If you love and appreciate your coffee and you live in Houston, then you’ll probably know Catalina’s Coffee Shop. I know people who wouldn’t spend money on a coffee anywhere else. The whole place is a charming little ode to coffee. They will prepare it for you in a whole range of different ways, french press, aeropress, HarioV60, vacuum pot, coffee dripper or iced coffee via chemex.
If only I could find a place that loved and appreciated the cocoa bean in the same way Catalina handles their coffee beans. I would be one happy girl.
Considering its coffee reputation I didn’t expect much for the hot chocolate. I used to think that if a shop respected one food or drink group so much then they would have the same respect for everything they served in the shop. Consistently this has proven to be a false assumption, unfortunately, in particular in the city of Houston strangely enough. But regardless of what you choose to drink at Catalina it is really a great little spot. Located down Washington street, right next to a pub and a Pilates studio, it is pretty small but full of character. I love the walls the most, exposed red brick with patches of aqua blue. The exposed beams on the ceiling have funky little industrial lights hanging and the walls are covered with interesting photos (the artist came and took them down while we were sitting there so when you visit next there will be something different to admire on the walls).
There is a constant stream of people coming in and, unlike many other coffee shops, most of them actually sit down and enjoy their coffee on one of the many little wooden tables and chairs. No one here is in a rush, everyone looks interesting. The music made it feel a bit like a trendy loungy club and was just loud enough so that as much as I tried I couldn’t eavesdrop on the conversations all these interesting looking people were having. There is also one comfy sofa in the corner; if you can grab that do.
So about the hot chocolate …. well, it wasn’t so fantastic but I’m fine with that now. Maybe I shouldn’t be visiting specialised coffee shops and expecting a great hot chocolate….but still, I think they could have done better. The hot chocolate had a fun design made of sweet chocolate syrup on top and I’m pretty sure that the hot chocolate itself was made from that same syrup. Luckily they didn’t put much into it so it just tasted like warm milk with a hint of sweet chocolate. I hardly remember it anymore, it wasn’t very memorable, but Catalina’s is and I’d indulge my coffee drinker friends and come back for a non coffee drink anytime just to have the chance to hang out here. Maybe it will turn me to coffee….. don’t think so.
Verdict: The hot chocolate was ok, I’d have it again, but Catalina’s is all about coffee and that’sfine because they do that well and I can appreciate that. Catalina, 2201 Washington Avenue, Houston, USA