The Little City Cafe was a favorite for office workers, coffee nerds and readers in need of a nook back when Congress Avenue was much sleepier than it is today.
Although the downtown cafe shuttered in 2011, after a nearly 20-year run, the coffee brand has returned this year with five different global blends that are in stores now. The owner of another Austin coffee brand, Casa Brasil, Joel Shuler stepped up the year Little City Cafe closed to buy the iconic brand and keep it flourishing. It’s not a shop any longer, but the same quality coffees are available for home coffee drinkers.
“We are excited to finally be able to bring these coffees back into the hands of the people who loved Little City Coffee by making them available on the shelves of retailers and coffee shops,” Shuler said in a press release. “We’re also looking forward to bringing these incredible coffees that are easy to drink and easy to find to a whole new group of people.”
With the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, “Little City’s small team of local java lovers began traveling to origin countries” — from Guatemala to Brazil to Myanmar — to find some of the world’s best beans and bring them back to roast in small batches, according to the release.
One of the roasters has been involved with Little City all along.
Eric Detablan, who worked as a barista and a cook at Little City starting in 1998 until its close, has made sure the relaunch of the brand maintains its old spirit and flavor.
“I love that we are bringing back not just the bean, but the energy,” Detablan, who’s since become a popular local roaster, said in the release. “Little City brought together all types of different cultures into one melting pot in Austin.”
The five Little City blends all have names, for the most part, that hearken back to Austin and Texas as a whole: Congress, Slacker, Messenger, Republic and Violet Crown. These, along with seasonal micro-lots, are now available at the two Central Market locations, Wheatsville Co-op, Hyde Park Market and other grocery stores; they’re also being served at restaurants that include Bribery Bakery, Counter Café and Juniper, according to the release. Keep an eye out for more locations coming soon.
For more information, visit www.littlecity.com.