Food News

A Brief Review of the Recent Glut of Coffee Shops in Dallas

Remember back when coffee was just ... actually, what did it used to be? I have no idea. But, now. Well, now it's about like royal family baby making. One doesn't just have coffee. It's a process that says something about who you are -- your allegiances, beliefs, allergies, lactose tolerances, etc. And if you say you don't adhere to any of that, you still have a label: purist. And the list of coffee making machines, devices, combustion chambers and time machines read like a weapons cache. Lately there's been a slew of new coffee houses in Dallas, so we thought we'd do a brief recap:

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Mudsmith (2114 Greenville Ave.) serves Four Barrel coffee out of San Francisco with the help of their two La Marzocco espresso machines. They also have beer and wine in addition to a selection of sandwiches and light bites. Fridays are "Pie Days," and if a slice of buttermilk pie with strawberries makes you feel girthy, you can follow it with a fresh pressed healthful organic juice, like a Morningside with pear, cucumber, green apple, lime, mint and ginger. Mudsmith is open seven days a week until the wee final hours of the day, when coffee and beer make compelling partners.

Origin Natural Food (4438 McKinney Ave.) has a pretty impressive coffee situation in addition to their healthy takeaway café. They use Cultivar Coffee beans and County Line Dairy for their cream needs, so you should be happy to "leave room." At the slow bar you can choose from a French press, Chemex, Clever or V60.

We've talked about Ascension Coffee's great show, including a fancy Synesso Hydra Hybrid, their sense of humor and a pretty amazing cup of coffee. They use "farmer-focused coffee from all over their world," according to their site and offer a full menu coffee and teas, in addition to lunch, dinner, brunch, wine, pastries -- all pulled together by some hard-core coffee nerds (it's one level past barista).

Weekend Coffee inside The Joule Hotel uses Victrola roasters out of Seattle. The house-made pastries and snacks are made by the Joule's head pastry chef Ruben Toraño. For pour-overs they use V60 drippers and also have a single serving brewing machine called a Trifecta that is known for a pressure chamber method of brewing; there's also a La Marzocco Stada for espresso drinks. Weekend Coffee is open 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

Perched upon a sky bridge in the Pacific building, Stupid Good Coffee (1910 Pacific Ave.) gets their beans from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters. They have bottles of cold-brewed coffee and a full selection of all-natural smoothies. Stupid Good Coffee is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Sip Stir Coffee (3800 McKinney Ave.) is the most recent addition to the Dallas coffee scene. They use J. Gursey coffee beans and teas from Hollywood, California, and they too have a La Marzoccco espresso machine and two mad-scientist-looking iced-coffee drip machines. Plus a vacuum-style coffee maker. They also have a bevy of scones, muffins and pastries from local baker, La Spiga.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.