Roasted's convinced that the only thing more grueling than waking up on a regular Monday morning is waking up on the Monday morning following daylight-saving time's great "spring forward." Ugh.
The red print on the At-A-Glance calendar at the office warned of the impending time change, and Roasted knew this particular Monday would be even more of a drag because the weekend would be spent in Denton covering the four days of North by 35 Music Conferette. So instead of heading out for our usual Monday morning review cup, on Friday Roasted decided to take care of the column early along with something else we had circled on the ol' At-A-Glance: Mom's birthday.
Roasted knew exactly where to go for Mom's birthday-morning coffee: White Rock Coffee. Why there? Well, Mom lives just around the corner from the Best of Dallas-winning
drive-thru coffee shop, but she's yet to try their coffee or the shop's fresh-roasted beans, which the shop roasts in-store in small batches.
Roasted was already a fan of the shop's excellent selection of coffees, but the real test was to find out what Mom would think of the shop's beans.
Her first impression upon pulling up in front was that the shop's parking lot was too small, but that was before we drove around back. As soon as we walked in through the front doors, we were bombarded by that toasty smell of fresh-roasted beans. The pair of baristas behind the counter offered up smiles and warm greetings. But, before we went to the counter to order, we shopped the vast whole-bean selection on the shelves near the entrance.
The shop offers free WiFi, and the mezzanine above the coffee bar makes for a great little nook that's less trafficked than the downstairs area. While we shopped on our visit, a half-dozen folks were upstairs tapping away on their laptops, while the downstairs seemed to be devoted to conversations over coffee or people reading the morning paper.
White Rock Coffee caters to bean lovers of every roast preference, from the lighter City Roast of the shop's best seller Brazil Sweet Yellow Bourbon to the medium Full City roast of the White Rock House Blend to the much darker Vienna Roast of the Peru Frontera. (Roasted highly recommends the smoky, smooth intensity of the Peru Frontera. It brews up a great cup of mud whether you grind it up for a French press or for a cup of drip.) After Mom settled on a half-pound of beans, we headed to the register.
The shop was brewing two different non-decaf freshly brewed coffees, so Roasted ordered a cup of the bolder of the two. We asked the baristas for a suggestion for Mom's birthday drink. Mom explained that she wanted something with coffee and milk, but that wasn't swimming in sugary syrup. The baristas recommended she try the caffe au lait. Our drinks were prepped, lidded and served in under a minute.
We took our drinks to the condiment bar to sip our selections and see if any doctoring would be needed. Under the lid, mom's caffe au lait was creamy and smooth, with just the right amount of froth. But under Roasted's lid coffee grounds were floating at the top of the cup. Naturally, anytime coffee's brewed through a paper filter there's always a chance of the filter can tear or flop over while the hot water pours over the grounds.
The baristas both apologized and quickly poured a fresh cup of the White Rock House Blend, which is a delightful light and nutty blend of three Central and South American coffees.
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Over all, it was a great experience. Mom was happy, even though Roasted didn't have the forethought to ask the baristas to sing "Happy Birthday" as they handed off her cup. Roasted's gonna have to remember to add that to the calendar next year.