Flat Track Coffee
“I’m hungry, do you wanna grab a breakfast burrito down the road before we start?” That was my introduction to Sterling Roberts, one of the owners of Flat Track Coffee. An Austin, TX based coffee shop that’s on my top 5 list of favorite shops I’ve visited. Something about it just felt right. Oh, and of course I said yes to the breakfast burrito…what am I crazy!
Their shop measures in at only 150 square feet and it’s freakin’ perfect. They’re rocking a customized matte black La Marzocco GB5 that they picked up through Matt’s connection with Tyler Wells of Frank > Handsome > Blacktop fame. Beyond their espresso station, there’s a bench and a few chairs against a ledge and that it.
They were originally promised a crazy amount of cash from an investor to open Flat Track up with a roasting facility but you know how that story goes… So a friend invested just enough money to purchase the necessities to open their shop. Or as Sterling puts it,
Their beans are roasted by Travis Kizer on a Diedrich IR-12.
Sterling considers himself to be more a facilitator in his desire to bring people together. And that was on full display the day I was there. Having such a small joint may seem to hinder that, but it actually allows for a more open environment to meet people who are all casually talking instead of locked away on their laptop. During our shoot I ended up meeting and having a great conversation about photography and cycling with one of their regulars, John Watson aka @theradavist. If you’re into cycling you’re probably already following him online. If not, you’re missing out.
I asked Sterling if they had plans of expanding their roasting program or if they’ve considered opening up a second location:
These dudes have put in work and thankfully they’re being rewarded. They just celebrated their three year anniversary and have come a long way from opening the doors, renegade style without permits or plumbing to having well respected coffee shop.