August 8, 2016

3 Must-Visit Specialty Coffee Shops in Lubbock, Texas


West Texas, the land of dirt, cotton, and cowboys. You won’t find much water in this region, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get your coffee fix. Just south of the Panhandle of Texas lays Lubbock, home to a quarter million residents. And despite it being in the middle of nowhere, the coffee culture is as vibrant as the West Texas sunset and humble as the common man.

So if you find yourself driving through the US’ second-biggest state, I’ve got two coffee shops you should visit. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

SEE ALSO: 5 Reasons Cafés Are Perfect Places to Do Work

Why These Three?

While there are a lot – and I mean a lot – of good coffee shops in Texas, these three are on my list of personal favorites. With their unique styles, great service, and sensational coffee, they’ll help you to really get a taste of the Lubbock specialty scene. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to visit them.

In no particular order, here they are:

1. Gold Stripe Coffee

Nestled in the quiet mid-city paradise of Cactus Alley, Gold Stripe Coffee is the city’s newest specialty coffee shop. The two brothers behind this brand were previously managers at the two other places on this list, before deciding to branch out on their own.

It’s a simple but stylish spot. Crisp wooden walls, flooring, and bar stools cleverly contrast the shop’s highlights: the barista, the espresso machine, and the pour over brewers. Though the room is small, it’s packed with character.

With Gold Stripe still being a newer roaster and coffee house, all the emphasis is on the coffee. You won’t find any pastries or sodas here, and chai lattes are the lone non-coffee item. They use lactose-free milk and their SproBot espresso blend (Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Celinga Foge and Brazilian Mogiana Fazenda Raina) tastes like a mouthful of grapes.

Barista behind the bar in Gold Stripe Coffee

Stylish and simple: Gold Stripe Coffee focuses on quality.

Where: 2610 Salem Ave Suite 5
Atmosphere: Full of character
Espresso Machine: Astoria Divina
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Coffee Offerings: Espresso, cold brew, and Melitta
Roaster: Gold Stripe Coffee Roasters
Food & Other Drinks: Chai lattes, food soon to come                                                                                  
Retail Offerings: Coffee beans and equipment

Barista behind bar about to serve coffee-based drink in a martini glass

Gold Stripe Coffee may be new, but they’re ready and waiting to serve.

2. Yellow House Coffee

Yellow House Coffee opened its doors in 2013 and quickly became a popular choice. The interior is comfortable and classy, with wood-top tables and colorful walls – despite the grey exterior of the building. The shop of the people, it helps out with a variety of local events, from farmers’ markets to meetings of small business groups.

As for the menu, it features several coffee and brewing offerings, as well as loose leaf teas, chai, and sodas. The hand-crafted vibe is strong here, and they make a variety of pastries, syrups, and specialty drinks according to the season.

Yellow House Coffee also partners with a local dairy to provide pasteurized, but not homogenized, milk rich with calcium and protein. It’s perfect for adding a touch of rich creaminess to espresso-based drinks. The best part of this café, however, is definitely the baristas: they’re not short of their coffee knowledge, or of warm smiles.

Yellow House Coffee window with logo on it

The grey walls of Yellow House belie a warm interior.

Where: 3017 34th St
Atmosphere: Local and friendly
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco Strada
Grinder: Mazzer Major Electronic
Coffee Offerings: Espresso, French press, V60, Clever, Chemex, AeroPress, and cold brew
Roaster: Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters of Dallas
Food & Other Drinks: House-made pastries, breakfast on Saturdays, loose leaf teas, chai, and soda  
Retail Offerings: Coffee beans, coffee equipment, and bottled sodas

Yellow House Coffee mug

Yellow House Coffee, Lubbock, Texas – this café shows its local pride.

3. Sugar Brown’s Coffee

Sugar Brown’s is a relatively recent addition to Lubbock’s specialty coffee scene, but it’s already making a splash. A hub for artists of all varieties, local music and artwork are in no short supply on the weekends.

The coffee house’s high ceiling and wide room give the location an open, welcoming vibe. A double-sided long bar extends towards the center of the room, allowing customers a great view of the skilled preparation of their drinks.

There’s always a coffee on drip, espresso, manual brewing options, tea, chai, and several pastries made in-house. And though they are newer to the role, the baristas at Sugar Brown’s are well on their way to being slingers of incredible espresso.

Outside of Sugar Brown's

Sugar Brown’s, made in Lubbock.

Where: 1947 19th St
Atmosphere: Arty and inviting
Espresso Machine: Astoria Divina
Grinder: Mahlkonig Air K30
Coffee Offerings: Espresso, drip, V60, Clever, and Chemex
Roaster: Gold Stripe Coffee Roasters
Food & Other Drinks: House-made pastries, tea, and chai                                                                          
Retail Offerings: Coffee beans and bottled sodas

Dillon the barista behind the bar

Dillon, though newer to the barista game, is no chump when it comes to delicious espresso.

Gritty, bitter cowboy coffee may come to mind when you think of Texan brews. But while it’s true that at one point our hills, plains, and swamplands were home to horse-riding, hat-wearing, thick-accented men who enjoyed their coffee grounds with just a small side of coffee, the times have changed. And boy have they changed a lot.

The Lubbock coffee scene is growing dramatically, as more and more people are converted from their old coffee habits and welcomed into a warmer, quality-driven, coffee culture. Time spent in Lubbock demands a visit to these shops. You won’t regret it.

And if you have time, why not explore some of Lubbock’s other coffee shops?

All photos by G. Oden.

Perfect Daily Grind

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