Karmic Grounds is three weeks old, a newcomer on the Frisco coffee scene, located on Ohio Road, just north of 121 and at first blush, it’s very Seattle. The walls and floors are uniformly tiled with sleek black hexagons, the tables and backless stools are blond wood. While it’s quiet enough for working now, the tile walls make me suspect that when it’s busy, this place will get loud. As the pair of girls sitting behind me at a table said with feeling, “This place is legit.”
Insert good/bad karma joke here.
Karmic Grounds is easy to find, but hard to access, despite the glaring “NOW OPEN” banner. But still, to get there, I had to find parking–in the unmarked roundabout at the apartment complex nearby–worry about getting towed–unnecessary–and master the gate on the dog-friendly patio.
Once inside, Karmic Grounds seemingly does it all: coffee, good, tea, wine, beer, and judging by the appearance, does so with elegance that borders on pretentiousness. But that’s just the atmosphere blond wood and tiled walls create. Once I actually started talking to them, the baristas were very friendly and knowledgeable.
The food has clear Indian influences: curries, liberal uses of paneer and tandoori chicken. For example, take their Andaman pizza, a signature dish fresh baked flatbread dough with tiny bites of tandoori-style chicken, local goat cheese, and housemade green curry. Paneer tacos and Masala Taquitos present interesting twists on Tex-Mex.
As for the coffee, some of the equipment is pretty techy. A simple V60 pour-over here requires an automated faucet that keeps the stream of water perfectly balanced. It seems effective, though I miss the elegance of an experienced barista moderating the balance with through their wrist and shoulder. Usually I test a new coffee shop with a cortado, but this time I opt for a latte to go with my Andaman Pizza.
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Both are good. The pizza is unique, and though I expected a touch of spiciness, which I didn’t get, I did sense the subtle presence of chutney, red and sticky, full of cardamom warmth. The latte was lovely, gently handled with tons of foam. Either the coffee bean itself was bright or the shot was a hair under-extracted, but it was pleasantly warm on a rainy day.
But the real draw for me wasn’t coffee–with almond, soy and oat milk substitutions!–or the aromatic, spice-infused food, because I can get a comparable cup of coffee anywhere. It’s the tea that makes Karmic Grounds truly unique in the metroplex.
Karmic Grounds sources their loose-leaf teas from Cultured Cup, and stores them in stainless steel containers. If you’re the type to smell before you order, the baristas will indulge you and let you waft French Blue Earl Grey, Jasmine Pearls, Kukicha and Ayurvedic Calm to your heart’s content before you order.
Too few people treat tea with the attention it needs. It’s nice to see it get some special attention. Karmic Ground’s semi-formal tea service is simple and elegant, in glass so that you can watch its color ripen. Plus, if you plan to stick around, hot water refills are free and the leaves are rich enough for multiple steepings.
I opt for French Blue Earl Gray, studded with royal blue petals. While Ayurvedic Calm smells the way flannel pajamas fresh from the dryer feel, and the Jasmine Pearls are overwhelmingly floral. But the French Blue Earl Gray is rich and full-bodied, hinting at lavender. When it’s oversteeped, Earl Gray can become crippled with bergamot. But the baristas at Karmic Grounds kept the leaves submerged for the exact right amount of time; it’s bold, without ever falling into bitterness. The barista told me it might ruin me for other Earl Grays. It’s a risk I’m willing to take.
The menu contains other interesting things: smoothies, avocado mousse and chia bowls with edible flowers. Karmic Grounds is the first of its kind, with a personality all its own. It isn’t for everyone; picky eaters might have a hard time with the boldly fusion menu. But if you like masala in your taquitos, excellent tea and good karma, then get thee to Karmic Grounds.
- Mon – Thurs: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Fri – Sat: 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.
- Sun: 8 a.m. –10 p.m.
Where: 3033 Ohio Dr. Ste. 1000, Frisco
More: 469.912.0660 | karmicgrounds.com