The Coffee Hunters visit Avoca Coffee Shop in Fort Worth

I know, I know … being a coffee hunter sounds glamorous and exciting. Checking out new coffee places, having great cups of coffee, becoming world famous for your blog (wishing … wishing …) and all your coffee expeditions – what a life! Yes, there are some perks that come the way of the coffee hunter (see what I did there?) but don’t forget there are also risks. Big risks. For example, those awkward conversations with people who want to know why you would go so far for coffee when 7-11 has a pot on all day? What about tea lovers and there whole thing about tea being superior to coffee? Who has time for that?! Even worse, your coffee hunting might take you to a coffee shop that is just pretentious and the coffee is mediocre.

Avoca Coffee Shop

Avoca Coffee Shop

That brings us to Avoca Coffee in Fort Worth. It’s incredible shops like Avoca that keep your intrepid Coffee Hunters daring for coffee!

We’ve been to a number of coffee places, both on and off the “official ” list. Without trying to be presumptuous we think we have a feel for the places that care about coffee, and the places that are just wannabes. Our taste buds are sharpened up and we think we might know something about lattes, cortados and great coffee.

In short, we know what we know, and what we know is that Avoca Coffee Shop in Fort Worth is absolutely one of the finest coffee shops in the Metroplex.

Avoca wins that praise with both of us going in with every high expectations. This shop has a won of ton of awards. They’ve been in business four years, so they are not some fly-by-night operation that jumped on the high end coffee bandwagon yesterday. Read their website and you’ll see they take coffee seriously. In fact, it’s the only coffee place on “the list” in Fort Worth. All of that made us itching to go because it just seemed so promising.

We were not disappointed.

20150602_090216Avoca is behind the hospital district south of I-30 just west of downtown Fort Worth. It’s not hard to find. Two big garage doors and the rich smell of coffee roasting let you know you’re in the right place. Inside it’s big, airy, roomy and comfy. Weird modern art gives it the appropriate hipster vibe (really – do you want to see a Norman Rockwell print, the Mona Lisa and a Kinkaide in your favorite coffee shop?). The people at Avoca were friendly and nice. It was 9:00 AM and the place had some folks in it but wasn’t overrun. We ordered a latte, Stu’s standard cortado and I also asked for a pour-over with their San Marcos blend. If you’re not familiar with pour-overs, that is a technique for making one cup of coffee by pouring water through a filter funnel.

Avoca Coffee Shop pour over setup

Avoca Coffee Shop pour over setup

Think of your standard Mr. Coffee coffeemaker, only without the water pump to pump the water up to the brew basket. Instead the barista carefully pours the funnel/basket full, slowly tending it to get just the right amount of brew time as the water passes through the grounds.

It is important to note, Avoca doesn’t just brew coffee and make lattes. Half the shop is given over to the roasting of coffee. It is a high priority here because a number of area shops rely on Avoca to do the roasting, and serve Avoca coffee. They offer single source coffees, carefully roasted for maximum coffee enjoyment. If you’re into roasting coffee and want to learn the ins and outs of it, Avoca is your spot. They even teach classes in roasting techniques! From the amount and variety of bagged coffee for sale it is clear this an integral part of Avoca.

But we weren’t there to roast coffee. We were there to get coffee and enjoy coffee. If the Middle Eastern proverb that says “The eye eats before the mouth” is true then Avoca got us started right. Not only were the surroundings warm and inviting, my latte was a work of art, as was Stewart’s cortado. One sip confirmed that it wasn’t all looks either.

Beautiful cortado

Beautiful cortado

Stewart rated his cortado as excellent (even though it was served without a mineral water chaser). The latte I enjoyed was easily one of the best lattes I have ever had. It was smooth and it held its foam deep into the mug, showing consistency and that the milk had been steamed just right. This was an amazing latte – smooth and delightful. The next time someone tells me they can get a latte at that place with the Girl in a Green Circle sign I will point them to Avoca so they can find out what a real latte is! The pour-over was equally enjoyable. It had a little bit of a bite that mellowed as it cooled.

All of this in an atmosphere that was utterly unhurried and relaxing. A few people came and went. Here and there a laptop or tablet popped on to get some Internet along with coffee or tea.20150602_090302

I asked about opening the garage doors but was told that the city of Fort Worth considers Avoca an “open kitchen” and as such it cannot have open doors. That is the kind of thing that sure makes you scratch your head. What is the city thinking?!

But still … it was wonderful. Avoca is everything you want in a coffee shop, starting with great coffee that is perfectly roasted and then carefully brewed with a genuine affection for coffee and craftsmanship. The word “Avoca” is an old Gaelic word that translates to “Great Mouth.” The Coffee Hunters couldn’t agree more. Go to Avoca and your mouth will say “This is great!”

Avoca showcases the possibilities and potential when a coffee shop does it right. Again, and without doubt, this is one of DFW’s premiere and best coffee shops.  And it’s shops like Avoca that make your Coffee Hunters keep taking on those risks to find you great coffee.

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