If there’s one thing we know about Texans, it’s that they’re mighty proud of their state. And with coffee shops like Catalina Coffee in Houston, who wouldn’t be? We’ve been following Houston’s coffee scene for a couple of years now, and in our humble opinion 2014 is the year that Houston blows up.
Catalina Coffee was founded seven years ago by Max Gonzalez, the same entrepreneur behind Amaya Roasting Co., who provides the lion’s share of Catalina’s menu. Catalina is located in Houston’s historic Sixth Ward, which boasts some of the city’s oldest architecture. Craft coffee’s symbiotic relationship with gentrification has deservedly come under the microscope recently, but Catalina is the kind of shop we believe any community would be happy to have.
Visiting Catalina feels a little like stepping into a saloon in a spaghetti western: pieces of stucco still stick to the exposed brick and denim-clad Texans knock back shots at a rather distressed countertop. It’s a decidedly Southwestern riff on the Coffeehouse 2.0 aesthetic. A gorgeous Yama Cold Brew Tower and a well polished La Marzocco espresso machine add an elegant juxtaposition to the rustic chic vibe.
We visited Catalina Coffee with David Buehrer, who is something of a rock star in the Texas coffee world. As such, we got the VIP treatment, namely, samples of every espresso and filter coffee on the menu. Even if you don’t bring a local celebrity, we’re confident if you visit you’re going to find excellent service and some tasty coffee. The Hunapu, Guatemala was especially on point when we visited. We can’t help but envy the advantages Houstonian roasters have, being so close to the source.
In a nutshell, don’t mess with Catalina Coffee. And by that we mean drink as much of coffee their as your caffeine tolerance allows. It probably wouldn’t hurt to say David Buehrer sent you!
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Exterior photo of Catalina Coffee courtesy of Matt Abendschein, on the extraordinary Texas beer blog, Stay Hoppy.