This past Saturday morning, I went to the first Austin Coffee Festival. I was fortunate enough to have gotten two free VIP tickets. I was so excited, I dreamed of coffee for weeks. The festival was located in Fair market near downtown Austin from 10 AM-4 PM. It’s free entry to the festival and you buy nine dollar coffee flights. For VIP it was $30 dollars to buy online and $40 dollars to buy in person. For the VIP you get unlimited coffee, cocktails, and access to the VIP lounge space. In VIP they had cold brew, dripped coffee, and they provided you with milk, milk alternatives, and sugar. They recommended that you bring your own mug to help not use a lot paper cups at the festival. However, I forgot mine. Outside the VIP they had free samples of some coffee drinks or food. They also had food and coffee that you could buy. Such as breakfast biscuits and pastries. I went outside to the food trucks and had a vegetarian quiche made with sweet potato crust. It was delicious and perfect with coffee. One of my favorite parts of the event is that you could bring your dog. I saw a lot cute dogs and it was amazing.
My recommendation for the Austin Coffee Festival would be to use the free entry instead VIP, walk around, and see what samples you can get with the nine dollar coffee flight. Then try the free samples and enjoy the event. The VIP was great because I got unlimited coffee/cocktails and my cold-brew was delicious but you can still enjoy the event without having to purchase VIP for $30 to $40 dollars. Especially, if you want to spend more money on food and buying coffee beans. I had so much fun at the event that I wish I spend more time there. Now, for the next Austin Coffee Festival in 2020.
Portland has been on my United States bucket list for quiet some time. This past January I decided it was time and I booked my plane ticket, airbnb, and convinced my boyfriend to visit Portland with me. I asked a friend for advice about what area to stay in and where to go. I also had the help of some bloggers. Portland has so many things to do and I made a list of some things to do. The majority of my list is food but that because Portland has so many options. These are some places you can visit in Portland:
Places to visit
- Lan Su Chinese Garden: This place is gorgeous and a must if you come to Portland. It’s 13 dollars a ticket to visit. It was build by Chinese artisans from Suzhou. It’s the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China. The garden was very relaxing and peaceful. Next time I want to try the restaurant and tea house.
- Powell’s bookstore: This bookstore takes up the whole block. You can spend all day here. Each section is color coded and made things easier to find. The bookstore also buys your books.
- Mill’s End park: It’s in the Guinness book of world records as The World’s smallest park. It is very easy to miss. It is in a middle of two streets. I had to have locals point it out to me. The park is so cute, it literally just greenery with a tree in a pot. It has a sign too.
- Kennedy school: An elementary school that is now a hotel, brewery, restaurant, theater, and a bar. It was so cool walking around an old elementary school. My boyfriend and I ate at the restaurant had cheese fries and walked around. It was amazing to see an old school turned a night life hangout.
- Gravy: Both the french toast and hasbrowns are the best. Locals recommended this place to me. I wanted to try Pine State Biscuits but they told me it would be crowded and that Gravy was delicious too. They were right because Gravy was delicious.
- Pok Pok: A Thai restaurant that is really well known. I ordered the chicken curry and my boyfriend ordered the wings. We both loved what we ordered. There is a couple locations in Portland and its also located in New York.
- Bend coffee: It was 10 minute walk from my airbnb. I had chai latte and a bagel. Both great. The place was crowded but the service was amazing.
- Stacks: First place I visited in Portland. Its a library theme coffee shop. They serve breakfast tacos and pastries. I had to come here because it was a a 5 minute walk from my airbnb and they have breakfast tacos, which is big in Austin. The coffee shop was so cute and the tacos were delicious.
- Blue Star Donuts: My favorite was the blueberry bourbon basil. It was so good that I got another at the airport before I left. When your in Portland, you need to stop here for dessert. There is more than once location in Portland.
- Salt & Straw: There was a line when I went. It was worth it though. I had two scoops one of the strawberry honey blasmic with black pepper and double fold vanilla. I fell in love with strawberry honey blasmic with black pepper. I wanted to buy a pint but it was sold out. I really hope Salt and Straw comes to Austin. If you do not like waiting in lines, I would go early for ice cream or you can visit Ruby Jewel ice cream.
I feel like the majority of my list was food. Not only because Portland has so many delicious food options but I also love food. There is also amazing parks like Tom Mcall Waterfont Park and Peninsula Park to visit. Portland was a lot fun and I had an amazing time. The city has great public transportation and many things were walking distance from my airbnb in north Portland. I want to visit next summer with my sister to explore more Portland and visit Multnomah Falls.
I have been meaning to do this blog for awhile. Ever since my Coffee shops post. My favorite thing to order at coffee shops is vanilla lattes. However, I have been trying to cut down on sugar. Now, I try to order a drip coffee black. Its been difficult but an experience. There is so many coffee shops in Austin that it was not easy to narrow it down to three. After visiting many coffee shops, I narrowed down my three. Here are my favorite coffee shops:
Summermoon: They have a couple of locations in Austin and one location in San Antonio. The first location was on South First. They serve wood-fire fair trade coffee. Also, you need to try their moon milk.
Bennu Coffee: It is independently owned and offers high-quality fair trade coffee. Bennu has two locations in Austin and they’re open 24 hours. I like that they have unique drinks like the Pride and Prejudice. It has a blend of sweet chocolate powder and sauce topped with homemade whipped cream and dusted with chocolate powder.
Alta’s coffee: The coffee shop was named after Lady Bird Johnson’s (former first lady) middle name because she help conserve the lake. Now the coffee shop is located by Lady Bird Lake and it helps support the lake and the hiking trails around it. This is a nice place to sit outside when they weather is nice and enjoy a nice cup of coffee. The view is beautiful and it helps me feel like I am on vacation. Alta’s also has farm to table sandwiches and breakfast.
I have always had a thing for coffee shops. Even when I wasn’t into coffee. Maybe because I’m a 90’s kid. Who knows? The thing about coffee shops is that they are relaxing. They also remind me about college and being an adult. The good things about being an adult not the bad. For some reason, these coffee shops make me happy. They help me with my work weeks and whenever I have a bad day. I just love to sit, drink my coffee, and think. It relaxes and inspires me. Perfect for journal /blog writing or maybe to catch up with a friend.
I moved to Austin TX about a year and a half ago. Since then, I have tried to visit every local coffee shop in the city. I have not come close to visiting ever coffee shop in Austin. It’s just good to live in a city that has a variety of local coffee shops. Later, I will make an article of my favorite coffee shops in Austin. Even when I’m in a different city I try to visit a coffee shop. My favorite one in New Orleans is spitfire coffee. I get happy just thinking about that latte.
Yesterday, I got the chance to visit a Japanese coffee shop called Sa-Ten in Austin TX. It was tucked a way in a Austin complex. I think the building it was located use to be a warehouse. Now the building has art galleries and the Sa-Ten coffee shop. The shop was packed and had an artsy feel, it was cute. They even had a vintage-television-turned aquarium. I got in line to order my vanilla latte, my drink of choice. Usually, when I order vanilla lattes, I can’t taste the vanilla. The vanilla latte at Sa-Ten, I could. It wasn’t a strong flavor but a nice light vanilla flavor. The vanilla did not overpower the coffee at all. The latte was so good, I regretted not ordering the large. My boyfriend ordered a regular latte which he liked as well. If you all are ever in Austin TX, this place is must try. I will definitely be going back.
Whether you’re getting a mocha, a black coffee, or a chai latte. Just remember that coffee shops are there to help us get through the week. To study for that final, catch up with a friend, or to read a good book. For sure, you will find me at coffee shop sipping my vanilla latte and updating my blog.