Tag Archives: coffee

Best Matcha In Austin

Matcha is a powder made from crushed up green tea leaves added to milk or water to make a caffeinated, earthy cup of happiness. Besides being a great alternative to coffee, matcha contains antioxidants and  great health benefits! Last year, I wrote an article on Austin’s best and worst matcha drinks. Now, I have compiled some of the most elite matcha sites in Austin.

Try Hard Coffee Roasters

1115 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702

My former favorite matcha spot, Bandit, was taken over by GoPuff Kitchen, and while they still deliver matcha, the vibes are not the same. Try Hard quickly took its place in my heart. The interior is bright and lively with disco balls, plants, a DJ playing vinyl records and CBD rollies for sale. Their simple matcha latte is the perfect balance of earthiness and sweetness. The best part? They don’t upcharge for milk substitutions or syrup additions!

Photo by: Claire Waheed

Sa-Tèn

4917 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

This Japanese-inspired cafe has a packed drink menu, and you can’t go wrong with anything! As matcha hails from Japan, this would be the place to get it. Their rose matcha is their seasonal special and makes a great treat, iced or hot. They have a variety of dishes, including brunch toasts using Japanese milk bread, donuts, chicken or tofu plates and more! There is plenty of seating with lots of natural light, making it a great study spot as well. 

Photo by: Claire Waheed

Freewheelin’ Coffee

1910 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702

This cute trailer serves up  refreshing matcha with a variety of house made syrups, including my favorite, cardamom rose. They also sell the tastiest pastries, including a cardamom bun and Persian love cake. This is a great grab-and-go option if you find yourself on the east side!

Photo by: Claire Waheed

Genuine Joe’s Coffeehouse

2001 W Anderson Ln, Austin, TX 78757

This neighborhood coffeehouse is also a great study spot with many tables and a fun environment featuring many dinosaur-themed decorations. In addition, you can customize your matcha with their long list of syrups, including the one I enjoyed most, strawberry rose!

Photo by: Claire Waheed

Austin has great options all over for this green treat. Next time you need a boost of energy, switch out coffee and try one of these places!

Featured Image By Valerie Aldana

Caffeine fix for non-coffee drinkers

Sometimes, it feels like caffeine is a must in college, especially during midterm season. However, it can be hard to find drinks that don’t taste like coffee. I cannot stand the bitterness of coffee, so I’ve compiled a list of drinks that have enough caffeine to keep you awake without having to deal with the harsh taste of coffee. 

Here are some drinks you can try the next time you visit a coffee shop.

Vanilla Latte

This is my go-to drink at Starbucks, and I recommend getting it iced. Lattes have a shot of espresso, which isn’t as much caffeine compared to drip coffee, but it is a great substitution! You can hardly taste any bitterness from the espresso because the vanilla syrup and milk cover it well. 

Mocha Latte

If no vanilla syrup is available for some reason, my next go-to is a mocha latte. It is sweeter than the vanilla latte, so if you really don’t want to taste any espresso, this may be the best drink for you to get. I’ve tried this latte, both hot and iced, and can say that you can’t go wrong with either choice! 

Caramel Macchiato 

Almost everyone loves the taste of caramel, and the taste overpowers any possible bitterness. It is pretty similar to a vanilla latte because it uses the same syrup but instead has caramel and steamed milk on top. I would suggest trying this macchiato if the vanilla latte is too sweet for you!

Dirty Chai Latte

This latte is personally not my favorite, mostly because I don’t enjoy the taste of tea, but for tea lovers, this may be your new caffeine fix! This drink has Chai tea, milk and a shot of espresso. However, make sure you don’t just order a Chai latte, or else espresso won’t be added to your drink. 

These are just a few drinks I have tried and have found tolerable to drink without dealing with the bitter coffee taste. So go out and try a new drink to get your caffeine fix! 

Featured Image by Allison Geddie

A Beginner’s Guide to Tea

Nothing screams “I’ve got my life together” more than brewing yourself a good cup of tea, but often, tea is seen as the lesser cousin of the venerable coffee. This article is a local tea aficionado’s attempt at making the case for why tea is indubitably the superior beverage.

A Beginner’s Guide to Tea

By Morgan Scruggs

The Basics

The three main categories of tea are black tea, green tea, and oolong tea. Black tea has the highest caffeine content and is often the best option if someone makes the switch from coffee to tea and wants their cup of tea to pack a punch. Green tea,  most famously known for its matcha variant, can be quite strong but has less caffeine than black tea. Finally, oolong tea has the least amount of caffeine and often has light, floral notes that enchant the more refined palate.

Tea is a healthier option than coffee since it doesn’t leave you dehydrated and isn’t as potent if you like drinking multiple cups a day. Personally, I switched to tea because coffee made me extremely anxious, which wasn’t a great way to set the tone for the day.

Tips on how to enjoy 

Choose your player

If you are just starting on your tea journey, use your favorite beverage as a template for what types of tea you will most likely enjoy. If you are someone who loves energy drinks, don’t opt for oolong or more floral teas; instead, try green tea, especially green tea with fruit or mint flavors–Interested in swapping out coffee for tea? Try darjeeling or assam tea (both are types of black tea). If you love holiday drinks all year-‘round, black tea, milk and an array of spices from cinnamon to nutmeg are your best bet (also known as chai lattes).

Ice ice baby

Everyone knows the best coffee drinks at Starbucks are the iced ones, so why should tea be an exception? Use everything from giant ice cubes to fancy, tiny silicone ice cubes to amplify your tea. Just be sure to brew your tea hot and then add it to ice because brewing tea cold could subdue its flavor.

By Morgan Scruggs

Ditch that microwave

Not everyone has access to a stove, and it’s completely alright to heat the water for your tea in a kettle or a microwave. If you do have access to a stove, though, take the extra time to brew your tea at the stove. It heats your water more evenly and usually at higher temperatures than a microwave. This heat heightens the tea’s aroma and overall flavor.

Loose-leaf superiority

Loose leaf tea is better for the environment and honestly, makes better tea. You will need a strainer and it does take longer than using a tea bag but, I promise you, the results are worth it. Also, as an added bonus, the used tea leaves can be used as compost and are great for your plants!

Spice it up

Froth your milk for your tea lattes, add cinnamon honey, and play around with different types of milk alternatives like almond or oat. Whoever said tea was boring wasn’t creative enough. You can add flavors to highlight the espresso in coffee, so why should tea be different? Also, pro tip: chai lattes with almond milk are a divine pairing.

By Morgan Scruggs

Make your own

Ordering tea at a cafe is definitely an art in itself, and once you find an order that does not result in a burnt mess, it can be hard to pass up the convenience of buying your drink. However, making your own tea is a therapeutic act and makes the overall experience of consumption more enjoyable. When you are involved in making your own tea, not only do you appreciate it more, but you can customize every aspect of it.

So go ahead out into the world and enjoy your tea, for you are no longer a tea novice but a budding tea aficionado!

10 Crazy Things Customers Have Said To Me As A Barista

Anyone who has worked in the service industry knows dealing with people can be … rough. Over summers, and when I go home for breaks, I work as a barista at a famed coffee shop in my hometown. Below are just some of the things the more unconventional customers have said to me or my coworkers. 

  1. “I want something that’s brown. Do you have brown drinks?”

  1. *Stares at menu aggressively during a rush for a solid three minutes* 

“Do you have smoothies? Why not?”

  1. Customer: “Which one of these two is the matcha?”

Coworker: “The green one.”

Customer: “Then which one is the coffee one?”

Coworker: “The brown one.”

  1. “Aaaaaaaaand no tip for you.”

  1. “It’s 6 a.m. on the DOT — time to serve me.”

  1. “Excuse me, but not all of the employees greeted me when I walked in. I’m going to need your CEO’s personal phone number.”

  1. “Why doesn’t my matcha have espresso in it?”

  1. Customer: “Can I have some water?”

Me: “Our water pitcher is at the end of the bar with cups.”

Customer: “I have to get it myself?”

  1. “I NEED my latte to be steamed at 180 degrees. I want it to burn my hand.”

  1. “Which one is the hot drink and which one is the iced?”

To the baristas, wait staff, hosts, hostesses and everyone else out there just remind yourself at the end of a hard day, the customer is not always right.

Featured Image by Dorian Villalba

Best Coffee roasters in austin

Austin is home to a plethora of great coffee shops, but only a select few roast their own coffee beans. Whether you like to brew your own at home or let the baristas do what they do best, using the best quality beans can make a world of difference. That said, let’s break down some of the best coffee roasters in Austin.

Trippy Buck

Trippy Buck is a little food truck located on the UT campus. It may seem unsuspecting but there is more to their service than meets the eye. They market themselves as a ‘farm-to-cup’ experience, sourcing their own coffee beans from their farm in Ecuador. They offer a variety of different roasts including green coffee, light, and dark roasts, but our personal favorite is the classic ‘Hacienda Roast.’

Summermoon Coffee Co.

Summermoon Coffee is a chain of coffee shops based in Texas. They have multiple locations near and in Austin where you can pick up a bag of their coffee beans. They offer multiple roasts but the ‘Velvet Blaze’ roast is what they use for their drinks in-house.

Wild Gift

As a five-person run coffee roaster, Wild Gift pumps out an impressive array of nine different roasts. You can find hints of honey, chocolate, lime, and jasmine in their selection. Their bags are adorned with a quaint drawing of a budding coffee plant. They can be picked up at Epoch Coffee and at Austin-area Central Market locations.

Austin Java

Austin Java has been brewing coffee since 1995. They follow the tenet of “people over product” and this can very easily be seen at their Manchaca location. They have numerous signature blends like ‘Fog Cutter’ which is a darker roast, along with ‘Morning Glory’ which is more of a sweet, light roast. Their coffee beans can be picked up at Austin Central Market locations as well as at Austin Java’s own locations.

This listicle is only a sip of what Austin has to offer but thankfully it is very easy to pick up local roasts. The best option would be to buy directly from local roasters through their roast houses, coffee shops, or online stores. This option is better than grocery stores because they are often closer to their roast date at the point of sale. 

Featured image by Ren Breach