Houndstooth's New Raspberry Espresso Drink Is Our Jam.
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.
Twenty years ago, the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) developed a flavor wheel that has served the authority for coffee tasting ever since. The wheel features a variety of descriptors, broken down into categories of tastes and aromas that range anywhere from floral to spicy, savory to delicate and everything in between. Coffee drinkers have this wheel to thank for the creative concoctions available to them, as it allows baristas to experiment with unexpected flavor combinations and additives.
A good example of this can be found at Houndstooth Coffee, where jam is the central ingredient of a new, head-turning specialty drink.
Dallas Houndsooth manager Natalie Hasty explains how it came to be: “One of our baristas in Austin — his name is Gregory — he comes up with all of our drinks. He met with me over Skype to show me how to make it, but then Austin has a different version. They call it The Joe & Jam. We call it That's My Jam.”
While the two drinks have virtually the same ingredients, the two renditions were made to reflect the differences of the Texas cities. The Dallas version uses raspberry jam ice cubes in a mixture of espresso (made with Tweed's Timepiece), Topo Chico and lemon simple syrup and a garnish of fresh rosemary.
Notes barista Henry Foote: “Every Houndstooth has its own personality and its own staff, just like all of our stores are very different and have very different atmospheres but still feel like they're in the same family. We kind of did the same thing with the That's My Jam. The one in Austin is very true to the original cocktail that it's based off of, the Gin and Jam. Ours is a little more playful. It's got more ingredients to it. I think it suits what Dallas is like even more. It's a little fancier.”
That's My Jam plays on the popularity of espresso tonics, but in a way that's more like a cocktail than other coffee-based drinks. Think of a non-alcoholic Mimosa, where the citrus and carbonation hit in all the right places — but with the espresso acting as bitters, and the light berry essence of the jam and the herbal aroma of rosemary rounding things off. The drink is a two-part experience: First, you get the beauty of the savory coffee mixture; once that's finished, you can go back for more Topo Chico to finish off the jam ice cubes and extract any leftover flavors, all while cleansing your palate.
As people are caught up in the euphoria of pumpkin spice and other flavors associated with fall, Houndstooth provides an option that celebrates those last vestiges of warmer weather.
Says Foote: “I think a really great thing about this drink is a lot of people will do fall drinks, and they tend to be a little bit more savory. What I really like about [the drink] is that it's still cold, and Texas in the fall is still hot. So it's got all of those aspects, but re-imagined. It's better. Period.”