The Drink: Mughal spice
Why It's Amazing: It's a cappuccino made with locally roasted beans and infused with saffron.
Perfect Pairing: A vegan tofu masala pocket pie from the pastry case.
Know Before You Go: Parking isn't the easiest, though spaces are usually available on the street.
3419 Dowling St.; 713-528-0060
10 Perfect Cups of Coffee in HoustonBy Amber Ambrose
February 24, 2014
Coffee is in no short supply in Houston, and that's a great thing. When is it not great? When trying to put together a list of the 10 perfect cups of coffee. So many contenders, so few spots meant this list had us sweating, and it wasn't just from the caffeine. We enlisted your help and came up with lattes, macchiatos, cortados and more from some of your favorite coffee joints. Without further ado, we kick off Coffee Week 2014.
The Drink: Macchiato side car
Why It's Amazing: The way it's served side-by-side allows you to taste the difference between the intensely flavored espresso and the way that steamed milk changes the flavors.
Perfect Pairing: An almond croissant - there's a shipment of fresh pastries daily.
Know Before You Go: It's WiFi- and electrical-outlet-free, so leave the laptop at home and just come for the coffee.
2201 Washington Ave.; 713-861-8448
The Drink: Flat white
Why It's Amazing: It's made from locally roasted beans by some of the friendliest baristas in town, plus the coffee art is always fun to admire.
Perfect Pairing: A fresh breakfast taco made with local meats and eggs, or a slice of gluten-free cake from Jodycakes.
Know Before You Go: It can get very crowded on weekend mornings, so try to get their early or go during off hours.
550 Heights Blvd.; 713-880-8463
Photo by: Evie Mae Photography
The Drink: Flat white
Why It's Amazing: The beans are roasted by Greenway (whose owners are also partners in Blacksmith), which happens to be one of the most prolific and respected roasters in town. This drink allows the espresso to shine through, with just enough sweetness and creaminess from the dairy.
Perfect Pairing: A breakfast sandwich made with fluffy homemade biscuits, butcher's sausage, egg and cheddar.
Know Before You Go: All of their pulled coffees are excellent, so feel free to experiment with your choices.
1018 Westheimer Rd.; 832-360-7470
The Drink: Cortado with almond milk
Why It's amazing: This one's great for those who prefer just steamed milk as opposed to texturized milk, with just enough to cut through the intensity of the espresso (that's what "cortado" means), and the almond milk is equally tasty as dairy. Plus, the owner sources and roasts the beans personally - when we contacted him for this story, he was in Guatemala on a scouting trip.
Perfect Pairing: Pizzas made in-house.
Know Before You Go: They also make a chai blend in-house for those who prefer tea.
904 Westheimer Rd.; 713-942-9990
The Drink: Latte
Price: $3.25 for a regular
Why It's Amazing: The beans are directly sourced, the space is super comfortable and quiet, and it feels like you're in on a secret no one else knows (in the best possible way).
Perfect Pairing: Anything you bring in yourself. A kitchen is in the works, but until then it's BYOP (bring your own pastries).
Know Before You Go: Study your map before you get in the car. It's tucked away and difficult to navigate if you've never been before.
1100 Elder St.; 713-522-3533
The Drink: Honey badger
Why It's Amazing: The drink is naturally sweetened with a touch of honey and infused with a little cinnamon for a slightly sweet sip that's not overbearing.
Perfect Pairing: Fare from any number of food trucks you might find parked outside.
Know Before You Go: It's a known haven for students and others working on laptops, so it's generally quiet and subdued during the day.
1953 Montrose Blvd.; 713-523-4866
The Drink: Cinnamon coffee
Why It's Amazing: The magic of cinnamon turns what could be everyday joe into weekend-worthy, you-have-to-have-at-least-two-cups-of-it coffee.
Perfect Pairing: One of their oversized pancakes.
Know Before You Go: During cold weather, try to grab a spot near the fireplace for the coziest seat in town.
The Drink: Cafe latte
Price: $2.50 for a single, $3.25 for a double
Why It's Amazing: Expertly pulled coffees in a fast-food setting make for a happy surprise.
Perfect Pairing: Cuban breakfast taco with eggs, black beans and plantains.
Know Before You Go: They have a drive-thru, so you can easily get that cafe latte to-go.
The Drink: Cold brew
Price: $2.75 for a 16-oz. or $12 for a 32-oz. bottle of concentrate
Why It's amazing: It's made with organic, fair-trade coffee and so refreshing once summer comes around.
Perfect Pairing: One of their daily cupcakes.
Know Before You Go: There's also a cajeta latte on the menu that will knock your socks off - if you like your coffee drinks on the sweet side.
4504 Graustark St.; 713-528-0653