The First-Ever Dallas Coffee Day Lived Up To The Buzz.

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.

Tweed Coffee Roasters.
158 Express Street.
Design District.

I doubt that anyone could've expected Dallas' first coffee-centric observance to draw so many willing participants in its beginning stages, but the palpable excitement for Sunday's festivities gave us all perspective on how the city's coffee culture has really grown into its own weirdly beautiful thing.

The Monday before Dallas Coffee Day was to take place, a post surfaced on its Facebook event page at 10:32 a.m. It simply read: “There are only 50 tickets left before we are officially sold out. If you haven't already purchased yours, now would be a pretty good time to do so.” Those remaining tickets then disappeared in less than two hours — but the diminished supply seemed to bear no effect on the demand.

“[It was] amazing and completely horrifying,” says curator Zac Cadwalader about the event's popularity. “The demand for the event just kept building and building, which was incredible since we did no promotion. But then came the abjectly terrifying realization that Dallas Coffee Day was going to have to live up to all the hype.”

Tweed Coffee's roasting space played host to seven other area roasters, where each took turns doing cuppings, giving talks on everything from direct trade relationships to roasting demos, and even running the espresso bar. Additionally, each roaster had a booth where they could proudly display and sell their wares, while pouring free samples into mugs and talking up the latest in coffee geekdom. This included a toddy-brew flight from Ascension, two different varietals of the same Kenyan through both Novel and Tweed, and a bourbon-barrel-aged nitrogenated cold brew from Noble Coyote.

Despite the abundance of coffee porn, one of the most interesting things about the day was the camaraderie of the coffee community. It wasn't uncommon for attendees to find their long-lost favorite baristas, only to suddenly rejoice in the fact that their coffee skills are still able to be enjoyed in other parts of the city. Turns out, trips to other neighborhoods just for coffee aren't that odd, but rather an unspoken norm. Many shop owners also came to rep their business, support their friends and their colleagues, and to enjoy some tacos.

At worst, the event was an opportunity for people to get overly caffeinated on a sunny fall afternoon. At best, it showcased the first tinges of unity needed to solidify Dallas as a coffee city in its own right. Either way, there are some cool happenings in the Dallas scene these days, to be sure. And, in turn, the inaugural Dallas Coffee Day proved an event worthy of its buzz.
















All photos by Kathy Tran
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