Cuppa: a hidden gem

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Cuppa Espresso Bar, located in the Irving Bible Church, is worth the search due to its amazing drinks, ambiance and view. Photo credit Molly Wierman

One of the Google reviews for Cuppa Espresso Bar sums up the Irving cafe well:

“Totally unexpected location, but definitely worth stopping by.”

Located on the second floor of the Irving Bible Church by DFW airport, Cuppa Espresso Bar offers both traditional coffee and eccentric but tasty concoctions at prices that range from competitive with the Cap Bar to a little bit expensive, but still cheaper and tastier than Starbucks.

If you haven’t been before, locating the cafe can be a bit confusing, especially from the street, where you can’t see the signs on the church’s front doors directing you upstairs for coffee. Once you find the church on Kinwest Parkway a short distance off of Highway 114, however, both parking and finding the stairs are simple.

Since one of the best criteria for a coffee shop is how well it makes cappuccinos, I made sure to order one, but I also wanted to try one of Cuppa’s more unique drinks. I chose a lavender vanilla latte and took both drinks outside to the large balcony to enjoy the suddenly warm weather.

One of my favorite things about Cuppa is the view. It’s not breathtaking by any means, but the large Las Colinas houses and the quietly running fountain by one of the nearby office buildings create a soft, peaceful ambiance that smoothed out my thus-far chaotic morning. The large windows are also very welcome, especially, I imagine, when it’s too cold to go outside.

The enormous tables and lounge chairs taking up the remarkable amount of space inside the cafe would make an ideal study space as the spring semester starts up, although it does close a little too early for any real late-night, last-minute cramming  ­­— not that any of us ever do such a thing. If you don’t have anything of your own to study, the books on the large bookshelves by the counter would be worth your while to take down and look through for a bit. Of course, you could always enjoy the quiet outside, too.

Cuppa easily passed the cappuccino test: the baristas didn’t cheat me out of plenty of light, frothy foam offset by dark, bitter-but-rich espresso. I could have ordered another had I not thought three drinks a little too much caffeine for one morning.

The latte, too, was unexpectedly good, given how skeptical I was of pairing lavender with coffee. The vanilla flavor acted as an intermediary between the two and brought everything together into one light, sweet drink that, again, I would have gladly ordered once more.

I plan on getting one of the cafe’s celebrated Vietnamese coffees, made with condensed milk, next time I go to Cuppa, along with one of their Belgian waffles. When the weather gets warmer, their frappes and smoothies will be worth trying, as well, along with their lemonade and Italian cream sodas.

Overall, Cuppa is a relaxing cafe with excellent coffee, both for purists looking for perfect espresso drinks and more adventurous types seeking something new to try. Whether you’re looking for a study spot or somewhere to chill out with friends, for a place to read or a place to enjoy doing nothing for a bit, this cafe is certainly ideal.

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