DCC: So tell us about how you got started in coffee.
Louie: I first got my start in the Dallas coffee scene in the fall of 2010 at the Pearl Cup when Mattie was still manager and Jon Meadows (of Cultivar Coffee) was only roasting coffee. Jon was the person who really exposed me to the craft coffee world. I had always enjoyed coffee but I never had good coffee and definitely never tasted great coffee. The short 6 months I was there, I was hooked. I loved the people, I loved sharing my new found passion with them, and I knew this is what I wanted to do long term. Fast forward to fall of 2012, where I was hired on at Origin Natural Food to be in charge of the entire coffee program. It was some of the most invaluable experience I could ever ask for. I left at the end of May 2013 in hopes of getting my own shop open, and here we are today.
DCC: Tell us a little about the shop.
Louie: It’ll be called Method: Caffeination & Fare. We’re located at the corner of Ross and Hall. Right now, we’re looking to open in early December of this year.
DCC: What roaster(s) will you be using?
Louie: As of today, the plan is to have two “house” espressos each year from various roasters around the U.S. and then rotate in a new guest espresso at the beginning of every month.
DCC: Very cool. Who can we expect to see guested at Method?
Louie: We will hopefully bring in Corvus, Ritual, Heart, Commonwealth, Novo, Boxcar, Herkimer, and Novel, to name a few.
DCC: Those are some pretty great roasters, a lot of which we haven’t had in Dallas. It’ll be nice to have Heart back, too.
Louie: Definitely. The idea behind this multi-roaster approach is to bring in as many different roasters as we can while still giving the barista adequate time to really learn taste profiles of each bean every month.
DCC: Will there be retail bags from either the “house” or the guest?
Louie: Most definitely! And hopefully other great swag from the roasting companies, as well.
DCC: Method is going to be the first shop in Dallas to use a Slayer. It seems like there are times when people will judge a shop by what machine they use. What made you decide to go with a Slayer over a Linea or a Strada, even?
Louie: Well, some of the most memorable shots I ever tasted came from a Slayer. I’m definitely excited to bring such an amazing machine to Dallas, but as great as this or any machine is, it still relies on the knowledge and capability of the barista in order to really sing.
DCC: I bet there will be more than a handful of baristas eager to give it a test drive.
Louie: No doubt. I expect to have an industry night where baristas can come try out the Slayer. With supervision, of course.
DCC: What about non-espresso coffee? What sort of brew methods will you offer?
Louie: We’ll be offering 3 methods to start out: Espro French Press, Chemex, and Aero Press.
DCC: What made you decide to go with those methods?
Louie: I love the new spin on the Espro French Press- taking an older brew method and “modernizing” it, so to speak. Our main focus will be the Aero Press, and using it to create both hot and cold brews. It’s a technique that hasn’t been a key item at any shop in the Dallas area.
DCC: Are you going to be using the traditional or inverted brew method for the Aero Press?
Louie: Initially, we’ll be sticking with the traditional method, but we’d like to branch out into unique or more adventurous methods later on down the road. As a brand new shop, we’re trying to stay simple to keep from getting overwhelmed while still being able to unique coffee and methods. Have I said method enough?
DCC: For the Chemex and Aero Press, will you be using paper or the Able metal filters?
Louie: Both. I love when you get the time to compare the different nuances of varying brew methods side by side.
DCC: What is the “fare” of Method: Caffeination and Fare?
Louie: I have a culinary background, so I’d love to start creating and pairing baked goods to various espresso or pour over methods. We will also have a full food menu that will be quaint but irresistible.
DCC: That’s a pretty amazing idea. It would be really cool have to unique creations tailored to the current offerings instead of just the standard bagel, muffin, and plastic-wrapped scone.
Louie: Exactly! But we will definitely have our work cut out for us on this one.
DCC: You’re also looking to push the envelope in areas beyond what you serve. What can you tell us about employee ownership?
Louie: I understand the difficulties that a barista faces when trying to live off $7.50 an hour. I’m still working out the details, but I’m hoping to offer employees a percentage of the company. I got the inspiration after visiting the New Belgium brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado, and hearing the employees talk about how they love the company they own/work for. I see that as the next huge step in the specialty coffee industry.
DCC: That could certainly go a long way to help legitimize the job of a barista to the rest of the world. It could become on par with that of a chef.
Louie: I sure hope so. How else do you expect to get the best baristas AND get them to stick around? Not only that, but I want to see the Dallas coffee scene grow. And if we as owners don’t step up in some way or another, that growth is going to be slow.
DCC: We’ll be keeping up with the progress of your shop as the build out continues over the next few months, but how else can people stay on top of all Method-related news?
Louie: We don’t have a Facebook page yet, but you can follow us on Instagram @MethodCoffee.