2015 SCT, Day Six – Downtown Austin

It’s coming down to the wire in getting my daily post in, but I think I’m going to make it! I have a good excuse though – Austin seems to have given my laptop some malware. So while I scan it for junk, I’ll type this the best I can on my iPad. Yes, I’m multi-platformational, or something like that… 
Anyway, Day 6 was a good day. Although it started off a little questionable. I knew I was probably going to get some decent coffee in the afternoon, but in order to function properly I needed caffeine like, stat. I took a chance on a place not too far from where I was staying. Big mistake. The latte had too much milk, the espresso wasn’t good and the atmosphere kind of sucked. I won’t even mention name of the place because, well, I feel kinda bad about it. So if you want to read these posts as recommendations for where to go – leaving out the name won’t make any difference. And, well, you can’t win ‘em all. On the way home, I saw a guy on a scooter wearing pink leggings with kittens on them. It was not a good look for him.
A little shaken, I went back home and got ready to go into the city. Meaning, I signed up for Über. I got a ride downtown, and had lunch with Michael and one of his coworkers Corissa, who was my boss for my very first writing project. I met a few other people in their office – it was nice to put faces with the names, and to see how a supercool Austin Company looks on the inside. I also met a few fellow coffee aficionados which is always good! I hope I get to work with them more (if you’re reading this, hi guys!)
I couldn’t leave downtown without trying a coffee place. I chose Houndstooth and I’m so glad I did. As soon as I walked in, I realized there was a tasting going on. Darn It! I got there a little too late. I was disappointed I couldn’t join in, but was impressed they were having one.
The people at the counter were really nice and helpful. I ordered and got my latte and scone. The latte looked great. I could tell even before I found a seat I was going to really like it. I found a seat and sat with the coffee and food for a few minutes. I watched all the tasters slurp their coffee samples and I was envious. Oh well. I still couldn’t bring myself to taste the coffee. It’s like I wanted to savor the anticipation of something really good. So I savored. Finally I tasted it. Oh, YES. Houndstooth knows their coffee s**t.

This was by far the best espresso I’d had so far in Austin. And the people were friendly (Yay! I knew it could be done!). And the atmosphere was nice. And the music was decent. Win win win win.
As I sat and drank my latte I listened to the guy talking about coffee to the tasters. I couldn’t hear it all but I caught bits – the coffee vocabulary words like “acidity,” “brightness,” “mouthfeel,” and “flavor.” Sigh. I listened to more slurping.

When the class was over, the guy who taught it sat and talked to the guy who had helped me at the counter. I went over to say hi. And I hit Coffee Rockstar Paydirt.
Turns out the guy from the counter was the owner of Houndstooth, Sean Henry. Although I didn’t realize till later that he was the owner. The other guy was from Counter Culture, a well-known national roaster, and he had come in to do the tasting with Houndstooth. I told them both how impressed I was with the place. I explained how I was from Tulsa, and had been tasting espresso all the way down to Austin and blogging about it. They asked the name of my blog. I’m not sure why I blew that off but I managed to avoid the question. We talked a little about roasting, and how there are so many different elements that go into the experience of espresso. They were both really nice guys. Sean said they were having a free tasting at their Dallas shop on Monday and I should come. (You know I’m thinking about it, and you know I’m thinking there’s really no way I can miss that…) I went back to my table. I thought for a second, and then went back again to give Sean my business card. You know, just in case. In case he needed a freelance writer for something. Or wanted to read my blog. Ha.
Later after recounting the events to The Neighbor, he did some research & that’s when I realized Sean was not just the barista, but the owner of both Houndstooth locations in Austin and one in Dallas. And that their espresso machine is a custom-made Kees van der Westen Spirit. I didn’t get a photo of it and don’t want to use someone else’s, so if you want to see it, Google Houndstooth Frost Bank Building, or something like that. Pretty cool. I’ll get a photo next time.
I hung out for a while longer, waiting for my ride. It was a really nice place.
The rest of the evening was spent hanging out with my host Carissa, we had a little girl time, doing some yoga and having a tasty dinner. It was nice – a nice day.
And Sean, if you read this (cool!) – please bring Houndstooth to South Tulsa…
Thanks in advance,