As Top Pot Doughnuts debuts second Dallas store today, their coffee roaster offers these secret tips for brewing your best coffee ever

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Top Pot Doughnuts opens their second Dallas store today, bringing their brand of “hand forged” doughnuts and fresh-roasted coffee to Greenville Avenue.

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.”

To make a perfect cup of French press coffee, Burlison suggests starting with an impeccably clean press, grinding 25 grams of fresh beans to the size of coarse rock salt, then adding 12 ounces of water just off the boil. Gently pour the hot water over the ground beans to saturate them, then let the wet coffee steep for a few seconds so that it “blooms,” a term that refers to the coffee absorbing the water then rising to the top of the water as the beans expand and release carbon dioxide trapped inside them. “Give it all a stir to release the trapped gases,” says Burlison, “then let it all steep for four minutes before plunging the press.”
And Burlison says here are two other key steps:
Decant the coffee immediately into a thermos so the coffee doesn’t keep steeping in the grounds, and never store beans in your freezer.
“That just freeze dries then and dries them out. It really harms them,” Instead, Burlison stresses you should only buy enough coffee for the week. If you do have extra, he suggests storing whole beans in a cool, dark place inside a sealed Tupperware container.
Top Pot has two other stores in the works: CityLine in Richardson and SkyHouse in Dallas.

Top Pot Doughnuts, 2937 Greenville Ave., Dallas.