Coffee & Tea
Seven Great Coffee Shops In West Houston
It’s perfectly acceptable to be a coffee and espresso snob these days. It’s not even trendy anymore. Inside the 610 Loop, shops have been established to meet demand and these days it seems like there’s great options on practically on every corner. Just to name a few: notable espresso bars and local coffee roasters include Boomtown Coffee, Blacksmith, Southside Espresso, Catalina (which serves its own brand from Amaya Roasting Co.) and Siphon Coffee. For those who don’t live or work inside of Houston’s 610 Loop though, it’s been harder to find a quality caffeine fix. Fortunately — on the west side, at least — times are a-changin’. There are a growing number of shops there that source quality beans and serve stellar brews.
Beans Café Coffeehouse,1127 Eldridge: Located on Eldridge at Enclave Parkway just south of Memorial in Houston’s Energy Corridor, Beans Café Coffeehouse is a nice place to relax or grab coffee on the run. There are plenty of tables and chairs as well as comfortable couches for reading and hanging out. The beans come from Cruiser Coffee Roasters, which is based in Houston’s East End. These are freshly ground and used for lattes, cappuccinos, espresso and blended iced coffee beverages. The shop also serves locally baked goods which can change from day to day, so ask the barista what’s available.
Inside, the décor features European maps and myriad coffee-themed items. The result is a charming albeit slightly kitschy vibe. For now, keep in mind that Memorial eastbound between Eldridge and Dairy Ashford is currently a major construction zone that has a big slowdown during morning rush hour. Beans Café Coffeehouse is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Arpi’s Phoenicia Deli,12151 Westheimer: Arpi’s is located next to Phoenicia Market at West Houston Center and offers a rotating selection of brewed Italian-roast coffee, espresso beverages and Mediterranean-style pastries and snacks. (Coffee beans are available on the market side for those who want to grind their own.) Baked goods include pistachio loaf, baklava, zucchini bread, biscotti and chocolate chip cookies. At lunchtime, guests can purchase mouthwatering shawarma sandwiches. For a fun dessert, the deli offers European Mars Bars that are like a less-intense Milky Way.
Inside, there is a self-serve cafeteria-style line for food and a separate line for the coffee bar, which makes it easy for grab-and-go coffee. For those who prefer to stay, the café area is outfitted with tables and chairs. Thoughtful features include couches near the coffee bar and a well-covered patio with Muskoka chairs and tables. Arpi’s Phoenicia Deli is open 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.
Treehouse Craft Coffee and Frozen Yogurt, 14008 Memorial: This coffee shop is near Memorial Drive, which is undergoing major reconstruction post-Hurricane Harvey. However, this gem is worth the traffic. The fresh, bright space is upbeat and colorful, with perks like comfortable couches and free Wi-Fi. Treehouse sources beans from Oak Cliff Craft Roasters in Dallas and the baristas are especially fond of creating latté art.
In addition to lattes, Treehouse excels at espresso, iced beverages, blended beverages, pour-overs and regular drip coffee. The frozen yogurt (available in sweet and tart varieties) is also a fine treat in the afternoon, which draws a lot of students from nearby schools. Treehouse is open 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays, 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturdays, and 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sundays.
Doux Café, 865 South Dairy Ashford: This colorful, Paris-themed space has a name that translates as “coffee sweet” in French. The cafe serves coffee, gelato, waffles and crepes. The crepe station is located in plain view, so guests can watch the magic happen. Despite the French theme, Doux uses Italian Lavazza espresso and coffee beans. Although the shop is not open early in the morning, it is open later in the evenings, so it’s an ideal spot for a caffeine-fueled work or study session, or a social event with friends. Doux Café is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.
Rice Brothers Coffee and New Life Trading Post, 11800 Jones: Visit this shop for two reasons: high quality coffee and a unique social mission. Brothers Eric Rice and Andrew Rice started the business over 20 years ago. Eric slings coffee and Andrew runs a charity-supporting thrift store contained within the same space called New Life Trading Post. Proceeds from the thrift store support homeless men — and male veterans in particular — by funding housing, substance abuse treatment, mental health services and job training. Brothers serves Raven’s Brew Coffee out of Tumwater, Washington as drip coffee, pour-over coffee and espresso beverages.
The pastry case is filled with pound cake, biscotti, and other locally sourced baked goods. While you’re there, check out the vintage CDs and records on sale in the shop space shared by the thrift store and coffee house. Rice Brothers thankfully open at 5 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays for an extra-early caffeine fix. It closes at 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 5 p.m. Saturdays. It’s closed on Sundays.
Crema Espresso Stand, 15210 Spring Cypress: Service at Crema Espresso Stand in Cypress is exclusively drive-through with frequent long lines so allow for some extra time during the morning commute. The menu includes standbys like drip coffee, Americanos, lattés and espressos available hot or iced with a large selection of regular and sugar-free flavored syrups. Fans of frozen coffee drinks can order the blended Cremafrost made with espresso, cream and flavorings then topped with whipped cream. The 96-ounce box of brewed coffee is a convenient option for offices and meetings. Drive-through hours are 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.
Barbarossa Café, 9222 Louetta: In Spring, Barbarossa Café is well known for an impressive 20 kinds of single-origin coffee beans. The shop serves custom blends and customers can even choose which coffee beans and brewing method they want to drink in the shop or select specialty blends to brew at home. Six brewing methods are available in the shop: Chemex, syphon, Aeropress, Turkish, V60 and espresso. Barbarossa also serves high-quality pastries, signature bagels and house-prepared panini sandwiches. The space features industrial design punctuated by nautical decor. Unlike some lesser shops, Barbarossa encourages co-working, studying and socializing. Open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.
For coffee lovers seeking locally owned and operated cafés that serve good coffee on Houston’s west side, these are fantastic options to check out that won’t require driving too far from home or work.