In Texas, summer is an ecstatic time of year. Enter triple-digit heat waves and neverending conversations about how hot it is. Bring on mad dashes to the nearest pools, lakes, or rivers in search of cold beer and colder waters. Book time for weekend barbecues where the most temperate spot is right next to the grill. These are the hot, hard facts of Texan summers, but in Dallas, some of the old ways are starting to bend, and finally, this city has begun to develop a taste for finer coffee. The first in this new crop of shops is Method: Caffeination and Fare. Their opening day of of business–on Saturday, May 17th–was a very highly anticipated event, and rightly so, as it just might mark the start of the great Dallas coffee boom.
Situated on the southern corner of Ross Ave and Hall St in the Bryan Place neighborhood, the 75-year-old building in which Method now resides was once an auto body and upholstery shop, abandoned and left to decay for several years. But an influx of new upscale residences has revitalized the area, and Method is one of the first businesses, as coffee shops often are, to hang a shingle in the up-and-coming neighborhood. The 780-square-foot space is a pleasing mash-up of old and new, as slab concrete floors and exposed brick walls stand in contrast to a slanted lavender ceiling, serving as a backdrop to showcase Method's Slayer espresso machine.
Method is the first shop in Dallas to rock the increasingly globally-coveted Slayer, and they've opted for the red gum wood trim on their black two-group model. The low-slung machine is a rush to behold, and with extraction times pushing one minute, there is quite a bit of time for beholding. To the left of the Slayer stand two black Mazzer Super Jolly grinders containing the opening espresso offerings: Peru La Victoria from Dallas-based Novel Coffee Roasters and Commonwealth Coffee Roasters’ Ontology blend.
Novel will be a mainstay in the Method coffee program, but owner Louie Corwin wants to rotate guests on a regular basis, such as Brown Coffee from San Antonio and Novo from Denver. “Both roasters use Slayers and build profiles that work best with them,” said Corwin. “It’ll be cool to see that interplay.”
Just beyond the Super Jollys sits Method’s slow bar. Anchored by a black Mahlkönig EK-43, the manual brew program is starting simply, offering Chemex brews while the shops gets its sea legs. But Corwin tells Sprudge that the program will expand into Aeropress and Espro French Press further down the road. Mirroring the espresso program, the slow bar offers Novel as the house roast, currently the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Gedeo Konga, as well as guest roaster Commonwealth’s natural-processed Ethiopia Ardi.
Corwin has a lot of ideas that are in various stages of readiness, including retailing cold brew in eye-catching crystal skulls and pairing pastries with coffee offerings, but Method is hoping to start slow and evolve organically. In the Texas summer, you can’t do too much too fast. You’ll get a heat stroke.
All photos by Desiree Espada for Sprudge.com