Historic downtown Plano gets its java fix with opening of Lemma Coffee
There's a new coffeeshop in Plano from an experienced hand: CalledLemma Coffee, it's the latest expansion of a what started out as a coffee truck and is now a small but thriving local mini-chain.
The shop is in the historic downtown Plano district, in a charming storefront at 1025 E 15th St. that was most recently home to XO Coffee Company.
Lemma was founded by Daniel Blum, a former photographer who first started roasting coffee at home in 2017. He has two other locations: Carrollton, which opened in 2019, and Frisco, which followed in 2020. (He also had a mobile station at the University of Texas at Dallas, but it closed in 2021 due to COVID.)
They cover it all: from roasting beans to brewing and serving coffee and espresso drinks, plus a small, simple food menu that includes:
- Avocado toast, their best-seller
- Trifecta toast: Chocolate-hazelnut spread with bananas, strawberries, and blueberries
- Ham and cheese sandwich: Ham, Swiss cheese, and egg on a bolillo roll
- Raspberry jam grilled cheese: Raspberry jam and cheddar cheese pressed on a hoagie roll
- Peanut butter banana yogurt parfait: Vanilla Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and bananas
They also serve baked goods from acclaimed vendors such as pastries from Montecito Baking Co., bread from La Casita Bakeshop, and bagels from Starship Bagel.
Most of their coffee is single origin, and they make their own syrups in flavors such as vanilla, lavender, chocolate, caramel, citrusgoth, and seasonal flavors such as pumpkin and cardamon.
Beyond the usual cappuccinos, they make some interesting coffee drinks such as their signature, the Lemme latte, an especially rich twist made with sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.
One drink, called the citrusgoth latte, contains charcoal, chocolate, and citrus. Charcoal lattes surged as a trend in 2017, and are a favorite among younger drinkers as a detoxifying drink that is said to aid digestion and eliminate toxins.
Fun holiday drinks include their cranberry haze, with hazelnut cardamom syrup, coffee concentrate, and cranberry bitters, steamed and topped with grated nutmeg; and a maple cream cold brew: Cold brew with shaken cream, maple, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Downtown Plano was a natural fit for Blum, who loves finding unique locations.
"When you look at these old downtowns, it's not just a building - they have a lot of soul to them," he says. "When you walk into this century-old building, it has such a cool historic feeling. I'm fascinated with the history, learning who was in these buildings and the stories that explain why they're there."
In the few weeks since they've been open, they're enjoying the fact that Plano has more street traffic than either of their other two locations.
"In the past, we've gone to locations that were available for a reason," he says. "We had to over-perform at locations where there aren’t just a group of people walking around. We emphasize Southern hospitality, and I think that has allowed us to thrive in locations that might not have had a built-in audience. We put a lot of energy into the experience. DFW loves their chains, and you can drive through and get coffee in a lot of places. But there is more to a business when you walk in and we invest a lot of energy into the experience."