We're incorrigible Oregon coffee snobs. You might never know it since we're both so darn agreeable, but it's true. During our one-year sabbatical in Austin, we have made a couple of observations. Austin is a town blessed with an abundance of cute coffee shops. Unfortunately most are bad. Here is a list we've compiled. If a coffee shop isn't listed, it is because we haven't yet visited … if we haven't yet visited, it is because we're tired of wasting our money on bad coffee. As soon as Frommers gives us money, we'll visit the rest.
Peets Coffee & Tea, Guadalupe St
Whole Foods Market, Lamar St
Central Market, both locations
Andersons Coffee, Jefferson St (just for the beans)
Spider House Café, Fruth St
Copacabana Coffeehouse, S. Congress St
Halcyon Coffeehouse, W 4th St.
Not so good:
Mozarts Coffee Roasters & Bakery, Lake Austin Blvd.
Bouldin Creek Coffee House & Café, S. 1st St.
Green Muse Café, W. Oltorf St.
Little City Espresso, Congress
Metro Espresso Bar, Guadalupe St
Jo’s Coffee, S. Congress
Ruta Maya Coffee Co., S. Congress
Here's how to judge a good coffee house: Order an iced mocha. This will tell you volumes about their dedication to espresso-based beverages in general. Iced drinks save the flavor of an espresso shot much better than scorched milk. Most coffeehouses can't handle the delicate balance of an iced mocha. It's very sad.
PS - the best coffeehouse in the world is Coffee Cottage in Newberg, Oregon.