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The Craft Behind Craft Coffee + a Giveaway

If you know me well or if you've been following my Instagram account for a while, you know I am kind of obsessed with coffee. I love finding new and unique craft coffee shops when I travel, frequenting my favorite SF shops, visiting my old favorites in Dallas and learning more about how they make their coffee so dang good.

I often wonder why I can't make my coffee as well as these talented baristas can, and I've learned it just takes practice (and really nice equipment). Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting one of my favorite coffee shops: White Rock Coffee in Dallas. To say I love this coffee shop is an understatement. When my husband and I lived in the Lake Highlands area of Dallas last year, I went to White Rock Coffee every single day. That is not a hyperbole. I stopped every morning on my way to the school where I taught high school English and ordered a large latte, and sometimes I ordered a blueberry scone. It's safe to say they knew me there.

Rain booties (yes, booties!): Sam Edelman

One of my favorite things about White Rock Coffee (other than the amazing coffee, of course) is the community feel it has to it. Located just northeast of White Rock Lake in the heart of Lake Highlands, this is a shop people visit because they feel comfortable and at home (and because the coffee is incredible). I often saw the same people in the shop: families, friends visiting with one another, high school students studying. The bulletin boards donned information on upcoming events in LH, details on shows that will be held at the shop, art from the community, and the LHHS drill and football teams. It's a place the baristas learn your name and your coffee order, and I think that's pretty cool. The interior has been recently renovated, and I was so impressed when I saw it for the first time. It kind of has a lodge feel to it now, and I love the unique pieces they added, from repurposed wood at the bar to abandoned decor that was found all the way in West Texas.

To me, the experience at a coffee shop is everything. I am also mildly obsessed with latte art (as you may have noticed from my Snapchat and Instagram). When I shot these photos, I got to go behind the counter (not going to lie, I've always wanted to do that) and watch a WRC barista in action. How in the world do they make their latte art look so inpeccable? A few things I've noticed: they steam the milk, they don't froth it. Secondly, they add the espresso to the cup first. Third, it's all in the wrist. The barista I spoke to at WRC told me he's been practicing for years. There are also tons of YouTube videos out there that can help you perfect the craft. (Side note: this barista used to work at J&B Coffee in Lubbock where I attended college - cue nostalgia.)

White Rock Coffee has a variety of beans and products available at the store and online. I haven't met a WRC coffee bean I didn't love. They also sell their tea mixes, and before my husband and I moved, I purchased a few of their chai mixes. I haven't found a chai latte anywhere else that I love as much as White Rock's and again, that's not an exaggeration. If you ever have the opportunity to visit WRC, I recommend the iced dirty chai. There's also a WRC express location at Abrams and Mockingbird and another location at Children's Health in the Medical Center.

Now, it's time for the fun stuff. I've partnered with White Rock Coffee to give one lucky winner a couple of special gifts. The best part is, you don't need to be in Dallas to take advantage of this giveaway, because you can order WRC's beans and tea mixes online. The winner will receive a $50 gift card (that actually has an extra $5 because WRC adds 10 percent to gift cards purchased at $20 or more) and a pound of their Ethiopian Harhar Blueberry beans. This bean has blueberry overtones and buttery notes to it, and I think a cup of this roast would pair perfectly with a blueberry muffin or blueberry scone! Head to Instagram to enter this giveaway (launching today at 1 p.m. CST and closing Friday at noon CST).

Do I have you smelling the coffee beans through your computer/phone yet? I know I'm already dying for another White Rock Coffee trip! Any WRC fans out there? What's your favorite drink?

And, the mess behind the masterpiece.

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