As Top Pot Doughnuts debuts second Dallas store today, their coffee roaster offers these secret tips for brewing your best coffee ever
In town for the opening, Top Pot’s roaster, Tony Burlison, emphasizes that the Seattle-based doughnutery devotes just as much love and attention on their coffee as on their baked goods.
“We’re not just a donut company. We put just as much pride and effort and thought into our coffees,” Burlison told me last week while pouring me a cup of Top Pot’s Ethiopian yirgacheffe, one of three single estate coffees he roasts for TP’s rotating list of specialty beans. “Dallas may not be as coffee savvy as we are on the West Coast, but several baristas and small shops are doing some really good things here.”
Burlison joined Top Pot ten years ago, following several years as an independent coffee roaster in Seattle. He says the company is devoted to quality, sourcing beans from small growers, paying them a fair price, then roasting the beans in Seattle in 35-pound batches using a cast iron Joper drum-style roaster from Portugal. Small batch roasting helps develop sweet, floral notes in the coffee, which pair best with Top Pot’s doughnuts.
To create blends, Burlison and his staff taste beans from up to 100 estates to winnow down the list to four or five growers. For example, Federale, Top Pot’s most versatile blend, contains beans sourced only from Central America, all roasted to a medium-dark “full-city” roast.
“That medium roast brings out flavors like caramelized sugar, orange blossom, floral notes, chocolate” while producing a “toned down acidity,” Burlison told me.
One of Burlison’s favorite ways to brew fresh coffee is with a French press, because, he says, “sometimes you want a rough cup with a little sediment to show off the terroir of beans” and because brewed coffee “has way more depth than espresso.”
Top Pot Doughnuts, 2937 Greenville Ave., Dallas.