie, she sees downtown through a fresh lens, and will be covering people, places, and events that we might have otherwise missed, or taken for granted. Please welcome Julia to the downtown community while she flexes her writing muscles for us! For feedback or questions, please contact her at JuliaBass28 [AT] gmail.com or follow her on Twitter @jul928.]
Artisanal caffeinery Houndstooth Coffee has opened a second location in Austin, anchored in the lobby of the Frost Bank Tower on Congress and 4th Street. High quality coffee shops have woken up the city in a big way, and as downtown Austin grows, so does the availability of high quality coffee.
Beloved by patrons at its North Lamar location, Houndstooth is a welcomed establishment by creatives and executives with a penchant for good brews. The café offers an inviting selection of espresso drinks, brewed iced-coffees and strong cappuccinos, each hand-crafted by knowledgeable, friendly baristas. The glass-walled space is open and light, making it ideal for freelancers and students looking to wake up and plug in. Sunlight pours in just as easily as a morning cup of Joe, while the minimalist décor makes people-watching and coffee-brewing the only real distraction.
Austinites craving a serious morning jolt should look no further than the 12-hour cold brewed Toddy, Houndstooth’s most popular “wake-me-up” choice. Another favorite is the Japanese Iced Coffee, light yet flavor-packed and reminiscent of iced tea, the drink is bright and refreshing on a hot Austin day. Houndstooth’s classic cappuccinos are dry and strong, with a simple hint of sweetness. The café’s experienced baristas will also recommend the Cortado, a Gibraltar glass filled with 2 espresso shots and steamed milk, prepared at a cooler temperature than a Cappuccino, giving it naturally sweeter taste.
Sophisticated coffee-making contraptions decorate the bar to churn out Houndstooth’s signature bold flavors. Patrons can grab a seat at one of three bar tables, all carved from the same pecan tree, to watch the magic happen. Come by on the weekends, when the crowds subside and time moves a bit slower, to take advantage of the café’s siphon coffeemakers, which use halogen lights to slowly heat and brew the coffee to a rich, unique flavor.
Ask one of the approachable baristas about any drink on the menu, and he or she will tell you what notes and flavors to look out for. Warm and experienced, they are all excited to tell patrons all about the beans’ origins, any international brewing methods or the name of the floral design in your milk foam. If you’re feeling hungry, mornings are complimented by Tacodeli breakfast tacos, while baked goods from Lux and Flour are available throughout the day.