Jo’s SoCo

Austin, Texas

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I get nervous flying in a plane. Unfortunately my time in Austin is always bookended by flights and usually the time is so short that I do not have a day in Austin that I am not also on an airplane. After traveling more frequently over the past few years I have also noted that taking a coffee beverage before flying does not increase my ease and does not allow me to focus on my breathing. In fact, I cannot even peel my face away from the little portal window watching the ground plane and calibrating my inner gyroscope, even when we are flying through a mile thick cloud cover and the landing gear come out before I can see the city below (or dear god if I am in the last seat in an MD-88 looking out the window at nothing but engine waiting ceaselessly for it to either fall off or burst into flames) nor slow my heart rate enough to think rationally about what is going on. But when was chance ever rational. I still plaster my face against the window even if I had tea, or orange juice, or even if I want coffee so bad and want to go to the little Jo’s next to my hotel so bad, but I just keep my face against the auto window as we cruise past. I snapped out of it this week and could not fight the urge to attend the little Jo’s on South Congress.

Jo's SoCo; Austin, TX

I could go into its relationship with the little boutique motel next door and how the cats in the room next door had a swinging patio party outside my room with their door open and I had to sleep on the couch with the bathroom fan and air conditioning on and wet toilet paper stuffed in my ears piled beneath every pillow and cushion in the room so as to get a few hours of spatchka, or my fear that those same people would populate the little Jo’s, or my fear that I was not any different from them in my tastes, but certainly in my consideration. Even not getting into it, the little Jo’s had a similar attention to detail that the San Jose had. Although I cringed most of the time I was in my room, I enjoyed the little poem tacked to the wall, the selection of DVDs available from the front desk (Texas Chainsaw Massacre seemed to be overlooked), and the soft light that the lamps in the room produced. By virtue of its compactness I believe that Jo’s was beholden to the sort of detail and organization that gave it the richness that I appreciated. Although I picture Thos.’s coffee trailer in an Atlanta parking lot or his guerrilla shop in the parking lot of SCI-Arc not really having the loving organizational fetish that makes Jo’s both appealing and functional.

Jo’s SoCo

What this signage and compartmentalization fetish does is to turn the nugget of a building into a black hole of a building. By this I mean that its energies have been compressed into an incredibly dense morsel that contains all of the trappings that a larger shop would, but they occupy little to no space, which in turn causes the space next to the building to assume that function or sensibility, to be drawn into it. Jo’s does not send out rays of itself, it consumes space by claiming it with visual energy.

Jo’s SoCo

Jo’s SoCo

Thus I was sucked out of the car and out of the motel to risk a coffee before flying out into a clear blue soothing forever sky. They have damn good vegan oat cakes as well.

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Jo’s SoCo

1300 South Congress
Austin, Texas 78704

soymilk: extra charge

One Response to “Jo’s SoCo”

  1. Jos Coffee Blog » cafetableaux reviews jo’s south

    […] following is reviewed at Cafe Tableux by blogger who has visited – and reviewed – quite a few coffee shops in Texas, California, […]

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