- Acidity: This is key to distinguish good coffee from bad. Acidity is so easy to mess up when brewing a cup of coffee and a coffee shop is only considered good if they pay attention to their grind, coffee to water ratio, brew time, and technique.
- Body: The body refers to the overall texture and feel of coffee in one’s mouth. The body or texture of a coffee is in direct proportion to the amount of oils and soluble compounds extracted during the brewing process. Generally, coffee with little body means that the beans were under-extracted whereas coffee with a bitter, strong acidic taste means that the beans were over-extracted. A good medium for us is coffee with a full body, meaning a stronger brew without the acidity and bitterness of over-extracted coffee.
- Aroma: This refers to the overall smell or scent of the coffee. Amongst all other criteria listed above, we factor aroma into consideration though it’s weighted less than the others.
- Flavor: Good flavor is quintessential to brewing a delectable cup of coffee and flavor is a combination of the three characteristics above.
Now, here's our list of best coffee shops in Austin, listed in descending order.
Summermoon serves wood-fired, fair trade coffee with multiple locations throughout Austin. This was our least favorite out of the four due to its lack of strong espresso shot in our iced latte. Just as with Starbucks, you taste more milk than coffee. Such a bummer because this place is so highly rated. As for service, the cashier was not as friendly as everyone else we’ve come across in Austin.
3. Revival Coffee
Nestled in the heart of East Austin, Revival Coffee aims to create an inviting atmosphere that joins good coffee and good people. Revival’s iced latte had a slightly better and stronger coffee flavor than Summermoon. However, I did wish the espresso was stronger in strength but the quality was definitely there. Bonus: Their iced lattes were priced much more reasonably than most other coffee shops!
2. Houndstooth Coffee
1. Seventh Flag Coffee Co.
Our favorite places was Seventh Flag Coffee Co. and we went there twice during our stay. It was also only a 10-minute walk from our Airbnb! The first time we visited we ordered a nitro cold brew which was absolutely delicious. Its slightly sweet and smooth texture of the coffee flows pleasantly through your taste buds. The nitro cold brew had no strong acidity as we have tasted in other cold brews (though cold brew in general is supposed to be less acidic…). The second time we went we ordered an iced latte and it was the best out of the other three coffee shops we visited. The espresso had a stronger taste without the bitterness or strong acidity. The milk did not overpower the coffee flavor, so it was a perfect balance between the two. The atmosphere was welcoming and the staff was friendly and knowledge about the various coffee beans.