Out In Grapevine, Redefined Is Reshaping The Suburban Coffee Scene.
Welcome to Unfiltered, our new weekly feature that explores the Dallas coffee scene — and how it often manages to thrive in the most unusual places. Given that we live in a time when Starbucks locations are about as prevalent as the golden McDonald's arches, when new coffee shops seem to open every other week and when almost everyone uses a ChemEx to brew their coffee, we're here to show you some alternatives — for when your coffee shop routine becomes monotonous or when you're just looking for something different in your caffeine endeavors.
Redefined Coffee House.
220 North Main Street.
Grapevine is one of those Dallas suburbs that seems increasingly on the come-up of late — and in no small part because of its embrace the craft beer scene. Yes, really: The town's home to a pretty successful new brewery and, recently, the city celebrated local craft beer during its Main Street Days festival, which traditionally tends to focus on wines.
All that hype about beer, however, has given rise to another craft-focused scene.
Enter Redefined Coffee House, the brainchild of former Dallas Cowboy defensive end Kenyon Coleman, his wife Katie, business partners Daniel and Lucy Molia, and managers Jorick and Cat Blom.
“[My wife and I] met Kenyon Coleman, and he came to us and said, 'Do you want to open a coffee shop for me?'” says Jorick Blom about the shop's beginnings. “That’s really how it started.”
With no real background in coffee, the Bloms interned at Fort Worth’s
Avoca Roasters,, the spot that now provides the beans for their shop. For four months, they trained in all things coffee to develop their taste profiles and techniques, thus preparing themselves to share some knowledge with the more coffee-crazed of Grapevine's residents.
But the barista life wasn't too unfamiliar for Blom, who spent the better part of the last two decades in the hospitality industry as a bartender.
“It's a lot more of a one-drink-at-a-time kind of thing,” he says. “You need to focus on what you're doing. There's a lot more variables involved.”
As far as coffee shops go, Redefined has kind of an opium den feel to it — but in the best possible way. Dark wooden panels and brick walls are paired with an eclectic array of seating options, from comfortable vintage chairs and couches to bar stools. The back corner table completes the opium den atmosphere with velvet paneling, heavy privacy curtains for meetings and a large wooden table straight from Coleman’s own dining room.
Behind the bar, the staff uses Avoca's Mogwai — a Central American blend — for the espresso, with Ethiopian and Guatemalan beans being used on medium roasts to provide more of a subtle, but comforting taste to go with the relaxing vibes.
Interestingly, there are no drip coffee options here — just French press and V60s.
Among the drinks to order here? The con panna, which a simple espresso shot with whipped cream, which is built upside down. Vince, one of the baristas on duty during our most recent, starts the process of making this drink by filling a shot glass with whipped cream before allowing the toffee-colored shot to run directly over it. The result is almost like a creamy version of toasted caramel corn, with only the slight hintest of coffee.
The other-must order drink, the Hamilton, is a secret menu item, courtesy of the Redefined crew's friend Jake Hamilton. It starts with a coffee toddy — a concentrated extraction method in the cold brew family, but intentionally stronger — that’s sweetened with a house-made simple syrup. The coffee is then topped with steamed half-and-half that's been infused with the house-made vanilla syrup, and served over ice. Finally, it's topped with cinnamon.
When it comes to coffee drinks, pouring steamed milk in an iced drink is odd by most standards — and maybe even egregious to some. But don't knock it until you've tried it. In this case, it's actually delicious. The flavors from the sweet toddy mix with the vanilla-steamed half-and-half to give the drink a kind of iced Irish coffee taste, without the actual whiskey. The coffee concentrate is strong, but sweet and balanced out by the smoothness of the cream. The cinnamon, meanwhile, only adds to pull out all the best flavors.
It's this kind of thinking that's helped Redefined fill a void for Grapevine folk looking for a little bit more from their morning cup.
Says Blom: “I don't know if people's palettes are changing or they're kind of looking for something new and they want somewhere a little more comfortable.”
Regardless, it's working. And though the shop remains in its coffee infancy, the team at Redefined feels as if the community has welcomed them with open arms.
All photos by Kathy Tran.