Thrillist is out with a list of the 14 best new coffee shops.? Well, they did themselves a favor by saying "New" because otherwise they'd have a monumental task to sort out the "best" in the US.
I haven't been to any of these coffee shops yet, though I plan to visit two of them Real Soon Now, because they're right here in Austin, Texas.? One thing I know from the great local shops like Houndstooth and Medici, is that great coffee comes from having a great process.? And as a BPM guy, this is something I can respect.
First up is Cuv?e :
What you're getting: A cup of fruit-forward Ethiopia Cuberow, brewed with their sleek Seraphim system. Or the nitro cold-brew on draft. And a pleasant conversation.
Cuv?e has long been one of the roasting powerhouses in Austin's crowded coffee landscape, and in late summer 2014 they threw their hat in the cafe game. The focus is on creating a more social environment, achieved by flipping the ordering process to a brew-first, pay-last system that leads to more conversational interactions with the baristas, as well as disabling Wi-Fi to the dismay of coffee shop campers.
Known for roasting, I'm curious if the shop is hurting their distribution of their roasts in other local shops or not.? I'm also curious how the no-WIFI thing works out for them in practice.? Years ago wifi seemed like a huge advantage for coffee shops. But now that everyone has it, it has become a reason to not go to a particular shop.? For example, I stopped trying to meet at Houndstooth Coffee for business conversations because of the army of coffee-shop IT folks working away in every available seat.? I don't blame them - but I have to find a coffee shop that is likely to have a place to sit and talk.? And if someone *really* needs an internet connection, well that's what LTE is for.
Next up is Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors:
What you're getting: A shot of Tweed espresso with a chaser of Topo Chico.
Founded by a music- and coffee-scene veteran and a Local Lady We Love, Figure 8's a neighborhood shop built with a DIY mentality and an interior designer's eye. Succulents dot an old conveyor belt that's been converted into a communal table, and a wall of mirrors makes the tiny shop feel much more expansive than just 900sqft. The shop's already earned a loyal cast of regulars who give it a clubhouse vibe, where membership is just a few shots of espresso away.
Figure 8 is on the east side of Austin, in the heart of "gentrification" aka hipster, Austin.? So is Cuv?e coffee.? I keep hoping one of these places will open up on Far West Blvd. Hint. Hint.
Honorable mention to the Dallas and Houston coffee shops that made it in the list: Method Caffeination & Fare in Dallas, and Tout Suite in Houston.