mobile morning pick-me-up
Austin's hottest coffee trailers: Three cups of joe for the top of your morning
Coffee: over 2.25 billion cups of it are consumed each day worldwide. About one third of these cups are harvested in Brazil, where over five million people are employed to cultivate over three billion plants. The coffee plant is a perennial evergreen that is celebrated on September 29th during National Coffee Day—but all year round, iced or hot, some of Austin’s best brewed coffees can be found in a trailer.
La Bôite is an eco-conscious trailer café with a focus on artisan and locally sourced foods. They take pride in their espresso and French press drinks, which are fair-trade and certified organic. Their coffee comes from a co-op in the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, located in the Chiapas region of Mexico. I love to stop by in the early morning and get a cup with a swirl of vanilla and chocolate syrups, which are produced in their kitchen using evaporated cane juice. La Bôite’s original location (1700 South Lamar Boulevard) is open seven days a week, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.(ish) weekdays, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.(ish) weekends; their new location (1006 Congress Avenue) maintains the hours of 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.(ish) Monday through Saturday. You might try a pumpkin spiced macaron ($1.75 for one, or $4.95 for three) along with your coffee or hot apple cider for a fall treat.
If you’re on the East Side, consider stopping at the Trailer Perk at 6th and Comal (1602 East 6th Street). Their “Hyper Mocha Monkey” is a sixteen ounce iced latte with banana chocolate espresso and milk for only $3.75. Trailer Perk brews beans from the Texas Coffee Traders, a locally owned East Austin artisanal coffee roaster that has been roasting since 1981. Grab your mug for an eco-friendly fill and catch them while they are open Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Some of the first coffee houses in the world were established in Istanbul in the 1500s. Because of their popularity they were soon outlawed, but many continued to set up in back alleys and foot paths. Patika is a Turkish word that means "foot path," but also implies a hidden pathway. For a downtown coffee fix, stop at Patika on the well beaten path of Congress Avenue between 2nd and 3rd (213 Congress Avenue). Patika serves sustainable, artisan, single-origin blends from Cuvee coffee, a local company who sources estate coffees from Africa, South America and Central America. Their hours are Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. They shared how to make their single cup pourover coffee with the Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook:
Single Cup Pourover Coffee by Patika
Fresh coffee is good. Stale coffee is bad. To help us make the freshest coffee possible, we offer pour-over coffee handmade to order.
To make your own at home, it's best to start with freshly roasted (within about a week or so) whole bean coffee. Ideally, you'll use about 21 grams (about 3 tablespoons) of ground coffee for 12 ounces of water.
You'll also need:
- A good grinder (preferably a burr grinder, which gives a more consistent grind size)
- A pour-over filter holder
- Filters (there are a wide variety, including paper, Swiss gold and cloth, and there are arguments to be made for each one)
- Hot water kettle
Starting with clear, filtered water (but not distilled), bring the kettle to a boil. As it's heating up, grind your coffee. You'll want a ground that's soft, but still a touch gritty. It should form into a clump when you press it between your thumb and forefinger.
Empty the coffee into your filter. Depending on the type of filter you use, you may want to rinse it before you put the coffee in, as some filters can leave a paper-y taste in the coffee. Best to taste the coffee and see if you notice a paper taste. If so, rinse first by pouring some hot water through it and then pour out the water.
Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and you really want your water to be around 195 degrees. So let it cool down for 30-40 seconds. Or if you have a goose-neck kettle, you can pour the boiled water into the kettle, wait 10-20 seconds, and this should cool it to the temperature you're looking for.
Pour a bit of the water over the grounds, just to wet the grounds and let them absorb the water and swell. This should take about 20-30 seconds.
After the grounds have become saturated and look a little "dry" again (reminds me of the top of a muffin) begin to pour very slowly into the center of the grounds. The rate you pour should be similar to the rate that's coming out the bottom of the filter holder. The pour should ideally take about 3 minutes, to extract the coffee properly.
Continue pouring until you have a delicious, fresh cup of coffee.