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More Coffee = Austin’s Unofficial Mantra

published on June 5, 2012

Local coffee shops abound in Austin, but even with one on nearly every corner, it can still be difficult to find a seat in the packed cafes. If your Austin home search is just beginning, and a wi-fi network and a cozy chair are needed to help complete a coffee break, there are Austin coffee shops that always have ample spaces for all. Below are three of Austin’s coffee shops with the largest seating available to patrons: 

Ruta Maya

Ruta Maya, open seven days a week and located close to the Circle C neighborhood on South Congress Avenue, is a cafe by day, music venue at night. Happy hours feature fresh squeezed margaritas, great bloody marys and daily beer and drink specials at the brand new Balam Bar. The popular coffee shop and local hangout was founded in 1990 to create a marketplace of superior products produced in Latin American countries, and to return to the producers of those products a fair portion of profits generated. The Ruta Maya guiding principle is “Oportunidades para las Americas,” (Opportunities for the Americas). The shop serves 100% organic Arabica coffee beans that are shade-grown by a cooperative of farmers in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, the land of the ancient and modern Maya. This coffee has exceptional richness that combines ancient growing techniques with gentle roasting to extract the ultimate in coffee depth and flavor. The carefully harvested green coffee beans are imported to Texas, where they are custom-roasted to exacting standards and packed fresh daily for service to café patrons. 

Spider House 

Spider House is one of Austin’s most recognizable and iconic coffee houses, featuring a web of colored bulbs strung over a stone patio filled with vintage metal furniture and a mishmash of eclectic art objects and vintage signage. Located in the student-heavy district of Hyde Park, close to the University of Texas and a short drive from neighborhoods close to the Texas hills like the Village at Western Oaks, the coffee house attracts everyone from undergraduate English students to technology engineers at the Dell offices close to north Austin’s Steiner Ranch. The café offers a menu of appetizers, food, coffee drinks, and full cocktail bar. 

Thunderbird Coffee

Thunderbird is a locally owned café with two locations in great neighborhoods, Cherrywood and Brentwood/Crestview. The café specialize in high-quality, direct-trade coffee and fine craft beers, and also offers a selection of snacks and light fare. Thunderbird works only with roasters with true direct trade practices that involve the farmers, pickers, and processors in the country of origin as an equal part of the coffee-development process. This means its roasters travel all over the world, many times per year, to develop and maintain real relationships with the people who grow your coffee. Thunderbird Coffee’s website sums up their devotion to java, when they write: “We love coffee, and we want you to fall in love with it, too. We’ve done our best to create a space where anyone can come in and order anything from a simple shot of espresso to a single-origin Guatemalan Pourover, and realize that better ingredients, better training, and a strong love for coffee makes a difference.

Also, see Austin Coffee Shops.

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