Nestled behind one of the most touristic areas of Austin, Mañana serves up locally roasted Cuvee coffee and has one of the most beautiful bars in the city. Mañana is my brief escape whenever I am surrounded by the weekend hecticness of Soco (South Congress for those who have never been to Austin). While this shop is pretty tiny, there is enough space for the large tiled mosaic bar to attract customers into the café. It’s the aesthetics, scattered succulents; various magazines; and a vintage-looking Slayer espresso machine, that keep people there to stay.
I noticed that the shop depends on a great deal of natural lighting and depending on the weather, there is a very different atmosphere in Mañana. The first time I went to this coffee shop I decided to enjoy one of my favorite books, but it was a cloudy and chilly day. The people in this shop were silent and steady at work with coffee by their sides. While I do enjoy some silence to be able to read, it was almost too quiet for me and although I felt at piece surrounded by the Texas-inspired decorations, I missed the coffee shop chatter that I expect every time I step into a cafe.
I decided to give Mañana another shot when a friend came to visit and contrary to the first time, it was a sunny, warm day and the second I walked through the outdoor seating area of the café, that energy I longed for during my first visit was there. The shop was also better lit, which was a plus too. We decided to sit outside and enjoyed watching people enter and exit the shop and enjoy in each other’s company. I felt more at ease and thoroughly enjoyed taking in the sun while sipping on a cappuccino.
As mentioned before, Mañana serves Cuvee coffee and has the roaster’s signature Black and Blue cold brew on tap. Since Cuvee coffee is pretty accessible in Austin, I typically order espresso drinks at this particular shop. The espresso they use is pretty basic with the classic bold, nutty flavor. The cortado was decent, but had a weirdly acidic aftertaste, which left me thinking that the espresso shot was not well extracted. On my second visit, I decided to order a cappuccino, which was much better. The espresso and milk seemed to complement each other much better and, while the espresso was not necessarily complex, I still enjoyed the flavor and could slowly sip on this drink.
In a city like Austin, there are so many coffee shops to choose from, so there are not many reasons to keep going back to that shop that doesn’t feel right. That said, I’m glad I gave Mañana Café another chance, because my second time there made the shop seem more approachable and left me realizing that I would indeed decide to go back.