Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy Your (Wine) Flight at Departure Lounge

Departure Lounge in Austin, TX

Departure Lounge at W 5th and Guadalupe in Austin

Departure Lounge Sign in Austin

Above the entrance to Departure Lounge

It bodes well for a place that can make a woman with four kids recall the sensation that accompanies the words sleek and sexy. It took a departure from suburbia for me to embrace this opportunity to escape.

Once settled into your plush seat, you too may decide to linger. No flotation device required and you won’t find safety information in your seat back pocket. But this downtown destination may induce wanderlust you’ve been stowing in your overhead compartment.

Departure Lounge inspires your mind to open and – like a fine glass of wine – breathe. This isn’t your typical travel agency; Departure Lounge is a coffee and wine bar that happens to sell customized travel. [Read more…]

Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing Co. Opens in Cedar Park

Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing Company Stage for Live Music

Stage at Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing Company hosts live music

Coffee. Beer. Good vibes. This is the mantra of Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing Co. and I stand behind it.

As I walked up to the brewpub on an overcast morning, I could smell beer brewing in the breeze. It was early, so I got a latte, but you can bet I’ll be back for a beer soon. Cedar Park needs a place like this and I’m happy it’s finally here.

The heart and soul of Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing Company lies in owners Chad Misner and Jon Lamb, along with part owner and head brewer Zack Gardner and coffee connoisseur Jered Hill. I was able to meet all these friendly guys on this breezy morning, and they were happy to show me around less than a week after opening. They take pride in being locally owned and owner-operated, and do business with one simple mission: Do good. Be positive. Have fun. [Read more…]

Monkey Nest Coffee: Not Your Average Monkey Business

Monkey Nest Coffee in Austin

Monkey Nest Coffee at 5353 Burnet Road (Credit: Jim Nix/Nomadic Pursuits via Flickr CC)

I’m a sucker for monkeys. Their expressive eyes, curious nature and playful demeanor have captured my heart since childhood. And so it was no surprise the day my car veered into a parking lot off Burnet when I saw an animated circular face with tiny ears, resembling the classic 80’s stuffed sock monkey.

The little primate’s paws and curled tail grip a circular sign with bold letters identifying the establishment, Monkey Nest Organic Coffee and Bakery. [Read more…]

Casa Brasil: Austin Coffee Roaster Making Global Connections

Casa Brasil Coffee Bags

Bags of Casa Brasil coffee are available at Wheatsville Co-Op and Central Market (Credit: Casa Brasil)

Uchi, Uchiko, Lenoir, and Torchy’s Tacos have something in common (other than being wildly successful eateries in Austin): they all source their coffee from Casa Brasil.

Austin coffee roaster Casa Brasil has evolved into an organization committed to finding, roasting and selling high quality coffees from Brazil. But with so many similar outfits in town, why should you pay attention to this particular one? Why should those who just want a regular cup of joe take interest in coffee that’s bought directly from growers? I sat down with Casa Brasil’s owner Joel Shuler to get some answers.

[Read more…]

Get Buzzed on Austin’s High Brew Coffee

High Brew Coffee Flavors

High Brew’s four flavors of cold-brewed coffee

I think I found a new (healthy) addiction that’s as unique and refreshing as the city in which it was founded. It’s called High Brew, and if you were at Austin City Limits 2014 you might have had the chance to try it.

High Brew is a cold-brewed coffee that came into being because of two adventurous Austinites who saw a need for convenient iced-coffee. [Read more…]

Taste a Different Side of Austin: Cold Brews and Chocolatiers

Local Austin Chocolate

Wayward Chocolat ganache pieces, created in Austin (Credit: CourtPie Photography)

Indulgence is a welcomed notion for any food lover, and today I indulged in two flavors known to regularly bring a smile to my face…chocolate and coffee.

I selected three local cold brew coffees and four local chocolatiers and hit the kitchen with an open palate, a patient photographer and trusty beverage consultant Darren Mykowsky.

After tasting each of the uniquely different locally drawn chocolates, my esteemed brood of tasting professionals (a kitchen full of buddies) and I divvied up the chocolate remains and paired each with its rightful cold brew cocktail partner. Let’s get caffeinated! [Read more…]

Cuvee Coffee Finds New Home in East Austin

New Cuvee Coffee Bar in Austin

Cuvee Coffee Bar exterior

Cuvee Coffee has long been in the hearts of Texans and Austinites alike, and visiting their new location in East Austin is an experience you’ll want to have again and again.

The company, founded over a decade and a half ago, has taken their time opening a cafe for customers and fans, and it shows. Everything from the modern, stripped down decor to the individualized ordering process makes it obvious that a lot of thought and hard work were put into opening the operation.

I recently stopped by their new place (2000 E 6th) and was immediately greeted with smiles and genuine warmth, something you won’t find at every coffee shop in Austin.

Having never been there, I asked for a recommendation and was astounded by [Read more…]

Stonebridge Coffee Represents One Man’s Willingness to Beat the Odds

Stonebridge Coffee North Austin

Stonebridge Coffee at 6400 McNeil in North Austin

When Justin Forgey had a grand mal seizure and was diagnosed with late-onset adult epilepsy in 2008, his life changed instantly. For the next four years, he bounced around from job to job, having seizures along the way. “It made the typical 9-5 very difficult,” Justin reflected. “I was not the most reliable employee.”

But Justin chose not to be defined by his disability. He was eager to find a way to support his family. One day, he mentioned to his wife Jenny that he was considering self-employment, owning a brick and mortar coffee shop. She replied that they should talk more about it. The next day, Justin quit his job. [Read more…]

Flipnotics Features Live Music Every Night of the Week

Flipnotics Live Music in Austin

Flipnotics is located at 1601 Barton Springs Rd. (Photo credit: KateBartonART via Flickr CC)

Editor’s Note: Flipnotics closed in March 2014 due to a rent dispute. So passes another well-loved local business. 

This guest blog article is by Michal Ann Morrison.

Austin is the city of live music, with bluegrass being a popular intersection between a nod to the past and the youthful exuberance that celebrates it. Flipnotics, a coffee bar on Barton Springs that boasts live music every night of the week, showcases bluegrass on Monday nights that rivals any other venue in the city.

Gathering with friends at Flipnotics, with its spacious, covered patio area and cozy indoor seating, makes it easy to wile away the evening hours over a beer or espresso. Eaters of all kinds are welcome, with a menu offering pastries, breakfast tacos, vegetarian empanadas and vegan snacks. Hoboken Pie pairs deliciously with a local brew from behind the bar.

On any given night, you will see an eclectic array of patrons enjoying the laid-back environment, from devoted, Patagonia-clad college students to talented musicians with gray in their beards. But musically oriented or no, it would be hard to find anyone who wouldn’t enjoy the music coming from the indoor stage. [Read more…]