Into Shelley’s Belly: Ascension Coffee in the Design District

Whoa, cappucino (left); croissant (right) photos by Matthew Shelley

I will try and be brief, but the caffeine pulsing through my veins is beckoning a shake, a jump, and a long winded recounting of my morning at Ascension Coffee, this new and beautiful coffee laboratory/bar in the Design District. I was greeted happily by the shop’s coffee sommelier, Mike Mettendorf, and the passion and joy exuding from this hospitable gentleman is contagious. He loves what he does, and he says that Ascension Coffee caters predominantly to the luxurious coffee drinkers, while still leaving no short straw for any convenience drinker.

Wide and Welcome
The Cortado

On my first visit, I stopped in for a to-go coffee and was in and out of there in less than 10 minutes. However, you’ll enjoy this aesthetically immaculate café best if you linger inside this one-of-a-kind caffeinated pleasure palace. Saddle up to the slow bar and enjoy a personally catered pour, or cozy up on one of the seats laid out in the open and inviting space. It’s brightly lit and warm in every corner. Ascension is the only place in Dallas that offers a profoundly exacting siphon brew – calculated, weighed, and unbelievably smooth and rich. Not to mention, it’s wildly enjoyable to watch. Its food is also chef-driven and made fresh daily. The croissants are light and crispy, doughy delights. And I am newly in love with the Kyoto brew, made beyond my understanding from a tower of glass beakers that sit just behind the counter.

The Synesso Hydra Hybrid espresso machine
The Kyoto Brew and chocolate croissant

Mr. Mettendorf was also kind enough to share some of his favorite drinks with us so that you might enjoy them through my lens. He prepared the petite and remarkably intense Tahitian vanilla gelato affogato, as well as the pleasantly manicured cappuccino. It’s difficult to describe the tastes and smoothness that transcended my taste buds and energetic excitement that followed each sip, but I hope the ineffable nature of these divine cups encourage your visit. Finally, the cortado, which is half espresso and half steamed milk with very little foam, danced and dipped into my netherworlds with a simple gesture of giving and love.

Ascension Coffee brings a new idea of the depth and artisanal potential of coffee in Dallas, and everything about this wide and welcoming café will impress and delight all brands of coffee lovers. Allow Mr. Mettendorf and his aptly capable staff impress the pants right off your body. Ascension, I think I love you.

Mike Mettendorf, Coffee Sommelier (left); morning food menu
The Tahitian Vanilla Gelato Affogato



  • Ascension Coffee Crew

    “Ascension, I think I love you.”

    We love you, too, Shelley’s Belly…we love you, too.

    Thanks for coming in and the kind words! Hope to see you soon and often!

  • design district resident

    i didn’t quite have the same experience… stood at the register for a few minutes while two people behind the bar were involved in a coffee lesson/class, one guy was trying to figure out something and one girly stood there. nobody helped me (or maybe i was supposed to sit down but nobody directed me or even acknowledged me) so i walked out 🙁 pretty disappointing since i was super excited to have a neighborhood spot.

    • Ascension Coffee Crew

      @design district resident – please accept our apologies. We understand your frustration and do not want that to be the experience anyone ever has. Please consider giving us a second chance – we’d like to make it up to you.

  • Gene

    The “ULTIMATE COFFEE ADVENTURE” Our first visit on a Saturday morning: The staff energy permeats the space…In Starbucks terms we ordered a red-eye. Sat at the slow bar, introduced our selves to various staff members and watched the action. Fun red mug cut on the bias (smell and drink) a wonderful blend of coffee. My daughter, from Chicago, had a conversation with a barista from the same area and he took the time to write a list of REAL coffee houses in and out of the area. KUDOS… Put this place on your list, a must!