I don't tend to go to coffee shops too often anymore. I don't live in a town with any great shops worth visiting often, but do leave near some cities with great shops. When I am in town I aways try to hit up my favorites. A recent trip to Austin reminded me why Houndstooth Coffee is one of my favorite shops. Every time I am in Austin, I go to Houndstooth without fail and I have never had a bad or even mediocre experience.
Houndstooth does not roast their own coffee. Instead, they have one or two different roasters featured which makes it a great place to try new coffees. Any coffee offered is also sold in retail packaging which makes some coffee nicely accessible because their large orders really minimize shipping cost.
On to how they brew. I tend to get a twofer which is two shots of espresso. This lets me try both the coffees they are pulling that day. Every time I have gone the coffee have been well dialed and tasted delicious. Most people I take do not drink straight espresso, so I've also tried their cappucino and both flavored and unflavored lattes. All well executed.
That said, the great coffee is not why Houndstooth is my favorite shop. It is the staff and the atmosphere. The last time I was at the shop with my family it wasn't too busy, so I started talking to the barista. Somehow we got on the topic of latte art, so she pulled a couple shots and gave the whole family a mini-lesson just because we were interested! On another recent trip I was chatting with a barista about pour over brewing. A few minutes later, I had a fresh brewed cup from a Chemex just because. How can you beat that?
As a disclaimer, I have no affiliation with Houndstooth, I'm just a happy customer. http://www.houndstoothcoffee.com/