A cup of coffee. iStock.

Coffee

Head to Parks Coffee for Coffee Education

The roastery and café is an impressive spot.

Last summer, the family-owned, locally-based wholesaler Parks Coffee brought in the behemoth roaster that now holds court in the sleek, industrial roastery that opened in Carrollton in October, with a coffee shop that serves their roasts. The bright, poppy, cheerful café comes together with the lab’s industrial feel when you come for coffee education of the nerdiest and pleasantest kind.

They have baked goods from Bird Bakery, a nice staff, and tours and tastings for $10.

From the catwalk, you can look down at the giant roaster that seems to take up half a city block and gleams with hammered-copper details. At the back of the vast space are the 150-pound burlap sacks that hold green, un-roasted beans. To one side are lined up the machines that process the K-Cups and single-serving packets that are distributed through Parks Coffee to corporate accounts in five states. On the other, near the enormous roaster, hoppers hold beans that have been roasted and cooled overnight.

The aroma is intoxicating; you can smell it from the parking lot. And I have been told that when the roaster is in action, a fine cloud of husk-bits settles over the industrial strip.

It’s nice to have a place to see large-scale roasting in action. In places like Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters and Full City Rooster, you’ll find the appeal of a roastery that doubles as a coffee shop. Here the impression is a little more all-encompassing. (Though it all began in founder Randy Parks’ family garage in 1986.) Ogle the roaster through the wall of windows the separates you from the warehouse floor. Or smell and taste coffee in tours that end with little tartlet bites to nibble from La Casita Bakeshop. The roastery strikes the right between the large-scale and the intimate.

Tasting tours require advance sign-ups. Check here.

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