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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Austin
Coffee, Baked Goods
Café

Hours
Mon–Fri 6:00am–10:00pm
Sat–Sun 7:00am–10:00pm

Features Outdoor dining, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx

www.houndstoothcoffee.com

Seton Medical
4200 N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX
(512) 531-9417
Houndstooth Coffee
At long last, serious coffee in a serious margarita town

Houndstooth has helped plunge our hot city headlong into coffee geekdom. The response is a rapturous sigh over unbroken crema, cloudlike foam kisses, the exacting precision of a burr grinder (settings are adjusted for humidity). The centerpiece of the otherwise stark café is a gleaming espresso machine built by the venerable Italian company La Marzocco, tricked out Scandinavian-style with wood paneling.

Serious coffee drinkers will delight in a two-cup $8.50 vacuum pot. Victorian-looking glass globes bubble atop a flame, delicately extracting flavor and aroma from the grounds, preserving the complexity in a way that even careful machine-brewing cannot. The result may seem green and full of high notes compared to the cheaper, monochromatic drip coffee you’re used to, but keep drinking (if you don’t mind an expensive habit).

Rotating espressos include NoCal’s Verve, Chicago’s Intelligentsia, North Carolina’s Counter Culture, and local Cuvée. The tea selection is just as devoted, consisting of loose-leaf teas brewed at the correct temperature and length, depending on the type. And although we wouldn’t think to drink wine or beer in this relatively bright and foodless place, they are carefully chosen. For all its ultra-modernism, Houndstooth is a comfortable and lively workspace, with plenty of outlets. Crumbly pastries (not made in house) aren’t a strong point here, but it’s a matter of time before those are perfected, as well.

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