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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Austin
Coffee, Baked goods
Café

Hours
Mon–Fri 6:00am–10:00pm
Sat–Sun 6:30am–10:00pm

Features Outdoor dining, Wi-Fi
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx

www.caffemedici.com

The Drag
2222 Guadalupe St.
Austin, TX
(512) 474-5730
Hours
Mon–Fri 6:00am–10:00pm
Sat–Sun 9:00am–10:00pm

Clarksville
1101 West Lynn St.
Austin, TX
(512) 524-5049
Caffé Medici
Austin’s first place for good espresso is still its coziest

For years, if you wanted a good espresso—a true short pull with unbroken crema and the flavor of rich, roasted beans instead of a bitter, tinny sludge—you had to go to Caffé Medici in cute Clarksville. Then it opened a second shop on UT’s Drag, where it’s one of the few small Austin businesses left below 29th Street. In addition to providing students a comfortable, lived-in two stories for studying (the Drag’s hours shorten significantly during break, so check the website), Medici schools them in the ways of good espresso, using La Marzocco machines to brew a blend of beans roasted especially for the café. In a single shot, flavors are so layered and subtle that you may detect notes of raspberries, cocoa, salted caramel, and pecans.

Regular coffee is here is a little less transcendent, but it does the job; it’s all French-pressed, also from a blend. If you buy a bag of single-origin beans, though, they’ll press a cup for you at the store, and if there’s a tasting, or “cupping,” you should come and learn what provenance has to do with what’s in your glass (everything). Pastries here tend to be gummy and overly sweet, nowhere near the level of the espresso. But then, few things are.

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