I get frustrated when I see articles like this after I sign out of my yahoo e-mail account: The Best Independent Coffee Shops in Austin, Texas. Seriously? Who paid him to pick those coffee places? (As a side note, that is why you will not find ads on my blog. Nobody is paying me to have space on my site.) None-the-less, he seemed to have forgotten that Austin doesn't end at the University of Texas, but rather it extends to the northern sector as well. Here's a non-hipster's list of coffee places in and around Austin.
1. Epoch: By far this is the coffee shop to go to. Epoch is open 24/7, has plenty of seating, a great patio, and lots of power outlets throughout the coffee shop. Not to mention, the people who work here are super friendly and just so easy going. I can't speak highly enough.
2. Kick Butt Coffee - at the Triangle. They do have one additional store on Airport, but I've never been to that location. I'm surprised have few people know about this place. It is never super packed and I can find a seat to get homework done with no problem. Kick Butt Coffee does hold open mics, which can be rather entertaining.
3. Dominican Joe Coffee Shop is located on South Congress and Riverside. Now that I live just outside the city, it's a bit more difficult to get down there to hang out, but it was a great place to hang out with friends or grab a coffee to extend a date.
4. Green Muse Cafe has a great atmosphere, but can be a hit or miss. The coffee is great and the patio has a decent lay out. Sometimes you can find seating, sometimes you can't. Sometimes the barista is a socializer, sometimes he/she does his/her job. I only shy away from it because it's so far south from where I work and live.
5. Scooter Coffee House should have better hours, but they could be much worse! It is always quiet when I go there to study, and they play halfway decent music. And surprisingly, they have a drive-through!
6. Halcyon - Don't even bother after the makeover. It lost all it's flavor.
7. Mozart's Coffee Roasters feels like a tourist trap half the time. Great patio and atmosphere, though.
8. I haven't been to Austin Java in quite some time, but I've been to a couple different locations. One was for a book club that I participated in and the other was for local live music (the patio was nice). I'm not sure how great it would be to get school work done.
9. La Tazza Fresca is the place to socialize, especially since it's sort of close to the university. I have never seen it quiet and more often than not, I get stuck studying at the bar. I'm not complaining, but sometimes it's a bit loud and not for somebody who really needs to get work done, but would prefer to socialize with a friend or two, or make a friend or two.
10. Spider House is overrated in my opinion. I've been once and wasn't impressed. It was crowded and way too busy. Perhaps it's a bit better with the new acquisition, but I have no desire to go back, and the bus goes past it on my way to school from work.
As you can tell from the above, I've been to many different coffee places throughout Austin, north, south, and central. I know many people have a variety of tastes when it comes to coffee and atmosphere, and hopefully one of the above will work for you even if it may not have fit my personality.