Like craft beer and chef-driven restaurants before it, specialty coffee is having its moment, finally, in Dallas: Davis Street Espresso, in Oak Cliff, has found that a lack of Wi-Fi and to-go cups has not meant a lack of customers. Ascension, in the Design District, hums all day, despite limited parking and drinks that take a team of scientists to engineer. And the original cool kid on the block, East Dallas' Pearl Cup, was replaced by the even more refined Houndstooth.
The birth of these locally owned specialty shops has also spurred the rise of a growing number of baristas who take their work seriously, and a customer base that wants what they have to offer and more. Along the way, the city has developed a strong contingent of roasters who provide much of the coffee being so carefully brewed and sipped.
So, we went looking for them. We found them in farmers markets, roasting rooms and cafes from East Dallas to Fort Worth. Each of the roasters you'll hear from below has been in the business for at least a year -- some much longer -- and have wholesale clients across the area. Some have their own coffee shops, while others have decided to pursue wholesale only. Each has his or her own roasting style, philosophy and thoughts on what makes for a successful coffee business. What unites them is an almost obsessive attention to supply chain detail. From farm choice, to roast profile, to packaging, nothing about their coffee is an accident. Neither, then, is the love that Dallas' coffee shops, and coffee snobs, are showing them.
Look for extended interviews with the roasters in our coffee archive.More »