I am starting the Coffee Shop Road Trip with a shout-out to Stefanie, who is joining me in this endeavor to direct people all over the place to delicious coffee, regardless of where they roam. Stefanie launched her stretch of the drive earlier this week in a fantastic post about Mudsmith on Greenville in Dallas. Believe me when I tell you that a Contessa will be mine by the end of May. Oh yes, it will.
Denton, Texas, is a great place to love coffee. It is home to two universities, so there are a lot of people in town in serious need of caffeination and a place to make it happen. There are at least three local coffee roasters (Bookish Coffee, Coffeewright Roasters, and Macaroni Island Coffee, coming soon to their very own post near you). And there are quite a few coffee shops that offer their unique atmospheres and perspectives to the town.
This is a picture taken on my old phone of their small (yes, that’s the small) French press and the remnants of their Mexican hot chocolate. Their coffee is amazing. I usually get the French Press or the Red Eye. I also highly recommend their frozen and blended drinks.
One of the first times I walked into Zera, I ordered a caramel macchiato. The man behind the counter looked pointedly at me and said, “So…do you want…” Then he paused, like he was trying to find a nice way to ask if I wanted an actual macchiato or that nonsense that is misnamed a macchiato at a popular coffee chain whose name may or may not rhyme with “car-trucks.” I assured him that I wanted a real macchiato, and he gave me an approving nod.
I knew I had found a friend.
When you walk into Zera, it’s like you’re walking into someone’s living room. The room is full of mismatched furniture. You have your choice of couches, comfy chairs, and tables. The music that you will hear will probably be worship music, as the shop itself is a Christian ministry. In fact, it’s completely run by volunteer labor so that as much of the proceeds as possible can go to support Denton Freedom House, a church with a prison outreach as well as a men’s home and job training that helps people reintegrate into society.
I like Zera best in the afternoon. If I need a change of scenery when I’m writing, I choose Zera. I can stay there for hours, and it’s usually mellow enough that the environment isn’t distracting.
If worship music or financially supporting a Christian ministry are something to which you are opposed, you probably won’t be able to get past that in order to enjoy the coffee (nor would I expect you to). But the coffee is delicious. I have never had anything there that I didn’t like.