At Zenzero Kitchen & Bakery we want the passion that we have for baking to shine through everything we do. That’s why we decided not to treat our coffee as just an afterthought. In fact, we feel that the coffee we serve should be crafted and prepared with the same care and attention to detail as our pastries. With this in mind, we have sought out the best coffee, the best equipment, and the best baristas who put that same love into each drink. Our coffee menu, like most of our items at Zenzero, is inspired by our owner’s Italian roots. With respect to Italian roots, our professional espresso machine, a La Marzocco Strada MP, was manufactured just outside of Florence, Italy. Aligning itself with the city’s artisan traditions, La Marzocco made (and still makes) its machines by hand.
You won’t find our drinks made with the numerous bottled flavors & syrups found at other coffee shops. “Why?” you ask. Holding true to “old world” traditions, we believe our coffee is best paired with whole milk, hands down. (Note that we do offer soy milk for those that have allergies). We are confident that when you taste our handcrafted coffee, you will agree that no additional flavors or syrups are needed. For those of you who like your coffee a little sweeter, we do offer a made-from-scratch seasonal syrup. We passionately believe in the phrase “less is more” which for us is the notion that simplicity & clarity leads to an exceptional cup of coffee.
Our Local Roaster
We have partnered with Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters (OCCR), a local roaster, who provides “Direct Trade” fresh roasted beans on a weekly basis. OCCR’s philosophy is “We strive to bring the best and freshest coffee possible to the DFW Metroplex, and we believe that how we live and do business will affect relationships locally and globally. None of us live autonomous lives; everything we do in public or in private has implications and impacts on others and the world around us. We hope that you will enjoy and share our coffee and be encouraged to consider the impacts of your life.”
We offer a limited guest roast program. We rotate our guest coffee roasters quarterly to provide our customers an opportunity to taste a variety of coffees sourced from farms across the world.
About Specialty Coffee
Specialty coffee can consistently exist through the dedication of the people who have made it their life’s work to continually make quality their highest priority. This is not the work of only one person in the lifecycle of a coffee bean; specialty can only occur when all of those involved in the coffee value chain work in harmony and maintain a keen focus on standards and excellence from start to finish. This is no easy accomplishment, and yet because of these dedicated professionals, there are numerous specialty coffees available right now, across the globe, and likely right around the corner from you.
Coffee Bean Lifecycle
Great coffee starts with the farmer whose family likely has spent generations perfecting their approach to farming the highest quality coffee possible. Grown in select altitudes and climates and nursed for years before the first harvest, the producer who creates specialty coffee devotes his or her life to refining and perfecting the highest quality coffee on the planet. For them, it is quality not quantity that is the most important consideration. Only coffees free of defects and picked at their peak of ripeness will continue on to the next hands that will shape them. For the farmer, being able to connect with quality-minded buyers ensures a higher profit option which supports individuals, families and communities around the world.
The Green Coffee Buyer
Green coffee is next transferred to the green coffee buyer who may be certified by the SCAA as a Certified Coffee Taster or the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) as a Licensed Q Grader. They have a palate as distinguished as a sommelier and can keenly identify coffee quality via cupping, or systematic tasting of brewed coffees. Through cupping, the coffee taster can assess a coffee’s score and determine whether it is specialty grade quality, make decisions on which coffees they will include in their offerings, and often develop tasting notes and descriptions for the coffee on its final packaging. The green coffee buyer has a large role in communicating the information about a coffee to the roaster and café staff.
High quality coffees are next transferred to the coffee roaster who may be certified by the Roasters Guild as having completed numerous hours of coursework and hands-on training to skillfully roast the specialty bean. Coffee roasting is an art that requires a high degree of knowledge and experience to produce specialty level roast profiles. Coffee must be closely monitored during the roasting process and scientific principles of heat transfer, thermodynamics and coffee chemistry must be applied to ensure the highest standard of quality and flavor come through in the final roasted bean.
Once the specialty coffee beans reach the retail environment, they have already passed 3 levels of inspection to ensure an extremely high level of quality control, however the process in not yet complete. The barista, who may be certified by the Barista Guild of America as having completed numerous hours of coursework and hands-on training, is the final coffee professional to guarantee the lifecycle of the specialty bean is completed. Specialty level baristas are not only highly skilled in brewing equipment operations; they routinely are deeply informed as to the origin of the coffee bean and how it’s flavor profiles will be revealed in brewing . If the specialty bean is not brewed properly it is possible that its true flavor potential could be lost; the barista ensures each bean reaches its full brewed promise.
Not expecting to see yourself in this list? In fact, it is the consumer who completes the lifecycle of the specialty coffee bean by actively seeking out and choosing specialty coffee options. When you take the time to find a local coffee bar or roastery that is dedicated to quality, or take an extra moment to learn from your barista about the people whose hands and passion produced the cup you’re enjoying so that you can make more informed choices, you demonstrate not only a commitment to a higher standard of quality of taste and flavor but also a commitment to a higher standard of living for every person who contributed along the way.
Zenzero features coffee roasters that range from the local Dallas Bishop Arts District to the Denver Rocky Mountains and up to the coastal seaport City of Vancouver. We carefully select the beans that goes on our retail shelf as well as the coffee that we feature on our slow bar and espresso stations. Our goal is to serve you a delicious and socially responsible cup of coffee. Enjoy!
Hidden City Espresso
We took the name Hidden City from a historical book about our neighborhood and former city, Oak Cliff. It’s referred to as the Hidden City because throughout its 130 year history Oak Cliff has been overlooked in favor of the city east of the Trinity River, despite being annexed into Dallas in 1903. Oak Cliff’s diversity and the enduring turn of the century architecture has recently led to more and more discovery of our Hidden City.
The coffee is a gradually evolving blend. Our goal with this blend is to please a wide array of palates but yet still keep it interesting. Hidden City Espresso is versatile for straight espresso or with milk. The blend components are currently our beans from Brazil, El Salvador, and Panama.The cup starts with a bright blackberry note quickly followed by orange peel and finishes with a nice dark chocolate and caramel linger.
- Blend Origins: Brazil, Panama, Ethiopia
- Tasting Notes: Strawberry, orange peel, dark chocolate & caramel
Nombre De Dios, El Salvador
‘Nombre de Dios’ is named after the blessing each coffee plant received when the farm was planted 4 generations ago. The sandy soil micro-region, then untested with the coffee shrub, has proven itself to produce great coffee over the years.
This lot is 100% bourbon varietal from one of the highest points on the farm. The cup is rich with notes of milk chocolate, orange and a caramel sweetness.
- Altitude: 1550-1600 meters
- Varietal: Bourbon
- Process: Washed
This super sweet coffee comes from the San Adolfo municipality of Huila where Edgar Motta owns an 80 hectare farm – one of a few in Huila growing a variety called pink bourbon which turns pink when ripe. We love this coffee for its big sweetness and body complimented with a lively acidity.
- Aromatics: bosc pear, cola
- Flavor: chocolate pudding, white grape
- Acidity: malic
- Sweetness: brown sugar
- Altitude: 5512 ft
- Varieties: caturra, castillo, pink bourbon
- Process: washed & dried on parabolic beds
Soft floral and marzipan aroma, plush texture with flavours of concord grape, lily and soft jasmine. This coffee is produced by around 350 smallholder farmers belonging to the newly started Bulga Cooperative. Located in the south of Oromia in the West Arsi zone, Bulga is close to the Nansebo Woreda.
- Producer: Around 350 smallholder farmers
- Location: Nansebo, Sidamo
- Altitude: 1850-2000
- Variety: Local heirloom
Brew Methods & Guides
The essential variables for brewing a beautiful cup of coffee are Beans, Water, Grind, and Time. From a distance, brewing coffee appears to be a “just add water” process. As you move closer, you begin to realize that it is a very specific & detailed process in that you need to measure the exact amounts of coffee and water, use clean filtered water at the right temperature, find the appropriate grind size, and control the amount of time that the coffee grounds and water are in contact. Every brew method recipe, whether filter style (Chemex, V60, Kalita Wave) or immersion style (French Press) can be largely expressed within these variables.
Learning how to brew on a manual coffee device can be intimidating. It doesn’t help the fact that there are so many different brewing methods out there. We have identified the following resources to assist home-brewers in getting the most out of their coffee gear. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask our baristas for assistance.
Pour Over “Chemex”
The Chemex’s design has remained completely unchanged (right down to its charming wood handle and leather cord) since its invention in 1941 by a German inventor named Peter Schlumbohm.
It’s design is not only functional, producing a very good cup, but also beautiful, a Chemex is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Smithsonian.
When it comes to exceptionally tasting coffee made from a simple but elegant process, the Chemex has no rival. The Chemex highlights the “higher” and “brighter” notes in coffee and yields a clean, sweet cup. Bright, fruity coffees do very well in a Chemex.
Pour Over “V60”
The Hario V60 Coffee Dripper is one of the most popular manual brewers in the specialty coffee field today, found in many brew bars around the country. The design of this pour-over has ridges along it’s innards and a single large hole at the bottom which allows the coffee to extract evenly from the vessel. Part of insuring that you get an excellent brew from the V60 is the pour technique, you must slowly and steadily coax the extraction of the brew from the grounds.
The key to brewing a stellar cup using the V60 method lies in the hands of the barista. Technique is critical here, and you’ll want to use a pouring kettle to be precise.
Pour Over “Kalita Wave”
The Kalita Wave is relatively new on the scene, but so far it’s received excellent reviews by the pros. The Wave is a flat-bottom dripper with three triangulated holes in its base. It stands out being among very few flat-bottom manual pour-over brewers. The flat, shallow brew bed makes for less turbulence than cone-shaped brewers and encourages a more even extraction.
Lots of coffees perform well with the Wave. The coarser grind, slower brew time, and low agitation help to bring out the more subtle and complex characteristics in coffees.
Coffee fanatics and connoisseurs maintain that French Press coffee is the best way to experience the daily grind. French Press coffee is a very simple way to achieve an extremely rich and robust cup of coffee.
Because French Press yields coffee that isn’t filtered through paper, it has the hearty “that rich coffee” quality that French Press enthusiasts so admire.
Espresso is not a type of roast or a type of coffee bean, but a brew method. It’s a way of extracting about 30-40 milliliters of aromatic coffee essence, made with a brewing ratio of about 1.5 to 1 under about 9 bars of pressure. You can grind coffee from any origin and at any roast level and use it to make espresso. However, making consistently delicious, well-crafted espresso is not an easy one to master.
Pulling a perfect shot of espresso is an art form. In fact, we believe that there is no such thing as the perfect shot – only an exponentially exciting (and humbling) journey toward perfection. There are a lot of opinions about what constitutes a beautiful shot, but for us it’s all about balance, sweetness and the proper representation of a coffee’s character.
You can predict it each year: as the mercury climbs, many abandon their thermally insulated mugs and scramble for cold coffee. Whether you’re an old hand at cold brew, or new to the slow, all-night magic of preparing cool coffee for hot days, it’s time to get out the strainer and get your chill on.
Cold brew methods are exalted for the low-acid coffee produced, and as such are ideal for brewing not only a refreshing cup but one that’s mellow on your stomach. The overnight process of steeping coffee in water at room temperature yields a gentle-on-the-digestion concentrate, that you can use again and again—the only time you’re allowed to make coffee just once, but keep drinking the rewards over and over.
The process is simple and delicious—the hardest ingredient to come by is time.
Guest Roast Program
We offer a limited guest roaster program. We rotate our guest coffee roasters quarterly to provide our customers an opportunity to taste a variety of coffees sourced from farms across the world. We hope that this gives you the chance to learn more about coffee – it’s production, taste, origin, and more.
Our current guest roaster is 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters. Located in the temperate Pacific Northwest, in Vancouver, British Columbia, 49th Parallel endeavors to source the world’s finest coffee beans and roast them to satisfy discerning palates.
49th Parallel Coffee Roasters® produces custom roasted coffee beans that are roasted to the best quality and tailored specifically to the customers needs. With a true passion and dedication for specialty coffee, 49th Parallel is committed to providing excellence in its product and service.
Michael and Vince travel around the world to meet directly with the farmers at their coffee farms in order to develop relationships that create a better future for everyone involved. We set ethical standards with our direct relationship program and pay a special premium that is above the Fair Trade price standard. The resulting discoveries from our efforts are proudly brought back to North America for you and your customers to enjoy.
Founded in 2013, the heart of Sweet Bloom is to connect, in a very meaningful way, the producer with the end consumer. After ten years in the specialty coffee industry, Andy Sprenger returned with his family to his home town of Lakewood, Colorado to start a new chapter in his coffee career. Formerly the head roaster for Ceremony Coffee, he brings a wealth of sourcing and roasting knowledge and titles such as two-time US Brewers Cup Champion, Runner-up in the World Brewers Cup Championship, 2013 US Aeropress Champion, Runner-up in the 2014 US Cup Tasters Championship, and certified Q-Grader (like a sommelier, but for coffee).
As a roaster, Sweet Bloom is dedicated to familiarizing its consumer with the origin and the producers of the coffee they roast. Single origin coffee and its promotion is nothing new in the specialty coffee world, but Sweet Bloom seems especially interested in connecting the harvesting of a tree’s fruit to the resulting brew served—particularly concerned with connecting beginnings with ends. Consider the name of the roaster itself, a reference to coffee tree blossoms. Where as it might be (and has been in the recent past) beneficial to give coffee an exotic appeal by emphasizing its foreign point of origin, Sweet Bloom practices the reverse in emphasizing the overall connection and relationship created with the buying and selling of coffee.Andy is excited to build a team of coffee professionals who care deeply for their craft, for producers, and for those that buy, sell and drink Sweet Bloom Coffee.
List of previous guest roasters
Founded in 2014, Ruby Coffee Roasters presents stunning coffees to Wisconsin and beyond with precision and intention. The idea behind their slogan ‘Colorful Coffees’ is loosely based on a few ideas: 1) Coffee has so many distinct, unique flavors that it’s often best described using notes pointed toward things we’re more familiar with like fruits and spices 2) When they evaluate and taste current and prospective offerings, they often classify tastes and profiles by starting with color. Green acidity, syrupy brown body, purple fruit, etc. and refine from there.
Founded in 2005, Café Grumpy works tirelessly to produce something simple: a delicious and socially responsible cup of coffee. Their philosophy emphasizes transparency, working directly with coffee producers, and developing sustainable relationships. Based out of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Café Grumpy offers a carefully curated, seasonal coffee menu.
Founded in 1995, Intelligentsia prides itself on working closely with farmers around the world to get the purest and tastiest coffee possible. You don’t have to live in Chicago to know this Chicago-based coffee company. Its beans are sold around the country and it now has nearly a dozen locations around the Chicago, Los Angeles and New York areas. Founder Doug Zell was an early pioneer of the direct-trade model and one of the first to bring single-origin beans to American coffee drinkers. We hope you enjoy.