Staying in Austin, today’s Saturday Short is Fleet Coffee, another from Bex’s Austin Speciality Coffee Guide. There’s not much to Fleet, which is at the left-hand end of a row of low, single-storey buildings on the south side of Webberville Road in East Austin. You order at the door to the right, then take a seat to the left, where there’s a four-person bar facing the street or a handful of shaded tables.
The real star is the coffee, Fleet bucking the roaster/coffee shop trend by using a rotating cast of three roasters, Sweet Bloom from Colorado, Brooklyn’s Parlor Coffee and Dune Coffee Roasters from Santa Barbara. There are two options on espresso and two more on pour-over (made through the Kalita Wave using the Curtis Gold Cup automated system), along with a single option on batch brew. If you’re hungry, there are breakfast tacos and a range of pastries.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Fleet Coffee opened in 2016 and was recently joined by a second location on Winsted Lane, west of the city centre. It’s on the south side of Webberville Road, which has several other restaurants and bars, as well as a food truck park at the end of the street. Fleet is set back from the road to allow for the ubiquitous parking (just two spaces in this case, although street parking is plentiful), while there is plenty of outdoor seating given the size of the building.
When Bex visited in 2018, you could sit in the cosy interior, but the COVID-19 pandemic put paid to that. However, the staff found that they enjoyed having the extra storage space and more room to work, while Austin’s climate means that year-round outdoor seating is a viable option, so they decided to keep it that way.
There’s a single the door on the right, which used to lead into the interior, but these days the top half opens, stable-style, which is where you order. The menu, meanwhile, is in the window to the right, along with the current choice of beans for espresso and pour-over. Once you’ve ordered, take a seat and the staff will call out your order when it’s ready.
The seating is all to the left, starting with a single table with two short benches running beneath a broad window, shade provided by a series of canvas awnings. Opposite this, in front of the car-parking spaces, is a long, four-person bar, while there is more seating in a neat, semi-enclosed area to the left, shade provided by more awnings. Here you’ll find a picnic-style communal table for six against a fence at the back which runs at 45° to the building, along with two three-person round tables which are at the front, one on the left, the other on the right.
I started my Sunday morning at Fleet, where there were choices from Sweet Bloom and Parlor Coffee (two of my favourite roasters) on both espresso and pour-over. Sadly this meant that I didn’t try anything from Dune, which was a new roaster for me, although the choices change every week or so. Spoilt for choice, I opted for my usual cortado, following the barista’s recommendation of the Kenya Kairima from Sweet Bloom.
This went really well with the milk, the fruity nature of the coffee coming clearly through. I was also impressed with the milk, which held the latte art all the way to the bottom. I paired this with a savoury Danish pasty, which was an interesting mix of textures and very tasty. Suitably refuelled, I headed off to continue my exploration of Austin’s speciality coffee scene.
|2427 WEBBERVILLE ROAD • AUSTIN • TX 78702 • USA|
|www.fleetcoffee.com||+1 512 212 7174|
|Monday||07:30 – 13:30||Roaster||Sweet Bloom, Parlor, Dune (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:30 – 13:30||Seating||Tables, Bar (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:30 – 13:30||Food||Breakfast Tacos, Pastries|
|Thursday||07:30 – 13:30||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:30 – 13:30||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||07:30 – 13:30||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||07:30 – 13:30||Power||No|
|Chain||Local||Visits||13th November 2022|
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