Sunday, April 06, 2008

CC: Kick Butt Coffee

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Kick Butt Coffee
Location visited: Austin, TX
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 4+ [see key]

Updated 4.16.08

or as much as I love some spontaneity in life, I really don't like hunting for hotels, especially when looking for a reasonable room amidst a basketball game in Austin. But after three hours of hunting and finally nailing down an overpriced Super 8 room (with no WIFI!), it was time for an overdue dinner.

Looking to stay cheap, my wife and I made our way to a nearby Wendy's anticipating a greasy dinner and quick return to our well-furnished hole-in-the-wall. But as we exited the parking lot, my wife spotted a coffee place across the highway that actually looked open. So even though neither one of us were really in the mood for coffee, we went to check it out to see if it was worth a morning trip.

As we roll closer, we notice the name is Kick Butt Coffee with a karate-kicking gent on the logo. Thinking it just a clever logo implying the caffeinated effects of their coffee, I was proven wrong after moving past their outside seating. Inside was a coffeehouse decorated in a dojo fashion complete with weapons on the wall and a Wii area in the back (what dojo doesn't have a Wii?). The place looked very new as little of the varied seating had much wear.

Kick Butt serves Republica Coffee Roasters, which upon some web research apparently seems to be located in Australia ( I later found out, as seen below in the update, that I was mistaken).
As it was evening, I decided just to have espresso, which was pulled fairly well with hight sweet notes and a nice acidity though it was a bit silty in composition. My wife and I did end up coming back the next morning, where I grabbed a cup of their Ethiopian Harrar that displayed smooth and full-bodied. I didn't catch the tea (I think it was free leaf); they also serve beer and wine.

Kick Butt's creative approach to the coffee business and decent product seem to be good signs for this budding business. While I am unsure of the Aussie coffee (how do they get it to Texas while still fresh), I would definitely encourage a stop by if you're in Austin.

Updated 4.16.08
Turns out that Republica Coffee Roasters is actually in Austin, TX! Thanks to a helpful comment, I did a more exhaustive search that turned up the simple one-page site. My bad!


Anonymous said...

Republica is a local Austin,TX roaster... not Australian

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if you found this out, but the place is actually owned by a Kung Fu master. So the Karate motiff is even more appropriate than just a gimmicky way to sell coffee.

I love that place, I would give it a 5 (on your scale) :)

Anonymous said...

I've been to Kick Butt twice.

The first time was several months ago on a late evening. A decent crowd from the owner's karate business, including Mr. Gohring himself trickled in. I had a cappuccino which was very poor in kick. I was not impressed. Average at best would be a stretch and too generous.

My second visit came on Saturday June 9th. Again Gohring was present and the most of the crowd seem to knew each other. I walked in looking to order a double espresso. The barista (male with dark hair) was making a couple of drinks and no one else was in line on front of me but he chose to strike up conversations with friends instead of acknowledging me. "Hey, how are you doing today? I'll be right with you" would have sufficed and would have bought him enough time to finish the drinks he was making.

After a couple of minutes I turned around and left and took my business elsewhere.

I spent 7 1/2 years in the coffee industry where customer service and creating a welcoming atmosphere was always the priority.

Glad to see your experience was better.