Adopting Austin’s urban coffee culture

Regular and decaf are not your only options anymore and the days of getting endless refills of auto-drip at your local diner are long gone. In its place are sleek, trendy coffee shops serving up artisan drinks and a community atmosphere that have reshaped the face of Austin’s urban coffee culture.

coffee-1 Sa-Ten Coffee


Consumers are more knowledgeable than ever when it comes to their drinks, the brewing processes and the origin of the beans and the “3rd wave movement” makes it hard for rookie coffee drinkers to get their foot in the door.

“We are not the pretentious coffee shop,” says Stephanie Williams, co-owner of Bennu Coffee.

“We want customers to get a cup that’s higher quality, organic and fair trade, crafted by a barista rather than spit out of an automated machine,” she adds.

coffeeshop-3 Bennu Coffee

You can order an espresso, cortado, latte, Americano, cappuccino, macchiato, mocha, drip, cold drip, Chemex, Clover, French press and the list goes on and on. It can be overwhelming to order a drink but this Infovideo makes it easy to understand what goes into an artisan coffee.

The coffee shop has never been a place where people only go to get a drink and having a welcoming attitude and the right atmosphere is paramount to getting people in the door.


The coffee shop serves multiple purposes. It can be a place for social interactions like dates or interviews, a place for relaxation and reading or a place to get work done.

The social aspect of coffee shops is a huge driver of traffic and different shops specialize in meeting their consumers’ every need. Stephanie says coffee shops can focus on live music, the 3rd wave coffee movement, alcohol and coffee, the community and more.

“Your coffee shop of choice today says something about who you are or how you want to be perceived,” says Stephanie.

The internet has played a huge role in changing how the coffee shop fits into daily life and free wi-fi makes coffee shops an ideal place to work remotely while enjoying a great cup of coffee.

coffeeshop-1 Bennu Coffee

Janine Hurd, shop manager at Sa-Ten, says, “Coffee shops have become a hub-for study groups, business meetings, casual encounters, etc.”

Students and professionals are calling coffee shops home when it comes to meeting that last minute deadline or working on a project. To maintain a professional working environment make sure to follow these tips and tricks from barista’s.

Once you have figured out what you want to drink, who you’re meeting or what you have to work on, the only thing left to decide is where you are going to go.


Austin has more than its fair share of coffee drinkers and that means there is a coffee shop out there suited to meet everyone’s needs.

“Coffee went main stream in every part of our society,” says Stephanie, “and Austinites are savvy consumers.”

There are many coffee shops in Austin and Stephanie says it is based partly on the entrepreneurial spirit of local coffee lovers who have taken their passion to the next level.

coffee-2 Sa-Ten Coffee

“Just like in Seattle, LA, Portland, or New York, Austinites are on the forefront of trends and there is no shortage of coffee knowledgeable entrepreneurs in Austin eager to give the people what they want” she says.

No matter what Austinites are doing at coffee shops, one thing is for certain, that they are here to stay and and will continue to be an important part of Austin’s culture for a long time to come.

The following map details all of the coffee shops in and around Austin and will help you navigate through each until you find the one that feels right. Cheers!


Writing and Tips by: Katelyn Orlowski
Photos and Infovideo by: Lazaro Hernandez

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