It’s Spring Break here in Texas, and that can mean only one thing: South By Southwest is upon us. The yearly millennial bacchanal of music/film/interactive/corporate shilling/Grumpy Cat has descended upon Austin like a plague of Snapchatting locusts, ravaging the city of its once plentiful beer, coffee, and taco resources. Really, the best part of SXSW nowadays is living 200 miles away in Dallas, where we get all the same shows without any of the bullshit (ok, not all the shows. I’m a little bummed I’m missing Big Grams and may be acting out a little).
Nonetheless, South By is happening in Austin, and the already prolific local coffee scene is redoubling its efforts with a handful of cool pop-ups and other coffee-related misadventures to meet the caffeinated needs of the transient masses. Just in case the run-of-the-mill brick-and-mortar experience isn’t your bag, here are four-ish coffee happenings to help you jitterbug your way through South By Southwest.
Houndstooth Coffee’s Patio Pop-Up and 9 Iron Signature Beverage
Houndstooth’s Frost Bank location on Fourth Street puts them at the heart of the SXSW madness, making them the perfect place for a pit stop. Like they have done in previous years, they're setting up a single group La Marzocco GS3 on their patio for the festival attendee on the go. And for those looking to relax for a bit, they are serving up a signature drink only available during South By: The 9 Iron. Consisting of iced coffee and fresh squeezed lemonade, the 9 Iron is a play on a traditional Arnold Palmer and will work wonders against the heat, should there be any to beat.
Sister Coffee Pop-Up at Catchtilly
Illicit substances fall somewhere between coffee and tacos in the hierarchy of must-haves over the next week in Austin. With that in mind, the fantastic coffee trailer (and soon to be brick-and-mortar) Sister Coffee is hosting a coffee pop-up in Catchtilly, the highly curated head shop on East 11th Street. Owner of both establishments Amanda Farris will be serving hot and cold Revelator Coffee in Sister’s handmade boob ceramics all day on March 19 and 20. It’s the go-to event for anyone looking to put something in the air while gulping something down.
The Morning Buzz by Cuvée Coffee
Austin coffee OG Cuvée Coffee are teaming up with Cat Spring Tea to host a day full of beer, brews, teas, and tacos. Happening March 19 at Cuvée’s East Side cafe, the Morning Buzz will feature a morning beverage bar chock full of shandies, bloody marys, and mimosas. And the best part is that the event is completely free and open to the public. No wrist bands required to soak up some SXSW vibes.
Stumptown Is Everywhere
Portland, Oregon’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters is making Austin their second home for South By, brewing and/or cold brewing up a handful of events during the week-long festival. They provided cold brew for the Refinery29 Instameet breakfast and the Outdoor Voices Jog and Brunch—both happened the morning of Saturday, March 12—as well as providing some much needed caffeine to the backstage of the Spotify House and the Transmission Events team (not that any of this helps you get your fix. Just know they are working behind the scenes to make sure everyone has a blast.) But perhaps the coolest Stumptown-related event isn’t one of their own. On Tuesday the 15th, former barista and hip-hop artist Ripley Snell will be brewing up some Stumptown goodness during his performance at Teller’s for Do512’s Industry Insider’s Mixer and Showcase. It’s just so perfectly Austin, and more specifically, perfectly Austin during this particular week in March.
Back to the Future-Style BONUS! Screening of the VERY Short Film “Coffee”
I’m going to be honest, I have no idea what the hell this two-minute long feature is about. The synopsis simply states, “People drink their coffee in two different coffee shops as a crazy lady makes her own,” so your guess is as good as mine. The short was created by Zoe Allen, a sophomore in high school from Dallas, Texas. The film was shown at the Marchesa Theatre on March 12, as part of Texas High School Shorts Competition. The screening has already come and gone, but it’s still worth showing a little love to the younger generation for their creative endeavors. And it’ll probably be on Youtube pretty soon, so go watch it there.
And of course, Austin is full of really great coffee shops that will be rockin’ and rollin’ all week long. Below you can find a not-quite comprehensive list of places to check out. It’ll get you started, at least. You can also cruise over to our Austin city archives for many more recommendations.