Always on the hunt for a good caffeine fix? We've got you covered with these 10 popular drinks from coffee shops around Houston — these drinks break the mold of the typical daily latte, Americano or macchiato for some creative takes on the humble coffee bean.
Crack Rocks from Boomtown: You can order the "crack rocks" at Boomtown in the Heights with any drink for an electric boost — the crack rocks are large espresso ice cubes that will caffeinate your drink as they melt. We recommend adding a crack rock to the Crud, a potent and delicious combination of smooth cold brew, espresso, chicory, vanilla and cream that perfectly walks the line between bitter and sweet.
Jumper Cable from Siphon: True to its name, the off-the-menu Jumper Cable at Siphon will get you going with uncut cold brew spiked with vanilla and cream—and particularly when you add the optional two shots of espresso. The drink was born out of a customer request for something very caffeinated but subtly sweet. Siphon's cold brew forms the base (Boomtown Coffee's Beachside Fire beans steeped for 14 hours) and is enhanced by housemade Madagascar vanilla bean syrup and served over ice: perfect for Houston's eternal summer.
Chai Fritz from A 2nd Cup: When you're not hankering for straight-up coffee, the chai fritz from the Heights-based coffee shop A 2nd Cup is a perfect way to ease into the morning with some extra zing. A creamy cup of chai laced with a shot of espresso can come either hot or iced, and is perfect with one of the pastries sold in-house. All proceeds from this awesome nonprofit coffee shop go towards fighting human trafficking, so picking up coffee here is a win-win.
Nitro Cold Brew from Fix Coffeebar: This coffee shop off of Westheimer looks deceptively tiny from the outside but has plenty of space inside for those who needing to camp out with a laptop and coffee for a few hours. The nitro cold brew on tap is a must-try for those looking for extreme caffeine. The added nitrogen makes for an uber-creamy, silky texture and the unsweetened brew is STRONG. For those in need of sprinkles, try the birthday cake latte, and make sure to check out the pastry case for sweets by Cake & Bacon.
Dark Chocolate Cashew Milk Mocha from Retrospect Coffee Bar: It's not everywhere that you can find a diverse selection of dairy-free milks, but the long-awaited Retrospect (located next to Axelrad) offers hemp and cashew milk alongside more typical almond and soy milk options. Chocolate fiends: get in line for one of the Dark Chocolate Mochas made with cashew milk, and don't forget a Willie Nelson on the side (a sweet crepe decked out with Nutella, granola and banana).
Horchata Iced Latte from Campesino: The cute Latin coffee shop in Montrose serves up a cinnamon-spiked cafe de olla, which is a delicious take on your typical drip coffee, but it's the horchata latte that really captured our attention with its slightly gritty texture and cinnamon notes. You can get a regular horchata sans coffee, but adding the espresso helps cut the sweetness of the horchata for a more balanced flavor profile.
Honeymoon Cafe and Bar: Perhaps the most photogenic coffee purveyor in town, the Honeymoon Cafe and Bar downtown offers a delicious Toddy Mocha: cold brew combined with espresso, mocha and whole milk. For a chilled treat, try the cold brew iced coffee, rich with a full body, smooth finish and chocolate tasting notes. It's especially lush with the homemade almond milk.
Naughty Latte from Bosta Kitchen: The signature coffee menu at Bosta Kitchen—a hotspot for medical students in the Museum District—offers several drinks to satisfy your sweet tooth (think an affogato with vanilla bean ice cream from Cloud 10 or a Vietnamese iced coffee), but the Naughty Latte really takes the cake with Nutella, piles of whipped cream and a sprinkling of cocoa on top. For a compound sugar and caffeine rush, come here.
Cajeta Latte from Antidote/Black Hole: Patrons go nuts for the cajeta latte offered at both Antidote and Black Hole (the two businesses share the same owner). Cajeta is a type of caramel made from goat's milk, and the slightly nutty, subtle sweetness of the cajeta adds notes of earthy toffee to the lattes that are simply addictive. Get it iced or hot for a sweet departure on your normal latte.