It's a little predictable which U.S. cities and states might show up in a travel book called "Global Coffee Tour."
Seattle is known for its coffee scene. Hawaii has a coffee culture. New York City is, well, New York City and is bound to have a coffee shop or two listed.
Pound for pound, however, the most surprising inclusion may be a Fort Worth joint -- not because it doesn't deserve it, but because books like this usually put their Texas focus on Houston, Austin or Dallas, and none of them made the coffee cut.
Avoca Coffee Roasters, a pioneer in the Magnolia Avenue food-and-drink renaissance, is the only Texas coffee stop listed in Lonely Planet Food's "Global Coffee Tour: A Tasters's Guide to the World's Best Coffee Experiences." The book, due out Tuesday, lists 150 coffee "experiences" in 37 countries, from Eritrea at the beginning of the book to New Zealand at the end.
"It's not overstating the case to say the bean scene in Fort Worth exists thanks to Garold LaRue, a fifth-generation coffee farmer, and Jimmy Story, who opened Avoca Coffee in a former auto-mechanic workshop in Fort Worth's trendy Southside," the book says, going on to talk about how Avoca supplies several North Texas restaurants and groceries, and about Avoca's roasting practices, best beans and eclectic clientele.
Avoca opened on Magnolia in 2011, around the time the Magnolia scene was starting to take off (in 2016, a second location opened on Foch Street in the West Seventh area).
“I’ve been in coffee for quite a long time,” LaRue told the Star-Telegram for a 2015 story about DFW coffee shops. “I’ve worked in coffee all over DFW, from Four-Star Coffee in Fort Worth in the late ’90s to Jupiter House up in Denton.. I’ve been around, I’ve been to Alaska [where he was a barista]."
In the story, LaRue said he was an advocate of getting people to drink their coffee black.
“Try the coffee before you add something to it,” he said. “As we get better with our profiles and our techniques and our extraction, the taste gets better. So instead of having to cover it up, we’re able to taste what’s being presented.
“We have customers that will try it first, or will move away from adding cream or sugar, and they’ll be like, ‘Wow, that’s actually different. That’s actually better.’”
The Avoca entry of the book has an entry for "Things to Do Nearby," including the [Near] Southside, recommending a walk down Magnolia Avenue for "great eats, crafts and a glass-blowing gallery." Magnolia is also home to a location of Craftwork Coffee Co. and Brewed, which boasts "Craft Coffee. Local Beer. Amazing Food." Magnolia ice-cream shop Melt Ice Creams uses Avoca coffee in its "Cup of Texas" flavor.
The other shout-out is to the Kimbell Art Museum, "located near Avoca Coffee's Foch St. branch." We'll add that the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art are also nearby and well worth a visit. Maybe with enough Avoca caffeine in you, you can hit all three in one day.
The Avoca entry in "Global Coffee Tour" is accompanied by a photo of ... The Fort Worth Herd. Because everyone knows that Magnolia is full of steers, right?