Column: Karmic Grounds Review
About Karmic Grounds:
This Frisco based franchise is known for its craft coffee and immersive ambiance. They take pride in their “true coffee” experience and advanced coffee making equipment. The shop’s brewing methods allow them to expertly pursue their passion for coffee brewing.
Karmic Grounds creates a variety of brews and blends from the grounds of Onyx flavored coffee. These grounds are acquired from the Onyx Coffee Lab located in Arkansas, where they pack and ship their original flavor profiles to other cafes. Karmic Grounds sells these exclusive coffee beans along with merchandise both in-store and online. The coffee and tea studio also has an app, Karmic Grounds Loyalty, on which you can order beforehand and earn points toward a free drink.
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When entering the shop, you are greeted with a modern and calm ambiance. With the quiet whistling noises from behind the bar and the smell of various herbs saturating the air, this is a place where you can relax for hours while sipping on a drink. Karmic Grounds has a modern aesthetic furnished with simple black-and-white furniture. The combination of wooden accents with LED string lights covering the ceiling establishes a cozy atmosphere. The plethora of windows helps maximize the amount of natural light and vibrancy even on a rainy day.
At noon, the cafe transforms into a bar where they offer a curated selection of wine and distinct craft beers. Along with the cafe drinks and alcoholic beverages, the shop also includes gluten free and vegan treats and teas on the menu. There is a variety of seating– from tables and window-side benches for work and sofas to chat– something for everyone. For those needing a quiet place to attend a meeting, Karmic Grounds also provides a silent room to work in seclusion.
In addition to the spacious indoor seating, they offer a change of scenery on the outdoor patio. The wooden pergola attached to the front of the store creates a cute setting perfect for spring and summer seasons. The combination of accent lights and light-up signs compliments the inside interior nicely and makes for cute pictures. In spite of being roadside, the patio is not excessively loud. Although the area is not as neatly maintained as we would like, it is pet friendly and is a great place to relax with friends.
As we take time off from schoolwork, we want to share our opinions on some of this year’s Karmic Grounds seasonal and original drinks.
(Hot) Maple Brown Sugar Latte:
One of the three seasonal drinks we tried and our personal favorite was the Maple Brown Sugar Latte. Its strong, long-lasting flavor was not the only reason why we liked it so much. The drink had the exact smell of pancakes with maple syrup drizzled on top. It is so subtle and yet so perfect for fall. Standing with a good combination of both sweet and strong, this is the type of coffee that will be worth your while.
Our Rating: 9/10
(Hot) Salted Toffee Nut Mocha:
This is the type of mocha that comes to mind when envisioning walking down the busy streets of New York City. Sweet and salty flavors blended with a creamy texture make the Salted Toffee Nut Mocha an enriching and memorable drink. It leaves a powerful aftertaste that gets better and better with every sip.
Our rating: 7/10
(Iced) Pistachio Latte:
The third and final seasonal coffee we tried was the Pistachio Latte. We were excited to try this drink, however, it did not fulfill our expectations. The flavor is only evident in the aftertaste, and the consistency is more liquidy than creamy. Although there was a hint of turmeric in the beverage, it was not as sweet and has a salted caramelized nuance to it. The taste gets blander with every sip, in our opinion.
Our Rating: 5/10
(Hot) Regular Latte:
The combination of two shots of espresso and steamed whole milk makes for a good traditional latte. The drink was a bit milky causing the espresso flavor to get lost. Adding an extra espresso shot or additional flavor would make the drink more creamy and powerful. Despite the light roast, the regular latte is good if you want a mild, simple coffee.
Our rating: 7/10
(Iced) Lavender Iced Mocha:
The Mason jar containing the Lavender Iced Mocha has chocolate drizzle on the side of the cup. Although we were hesitant to try the beverage because of the strange combination, it was a refreshing, creamy drink. There isn’t much caffeine in it, so the sweetness of the mocha overpowers the extra lavender flavor. In spite of its name, this coffee tastes more like chocolate milk with a hint of espresso.
Our Rating: 7.5/10
Onyx Delight Cortado:
The Onyx Delight Cortado contains 2 ounces of espresso combined with two ounces of steamed milk. Due to its thick, strong consistency, the mixture feels more like a shot than a drink. The bitter aftertaste overpowers the onyx flavor, making it not as distinct or delectable. This burst of energy would be great if you need more strength to start or get through your day.
Our Rating: 4/10
During our time at the shop, there was only one barista working. Early in the morning, many customers formed a line that almost extended outside the shop. The wait time was around 20 minutes.
Regarding their food menu, they offer a wide selection of pastries including flavored croissants, buns, muffins and more. The shop also sells a selection of bagels and bagel sandwiches, along with avocado toast and a variety of flatbreads. However, we were unable to purchase a majority of these items save the pastries during our visit as the one employee working did not know how to work some of the machines.
They serve their lattes in dainty Mason jars and tea cups, making for aesthetic drinks. If you so choose to customize your drink, you are able to select from an endless selection of additional flavors. Depending on your choice of drink, the barista makes an intricate, small design on the top with foam.
You can drink the coffee right away and do not have to wait for it to cool down. As you take sips of your drink, the temperature may be too cold if you have some work to occupy you during your visit.
In general, we were disappointed with the majority of the coffees we tried, especially considering their higher price range. The “seasonal” drinks missed the mark for us, as they fell flat to incorporate the holiday spirit and could apply to any other season. For being holiday coffees, the drinks weren’t decorative or festive in appearance. However, we were impressed with their detail to aesthetic and ambience. Thus, if you are looking for a calm place to work with a decent cup of coffee, choose Karmic Grounds.