Austin >Food & Dining > Epoch Coffee
221 W. North Loop Blvd, Austin, TX | Directions 7875130.318774 -97.724510
Neighborhoods: North Loop
A generous dose of cinnamon gives Epoch's Mexican hot chocolate a special, nose-tingling kick.
Belligerent Baristas Give Austin Bad Name. An Embarrassment. – I grew up here in Austin, and I always had the admittedly biased view that the people here were friendly. Although this was the case throughout the rest of the city I visited this week, Epoch Coffee left a bad taste in my mouth. Let me begin by saying that I am not surprised by the occasional rude barista. They have them in my new home, Houston, I'm sure. However, the Epoch baristas are in a league of their own, to use the old cliche. They actually yelled at my sweet old mother for not having made a purchase in the first ten minutes of being in the shop. One barista actually said, ''Get out now,'' even though I was heading to the register to make a purchase for us. He then told her "Every second you spend here--we're basically paying for you to be here."
Yes, that is excellent business sense. Insult the customer. Wait--I don't recall learning that in my marketing class. It must be some sort of cutting-edge business strategy they're teaching there. I'm surprised he's working at a coffee shop when he'd probably be at the top of his class in MBA school.
In conclusion, I was appalled at the utter lack of decency exhibited by the employees. They are clearly devoid of people skills as well as the desire to please customers. I am embarrrassed that this place is actually considered somewhat representative of my hometown. Heck, it's in the neighborhood where I grew up. I expected a lot more. Was the coffee ok? It was lukewarm. The croissant was a croissant. But my trip to the coffee shop with my mother--that was utterly ruined.
LOUSY COFFEE, HORRIFIC SERVICE: AVOID – This place has mediocre coffee (especially the espresso, YECH!), but it also has:
1) The loudest music, all day, and late into the night (hope you like what they like!)
2) The most vagrants, who will come up and breathe on you if you're a woman
3) The most cigarette smoke, at the doors, mostly, from all the smokers outside
4) The most limited seating and electrical outlets,
5) A bad smell: other reviewers have noticed it, sort of like HOME SWEAT HOME, The place never feels clean; one of their bathrooms is named "Hell", and that's the best description I can think of for it.
6) Lousy food: they can barely toast a bagel, AND
7) The most aggressively rude waitstaff anywere I've ever been in the world, including France. One barista there, some guy with an egg head and ear piercings, will confront you and shout at you if he thinks you don't tip enough. He drives lots of business away, for which other coffee shops are grateful.
Not worth the aggravation. Not for their coffee anyway.
For mourners of Mojo's – Word on the street is that this place is owned by the men who originally owned Mojo's Daily Grind, which used to be on Guadalupe. This was my college haunt, where I drank far too many Iced Mojos and penned some god-awful poetry about post-adolescent crushes. So it's safe to say I miss it dearly. When I walked into Epoch, I recognized the mutated Starbuck's sign, the wacky steel sculptures and the portrait of Mama Mojo, and the place smelled like strong coffee brewing, and they were playing Iggy Pop. I liked it instantly. The bathroom has epic graffiti with a Hell theme, the baristas are as nice as one can reasonably expect baristas to be, and they still have Iced Mojo on the menu. It was also surprisingly spacious- on the inside. The patio was pretty crammed. Advice for people thinking about opening a coffeehouse in Austin: anytime you put a cafe 10 minutes from UT and style it to attract hippies and art kids, expect smokers and plan accordingly; put in a large patio, and expect to have to put space heaters in that puppy come December. All in all, it was a very comfortable, pleasant experience, and I anticipate many happy returns.
Horrendous customer service, really bad coffee... don't waste your time. – I really dig their location and their choice of decor, but everything else about this place is just lacking or deserves a description full of four letter words.
You walk in and immediately you notice there are no prices listed any where, no price board, no signs, no priced menu.
If this was some sort of high-society establishment located downtown I could maybe see the point in not listing prices, but let's be honest, their coffee is horrible... bad... disgusting even...
Do not waste your time on a complicated order, this place can't get the basics right.
Their smoothies come out of a paper carton and the pastries are few in number and of very poor quality, they look like something a school cafeteria would order from Sysco foods.
So, hey, you know, despite all of this, if they had friendly staff it would be a fun place to go, well, unfortunately for Epoch that's not the case.
The impression I got over the 4 or 5 times I visited was that if you're not part of their "in-crowd" you're pretty much a second class citizen. So unless you're there alone on a laptop and/or smelling of BO, it's not really the kind of place to waste your time/money.
Amazing People – I love epoch, it's my favorite coffee house in Austin. The feel in Austin-y pre anything called SoCo. The music is edgy. I can study there or just hang out. The food is great, especially the pizza. The people there are amazing and interesting.
Terrible Service - OK Coffee – There's nothing that Epoch offers that another nearby coffee house like the Flightpath doesn't, except maybe a view of the graveyard. The coffee is fine, but nothing special. The atmosphere is fine, but nothing special. The artwork is so-so. The service is awful. And it isn't awful in a way where everyone laughs that the waitress just called you "hun" while making fun of your car. It was awful in the way that the first time I went to Epoch, the guy at the counter overcharged me and made my drink wrong. It was awful the secod time I went when the woman at the counter asked me to bus someone else's table before I sat down. Of course, they may have already fired those employees, but I will always recommend the more established and all around better Flightpath just down the street.
cute place – I overheard the owner, whom I think may actually be a Hobbit, say he hoped that it would not become the kind of coffee shop full of students with laptops. Well, thats what you can expect here. but the staff is great, great set up and overall a really cool place to hang with friends. The coffee is good, even though they dont seem to roast it themselves. But one thing is really awful, the MoJo, dont try it.
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