Happy Friday, friends! Who’s excited for the weekend? (Dumb question…)
On my agenda this weekend is a few violin lessons, a food launch party to attend, a violin gig, and then just general frolicking about. I had a short bout of sickness this week when my stomach decided to turn inside-out-on-me. (This was the first time a stomach flu has hit since Nate and I got married, and let’s just say that throwing up all night brings a relationship to the next level…ha!) So I’m trying to be gentle on my tummy and not eat anything too intense. (But I’m happy to be finished with the ginger ale and Saltine diet…)
Sa-Tén Coffee & Eats is a cozy Japanese coffee house hidden away in the Canopy complex, tucked between art galleries and jewelry stores. Sa-tén uses Casa Brasil for their coffee and espresso drinks, and they offer a full menu of food, with breakfast, lunch, and even dinner options! Oh, and the coffee shop has lots of squirrels inside… (More on that later.)
The hidden location might make you think that getting business would difficult, that doesn’t seem to be the case: Sa-tén is going three years strong, and regulars show up day after day, treating it as their own little Austin secret. The place is booming, full of folks tapping away on their laptops, chatting at a business meeting, or gathering for a lunch stop.
Here’s a fun fact I learned while exploring Sa-Tén last weekend: the name is actually short for “Kissaten,” which means “tea-drinking shop” in Japanese. The owners of Sa-tén took the “Ki” off the front, then hyphenated it (becase everyone wouldv’e called it “Satan Coffee House” which doesn’t have the same ring…), and now it’s called Sa-Tén. And it’s one of my favorite little hideaways in Austin!
Sa-tén coffee was created by the dream team: Moto Utsunomiya of East Side King and Kayo Asazu of Komé and Daruma Ramen. The result is a coffee house with a casual, approachable vibe, a delectable Japanese-American fusion food menu, and a unique Japanese-inspired coffee list.
For my first few visits, I didn’t realize Sa-tén had such a fantastic food menu… Now that I’ve tried their toast, I’ve been craving it literally every day for lunch. The Sriracha Mayo Smoked Salmon toast (sriaracha mayo, smoked almon, mozzarella cheese, green onion, nori) was one of those dishes that I tried and then couldn’t stop recommending to everyone!
I’m not typically a sweet drinks person when it comes to coffee (I prefer it hot and black, a single origin pour over each morning to wake me up), but their Ohayo (“good morning” in Japanese) has me questioning my opinion on sweet coffee drinks. It’s a cappuccino made with a hint of brown sugar, so just sweet enough to be cozy. It’s the type of drink I want to have in my hands on Christmas morning. (Psst: this is also co-owner Kayo’s favorite drink on the menu!)
And we have to talk about the Onyx, because you’ve no doubt been seeing this activated charcoal latte all over instagram. So, is it gross and gritty? Of course not. 😉 It’s made with a little bit of activated charcoal (no, not the charcoal that you use in your grill…) and some honey to balance out any bitterness, so it tastes pretty similar to a regular latte. And it just looks so cool, right!?
So, what’s the deal with all those squirrels? The story is that Kayo found a squirrel wallpaper that she loved (you’ll see that right when you walk in the front door), and the obsession began… They started collecting squirrel EVERYTHING, and now it’s a sort of joke at the coffee shop.
Sa-tén Coffee & Eats, 916 Springdale, Bldg 3, Ste 101
Austin, TX 78702
Mon-Fri, 7 am – 10 pm, Sat-Sun, 8 am – 10 pm
**Photos by Kiera Jane of France Photographers
Cheers to the weekend! Hope it’s a great one!