Dallas' 5 Best Coffee Shops

Dallas' 5 Best Coffee Shops
Catherine Downes

If coffee is important to you in a biological or emotional way, then you probably have an attachment to a coffee shop. If your love/addiction runs deep, you have a go-to place in every neighborhood in town.

But what makes a coffee shop really good? The kind of good that causes you to drive out of your way for it? The kind of good where you don't mind paying $1.50 more than you would at Starbucks? I would like to propose three fundamental factors that make a coffee shop more than a caffeine pit stop.

People. This includes the owners, the employees, and customers. The owner is ultimately responsible for the quality of their shop, and if they suck or don't care then it will inevitably show downstream.

Then there is the barista, a job that is part science and part art. A good barista is technically proficient: they can pull good shots, dial in the espresso machine, and steam the milk just so for your cortado, cappuccino, or latte. On top of those skills (which take time and patience to learn), a good barista is socially proficient: they are just the right amount of friendly, are knowledgeable about their craft, and know how to manage unhappy customers with ease.

The other people consideration is the customer base itself, influenced by menu offerings, overall vibe, and location.

Physical space and related factors. Everything from location, type of building, and layout affect the overall experience. Points off if it is in a strip mall, I don't care how great everything else is.

Coffee shop layouts very greatly, but most of the great ones have a bar area that promotes interaction between the staff and customers. Music is also a crucial piece of the puzzle. A well-cultivated playlist can turn into studying into something almost enjoyable, while too much John Mayer makes me question your taste in everything from that point forward.

The beans. Let's be honest, the coffee is the main show. A coffee shop can make fancy latte art all day in the world's cutest redone historic home but if the beans are bad then that shop is all show and no heart.

Whether a shop chooses to roast their own beans or work with a separate roaster, choosing a quality bean means a more expensive cup, but also one that tastes better (that is mostly a fact and only a little opinion) and is better for the coffee grower and the environment.

The best shops integrate all three seamlessly; creating a unique experience that keeps you coming back for more. So based on this very qualitative decision making framework and in no particular order, hop over the page for Dallas' best coffee shops!

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