Magnolias Sous Le Pont’s Coffee Is a Dark Fantasy.
Welcome to Unfiltered, our 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.
Magnolias Sous Le Pont.
2727 North Harwood Street.
As the culture continues to evolve, there seems to be no limit to the things that can be done with coffee.
Most of the credit here can be given to baristas, as it’s their willingness to experiment that yields such fantastic results. And when these baristas are granted unrestricted freedoms? It’s then that places such as Magnolias Sous Le Pont are birthed.
Here at this Uptown coffee shop, that spirit lives in the form of Dee Traylor, the head of Magnolias’ coffee program, a man who refers to himself as “the Walt Disney of coffee.”
“We make [our coffee] with love,” says Traylor about the shop’s creative bent. “Once our customers come into the ambiance of Magnolias, they love it.”
Inside of the somewhat discreet-looking, aquamarine-colored shop, the number of ways in which coffee can be served seems endless. Under Traylor’s watch, this picturesque space provides a home to such whimsical creations as the Black Hatter, an upside-down espresso drink made with vanilla and cream that gives off a sharp but sweet bite. Other unique spins are put on other standards: Ask for a cold brew and cream to-go, for instance, and you’ll witness a daring tossing routine that evenly distributes the liquids while providing some bonus entertainment.
With respect to its name, Magnolias also serves a variety of floral coffee drinks, including lavender and rose offerings, as well as a custom-made magnolia flavor that replicates the sweet, candy floss taste of the namesake plant, which also adorns the outside of the shop.
The vast array of flavors on hand isn’t the only draw here, either, as Magnolias features its own specialty roasts such as its popular Mexican AAA. Patrons are also given the opportunity to make custom drinks, which are showcased via Instagram to add a personal touch to the offerings.
Latte art creations by Traylor are another of the shop’s major draws. The nationally ranked barista is a master of the free pour, making everything from complex floral designs to a play on the human rib cage. A chat with him revealed a standing rivalry and friendship with Star Wars latte artist Liam Adams of Method.
“He’s my rival [and] my best friend,” says Traylor with a laugh. “I wanna beat him every chance I get.”
While the two baristas specialize in different types of latte art, Traylor intends to challenge Adams’ Darth Vader in order to solidify a place as king of the Dallas coffee nerds. Says Traylor: “I’m the dark side. I am the Kanye of lattes.”
All photos by Kathy Tran.