North Texas Daily

Coffee shop showdown

Coffee shop showdown

Coffee shop showdown
September 26
12:45 2013

The other Whitehouse

Christina Ulsh / Senior Staff Writer

Beautiful, natural light illuminates the rooms on a sunny day. Mellow melodies float from the bar into the rest of the cafe. An inch of foam settles at the top of 12 ounces of espresso and half and half, which marble together and form a delicious drink.

Added to the list of Denton’s best-kept secrets is The Whitehouse at 424 Bryan St. This house-turned-cafe was formerly known as Two B’s and a V, and before that was run by different management under the name Art Six.

Its atmosphere does not imitate that of the other coffee houses in Denton. It is as peaceful as a placid lake. The music in this particular visit, was the mellow tunes of Dr. Dog, a happy medium for filling the silence as well as leaving studying customers undisturbed. The daytime lighting comes from the sun, which energizes the room in a way artificial light is incapable of providing.

The decor and branding could use a facelift, but overall that’s the only qualm.

Instead of waiting for drinks and food awkwardly at the bar, the customer can find a seat. The barista doesn’t shout the customer’s name or order, but delivers the drink to their table.

There is plenty of seating. Customers can choose to sit in one of four rooms or in the spacious backyard, where there is a porch, a patio and seats surrounding the two.

Items on the menu do not have artificial flavors or preservatives. The Whitehouse offers the typical cafe items—coffee, tea, muffins, fruit, blended drinks and sandwiches—but also expands to beer, wine, taquitos and pizza.

Brewed coffee only comes in a 16-ounce size and costs $2. A bottomless cup of brew costs $5. A 12-ounce latte costs $3.50.

The shakerato, a shaken espresso drink, is frothy, cool and pleasantly spiced with aromatic cardamom. The artisan ham sandwich is served on fresh-baked bread and is garnished with hot and sweet mustard.

Free Wi-Fi is available, and each room has at least two electrical outlets to plug into. The cafe is open from 9 a.m. to midnight.

Every Thursday the Whitehouse has open mic, which–especially with the combination of alcohol and sandwiches–is reminiscent of Banter. However, The Whitehouse takes advantage of its backyard and has performances on the patio. Sign ups are at 7 p.m. and the shows begin at 7:30.

 In the Jupiter House

Adriana Rodriguez / Intern Writer

There are many reasons Jupiter House Coffee on the Square was named Denton Record Chronicle’s best coffee shop three years in a row. The cozy atmosphere, locally-baked goods and super fast Wi-Fi are only a few of them.

Jupiter House is tailored to early birds, opening as early as 6 a.m. and closing up shop at 11 p.m. every day except for Sundays, when they choose to let loose and open an hour later.

On a typical day Jupiter House will stay consistently busy, servicing a demographic of students in between classes, professionals on business meetings and random Square shoppers or groupies.

It seats about 100 people, including some outdoor seating provided in front of the shop where strangers become friends over coffee and cigarettes.

Jupiter’s coffee is brought in from one of the richest and most biologically sound farmlands of Costa Rica.

These beans offer a bold and full-flavored cup of joe that coffee snobs can appreciate. Their standard 12-ounce small cup runs for $2 with $1.25 refills after, but they also offer a 10-ounce $1 cup with $1 refills. If you’re planning to stay all day hitting the books, the 10-ounce cup may be the better deal of the two.

They serve a variety of baked cookies, muffins and breads. Some of these goodies even have straight-from-the-kitchen-oven bragging rights.

They also serve up bagel breakfast sandwiches and spreads from sister company Royal’s Bagels, which are available all day.

The sandwiches come highly recommended, and you can devour a chewy cheddar, fresh egg and bacon bagel made fresh for $4. If coffee isn’t your thing, organic teas and smoothies are available at your request.

However, what I believe brings so many to this spot is the perfect balance of warm lighting, spacious tables and the plethora of plugs available that all combine to create the best environment for getting work done.

Coffee shops tend to get noisy at times but here the noise level never gets too loud, which offers sound concentration.

Aside from the quaint setting, Jupiter House likes to show their support by setting up art galleries every couple of months and keeping them on their brick walls for sale.

Overall, Jupiter House Coffee provides a clean and charming environment that offers plenty of peace and comfort for your studies and, yes, great coffee.

A Different Shift

Carina Aquino / Staff Writer

Hidden just south of the Square and overlooking Morrison’s Corn Kits is a new coffee shop that’s bringing locally roasted beans, handpicked syrups and a whole lot of personality to the Denton community.

Shift Coffee, located at 112 E. Prairie St., opened its doors on Aug. 30 and has been receiving continuous buzz ever since.

The venue’s bright green walls and colorful murals have created a lively yet serene atmosphere for students and locals within the area. Customers can lounge on various couches or sit down at one of the many small tables that can be “shifted” around for larger parties.  Wi-Fi is also available to patrons, but a password is required for use.

Shift’s baristas are incredibly friendly and extremely welcoming to first-time guests. They were informative enough to explain how fresh their coffee beans were–no older than a week–and were kind enough to deliver my beverage to the table.

Since it was my first visit to the shop, I wanted to order a beverage that was common, simple and delicious – an iced chai tea latte, with soymilk substituted in for regular dairy.

The most visible menu, which rests on a wall, doesn’t specify prices, but attached to small clipboards on the counter are yellow paper menus with a full listing of extras, food items and beverages, with prices included.

The 6-ounce chai tea with soy costs $3.52 with tax, which means there was no additional charge for the substitution. This was a nice change compared to other coffee shops within the area, which typically charge anywhere from 60 to 90 cents to add soymilk.

Prices range from $2 to $4.25 depending on the beverage, size and extras. Baked goods, fresh fruit and granola bars are also available for purchase at the counter.

My latte had more ice than coffee, even though I asked for light ice, and tasted a bit watered down, and the melting ice didn’t make it taste any better.

There was nothing I found specifically special about the drink, due to its lack of chai flavor. It tasted more like a cup of iced soymilk with a hint of coffee and tea. For the price, I would have been much more content with a leading competitor.

Though my first visit didn’t meet my expectations, I’m looking forward to revisiting and trying some of the other menu items. Perhaps just a drip coffee to taste some of the smooth and rich attributes the fresh beans may have.

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