Houndstooth Coffee, Now Open on Henderson, Is a Serious Place for Serious Coffee People

August 15, 2014

I've never been to a coffee shop with an ethos before. Mostly I just want a cup of coffee that doesn't suck, some wifi and a place to plug in my laptop adapter. Bonus points for decent ergonomics so I can put in an extra long hyper-caffeinated work session without blowing out my elbows or straining my back.

Houndstooth is not this type of coffee shop. There's not a single outlet for device charging. Clearly this is a place where customers are expected to absolve themselves from their every day toil and Facebook-scrolling and shift their focus solely to the coffee. And it's very good coffee. I tried two of the varieties that were available this morning, a light and fruity number and a rustico, both in cortados, which probably is a terrible way to taste a bean for the first time but it was early and I needed what I needed.

They were both great, but coffee is almost always great when you carefully pulverize it, weigh the resultant grounds to the tenth of a gram like a South Beach coke dealer and then employ a handmade espresso machine from Florence with an exacting science. The coffee is serious. Everyone is wearing a shirt and tie or slender black dress and I'm in a pair of New Balance sneakers I've owned for more than five years. I felt underdressed. Did I mention the coffee is really good? I'm on my second cortado. Did I mention that?

James Brown was screaming from the tiny Marshall speaker that sits on a ledge near the ceiling while a steady stream of customers came in and ordered their drinks. There are four communal tables a bar that runs around the perimeter and a nook with benches, tiny tables and stools. Out front a small patio is the only reminder that this place used to be called the Pearl Cup. This place is a big improvement.

There's a private coffee room off to the side with a sliding metal door. Inside three coffee nerds practice coffee art. Is that a Georgia O'Keeffe? No, dude, it's a heart.

1900 N Henderson Ave., houndstoothcoffee.com