Austin, Texas is home to many different coffee shops, so you may think the market is over-saturated. Houndstooth Coffee has proven that coffee shops can still stand out in a city filled with students and night owls.
Houndstooth is an Austin original, located on N. Lamar Boulevard. Honestly, I passed by multiple times while living in Austin. It took a couple of years in the city for me to take the time to try out their coffee. What I found was a very “Austin” and modern caffeine hub.
- Music – The music at Houndstooth doesn’t shine for me. It’s standard coffee shop music that plays lightly behind the conversations of patrons. It’s not too loud, and doesn’t compete for your ears. That is nice.
- Colors – Houndstooth is dominated by old-school wood grain and a contrasting metallic, modern style. The theme is an interesting take on the coffee shop motif. Perhaps the owners were attempting to attract both traditional coffee drinkers and the young, tech-savvy crowd at the same time. I thought the decor was novel, but it didn’t feel incredibly cozy.
- Lighting – The space is dominated by a full-wall glass window facing Lamar. This allows the interior of the building to enjoy soft, natural light instead of harsh light bulbs. This may sound silly, but lighting makes a big deal to me when I’m groggy and want to enjoy my espresso in the morning.
- Set Up and Comfort – Like I said above, Houndstooth blends old and new approaches to coffee shops. This gives it a unique type of allure. The open design of the coffee shop makes me feel like I have room to breath and spread open a newspaper. It doesn’t inspire me to curl up with a book like other coffee shops we have reviewed.
- Friendly? – Let’s face it. Austin’s weirdness can have downsides. I’ve seen it manifest itself in coffee shop baristas more than any other profession. It can be an air of smarminess or disinterestedness. Two qualities, ironically enough, least suited for service jobs. Anyway, I’m happy to report that Houndstooth employees are friendly, affable baristas. It’s a refreshing change of pace from other coffee shops in the area.
- Fast? – Houndstooth takes an average amount of time with their coffee. They emphasize the craft of coffee making, so complex brews can take a while to complete. Don’t stress out, though. This isn’t the type of coffee shop you go to when you absolutely cannot wait.
- Fun? – I would say that Houndstooth Coffee is a pretty fun place. There is an eclectic mix of people always coming in and out. People not obviously occupied seemed open for a chat as we waited for our drinks.
- Drinks – Multiple Austinites swear that Houndstooth has some of the best-tasting coffee in the city. This is a bold claim, pun intended. I waited in line and was greeted by a friendly barista. I sat back and watched her craft my espresso. The amount of care she took in making my drink was impressive. My espresso was rich and smooth, not very bitter for an espresso. Oh, and they have craft beer available also. They have everything from rotating IPAs to imperial stouts. Definitely a good call for an Austin-based coffee shop.
- Food – Your typical coffee shop fare. The food rotates according to season. So during the winter, you’re likely to see tons of pumpkin. It’s that sort of pastry situation.
- Accuracy of Order – This was exceedingly impressive. I understand why Houndstooth has a reputation for good coffee. My barista was able to describe the process of making my drink. She then made it, and it tasted exactly like what she broke down for me.
- Internet — Free! This is a must-have if you’re running a coffee shop. Good to see Houndstooth stepping up to the plate. The speed was fast, despite the large amount of people online at once.
I’d definitely recommend Houndstooth Coffee if you enjoy unique, trendy coffee shops. Their coffee is worth the time it takes to make. Be sure to check out our other coffee shop reviews while you’re here!
Have you been to Houndstooth Coffee?
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