The Big D and I Don't Mean Decaf

I spent the week in North Texas, traveling to Dallas and beyond to Texarkana to visit family. While in Dallas, I visited a few coffee shops on my list:

  1. Ascension
  2. Cultivar Coffee
  3. Oak Lawn

I also attempted to visit Tweed Coffee’s “roasting den”, but was unfortunately turned away. They don’t serve coffee there (or give tours, apparently). It’s ok though, it was mostly a gamble anyway.

I had great coffee in Dallas, but I had to settle for Starbucks in Texarkana. From what I could tell, the Ark-La-Tex region is ready for coffee industry disruption.

Ascension

Ascension

Ascension felt like a wine bar / cafe that also happened to have great coffee. It reminded me of Rosella in San Antonio but less industrial. The coffee was roasted by them, and described by waitstaff like I’m used to hearing wine described: region, flavors, finish, how it’s supposed to feel on your palette, etc. This place had valet parking. In other words: the perfect coffee shop for Dallas. I say all that like it’s a bad thing, but really the coffee was delicious. You could bring a friend here that was more into wine than coffee and you both would be happy.

Oak Lawn

Oak Lawn

Oak Lawn Coffee had a great space and felt like coffee shops I’m used to: white brick, wood, blackboards, lots of people working on laptops, and of course great coffee. Oak Lawn doesn’t roast in house, but instead buys coffee from well known roasters. I saw beans from Commonwealth Coffee, Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters, and Tweed Coffee represented. I had a slow pour (Hario V60) based on the barista’s recommendation (he said to go with an Ethiopian coffee from Commonwealth) and it was fabulous. If I lived in Dallas and found myself near the Market Center area, this is the shop I would go to.

Cultivar Coffee

cultivar

Cultivar was a bit off the beaten path from the other shops I visited, located on the North East side of Dallas. It shares a space with the Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House and Good2Go Taco. By share a space, I mean cafe seating. Want coffee? Turn left. Want a taco? Back right. Want a burger? Turn right. The coffee bar only has two stools, but there are plenty of tables. Cultivar roasts their own coffee and I decided to purchase a bag from El Salvador. I got here just as they were closing so I had to take my coffee to-go, which was a shame. I would have liked to hang out and enjoy the space, and have a taco (or burger).

All in all, no complaints! I know I only visited a few shops in the Metroplex out of the many available, but I enjoyed all of them immensely. As a bonus, I got to visit Czech Stop on the way up and back. While they don’t have the best coffee, you can’t beat those kolaches!