AJ Coffee Company: Dallas, TX

October 29, 2012 · Filed Under Community, DFW, Roasters, TX-Coffee · Comment 

Since my first post here back in January of 2007, I’ve written a lot of posts, tasted a lot of coffee (some good, some not so good), written about shops and roasters across this great state. All it took to get a mention was to send us an email letting us know about you.

I haven’t talked much about my own ventures in coffee, as I never really intended to make this blog about myself, but about the Texas coffee culture as a whole. However, my own ventures are not excluded from the Texas coffee scene, and I figured it’s high time I introduced AJ Coffee Company (http://www.ajcoffeeco.com).

You may have noticed the little AJ Coffee Co ad to the right in our sidebar above the EspressoTrainer.com ad (which is also mine, but that’s for another post).

AJ Coffee Company has long been a dream that became the early stages of a reality in the summer of 2010. The dream was (and still is) bigger than just a tiny wholesale and online retail roasting company, but this is what we were able to do at the time.

It started in Lubbock, TX, where I lived when this website (and my career in specialty coffee) got started, and I moved back to Dallas in the Spring of this year with my family, bringing AJ Coffee Company with us.

My commitment to relationships, coffee ethics, sustainability, and quality is as strong as ever. These are the backbone of this company.

Our roasterie is located in the Lake Highlands neighborhood in the office park at the NW corner of Plano Rd. and Miller. Visits by appointment only. (one day, I hope it can be more)

AJ Coffee Company
10725 Plano Rd., Ste. 400
Dallas, TX 75238

Return from Hiatus, and Group Project Request

Since this web site began, I’ve been trying to compile a complete list of noteworthy roasters and retailers.

The specialty coffee movement in Texas is growing faster than ever, and I’ve been busier than ever at the same time.

Net result, the list is out of date, with no hope of one man single-handedly bringing it up to current status of where we find the specialty coffee industry in our state today.

I’m Asking For Your Help.

The two links below go to the lists of retailers and roasters (respectively).  If you visit, love, own, manage, or work in a specialty coffee retailer or specialty coffee roastery, we want to hear from you.  I am based in Lubbock, moved from Dallas in ’01, and can in no way vouch for everyone, despite my best efforts, in regards to the best spots to visit in all parts of the state.  So, PLEASE, check the lists below.  The easiest way to respond, is to simply leave a comment.  If you are the owner, manager, or roaster, and you’d like to be featured, we can do that too.

Coffee Retailers

Coffee Roasters

Asking for even MORE help
(Love coffe?  Love to write? Live/work in Texas?)

This web site has, for the most part, been written by myself (Jason Haeger).  I have tried to get others on board in the past, but no dice.  People who are willing are generally too busy, and people who have the time are generally unwilling.

This site was built to be a grounds for everyone who matters in the specialty coffee industry in the state of Texas.  I have been accused of this whole project being selfishly motivated in the past. (which is true, if you consider wanting to be able to find a good cup of coffee anywhere in the state to be selfish)  This site has also been listed on blog lists as the blog of a roaster!  (this was long before I ever started roasting on top of the fact that it is by no means that)

The Story

A few years ago, I was solicited by a roaster in Phoenix, AZ.  He said he was recently chosen as the “Official Roaster” of a web site called Arizona Coffee.  He asked me if I would be willing to write something for their site.  I was more than happy to.  I loved to write (still do), had a budding passion for all things coffee, and jumped at the opportunity.  I wrote a few articles, most of which were well received.

The site was a HUGE part of the organization of the first barista jam in Arizona.  I went to the jam in Tucson in 2006, and saw how many people were eager to learn about all things coffee, and how many people were interested in building a community around it.  A lightbulb went off in my head, and I saw the good that could come of a web site like Arizona Coffee.

I thought it would be fantastic to have a Texas Coffee equivalent.. just for our state.  TexasCoffee.com was already claimed by Duncan Coffee, so the domain name became tx-coffee.com, and the title would be Texas Coffee People, inspired after my experience in Tucson: a community is always centered around the people involved.  I wanted to get other contributors involved, like I had been involved at Arizona Coffee.

I know how things are moving here in West Texas, and I have seen Austin go from one admirable shop to so many that I have a hard time keeping track with the coming of Cuvee Coffee, whose home base used to be Houston.  Houston has been on a steady rise in quality with Catalina Coffee, Tuscany Coffee, and the roasting outfit Fusion Beanz.  San Antonio has Brown Coffee Co.  Dallas has a newly growing scene as well, with Pearl Cup, Cultivar, Oddfellows, and a few that I know I am missing.

Long story short, I can’t do it all on my own.  I never wanted to do it all on my own.  This web site isn’t just for me.  This web site is for all of us.  If you are willing to write for the Texas coffee community, please consider becoming a contributor.

Thanks for helping turn Texas Coffee People into what it was always meant to be!

Reminder – Manual Brewing Workshop in 4 days!

October 19, 2010 · Filed Under barista jam, Brewing, Coffee, Community, Events, How-to, Industry, Jam, Machines / Grinders · Comment 

Brown is hosting a workshop focusing on manual brewing by the cup, which continues to find an ever-wider audience. This is a free and open workshop for serious home consumers as well as coffee professionals.

The goals for this gathering are simple:

-To continue growing the coffee community in Texas

-To provide some outlines of popular manual brewing devices

-To help level-set baristas with best practices around manual brewing

-To introduce a game-changing device for the industry that’s soon to be on the market: the Luminaire Bravo-1

Hope you can make it out for a fun evening with great coffee, great coffee people and some of the latest and greatest coffee equipment around.


Manual Brewing Workshop, October 23, 2010 6-9pm. Brown Coffee Co. San Antonio, TX.

Give-It-Away Latte Art Throwdown – Austin, TX

Sunday, September 26 · 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Once Over Coffee Bar
2009 S 1st St
Austin, TX

All proceeds going to Coffee Kids – a totally awesome organization working with coffee farming families to improve their lives and livelihoods.
More information on Coffee Kids can be found at CoffeeKids.org.

Everyone is welcome! Raffle prizes include a BGA membership and an iPod shuffle!

Frosted Java Closes Doors – Frisco, TX

August 30, 2010 · Filed Under Coffee Industry, Community, DFW, Franchise, Industry Insight, Retailers · Comment 

According to this review on Yelp, Frosted Java is no more.

I think it is due to a combination of things. Namely, Location. For one thing, I’m under the impression that the rent for its location was rather high. (it wasn’t on anyone’s way to work in the morning, either) Also, it is possible that it didn’t fill the role of being a destination enough for the trickle of patrons to bring in enough dough.

I understood that they were hoping to franchise. I wish you ex-Frosted Java owners/managers/employees the best of luck.

Latte Art Competition: Saturday Night Smackdown, Feb. 6

Where: FRANK -  407 Colorado, Austin, TX  78701 – (512-494-6916)

When: February 6th, 6pm-10pm

What: “Saturday Night Smackdown was inspired by our dear friends atOctane, those dedicated souls keepin coffee alive in the heart of the dirty south, Atlanta, GA. The idea is similar, to create an event for the surrounding coffee community to gather and share ideas, experiences, knowledge, and a whole lotta love.” – source

The Rules

p.s. – “Instead of the one pour-three judges, winner is picked format SNS will now be done in a more fast paced and thrilling head to head style pour offs. Enter the Single Elimination Bracket System, a tournament style latte art throwdown wherein two baristas pour head to head and one winner is chosen to move to the next bracket unitl we reach the last top two baristas to see who walks away with the top honors.” – source

Who: This one is organized by Tyler Wells(FRANK) and Lorenzo Perkins(Caffe Medici).  the      blog(http://saturdaynightsmackdown.blogspot.com) is run by Lorenzo Perkins.

So, if you want to get down with some latte art love in th ATX, you know what to do!  Be there.

SCRBC List of Competitors

January 8, 2010 · Filed Under Barista Competition, Community, Industry, SCAA, Signature drink · Comment 

Just in case you were curious, here is the list of competitors for this year’s South Central Regional Barista Competition.

Day 1

Eason Tseng – OUT OF REGION  Taiwan

Clancy Rose – Cuvee Coffee – Austin, TX

Kirk Knipmeyer – Coffee Roasters of New Orleans – Kenner, LA

Jenna White – Caffe Medici – Austin, TX

Mark Sobhani – Wildfire Coffee Roasters - San Antonio, TX

Andrew McCaslin – Day Break Coffee – Lubbock, TX

Isaiah Sheese – Double Shot Coffee Co – Tulsa, OK

Drew Cambre – Society of New Orleans Baristas – Metairie, LA

Rey Ortiz – Wildfire Coffee Roasters – San Antonio, TX

Lorenzo Perkins Caffee Medici Austin, TX

Nathanael Long – Sugar Brown’s Coffee – Lubbock, TX

Derek Dyson – Topeca Coffee – Tulsa, OK

Greg Hill – Mojo Coffee House – New Orleans, LA

Day 2

Eason Tseng – OUT OF REGION – Taiwan

Sara Hauschildt – Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – Austin, TX

Anderson Stockdale – Dee’s Coffee, S.N.O.B. – New Orleans, LA

Jonathan Meadows – White Rock Coffee – Dallas, TX

Aaron Blanco – The Brown Coffee Co – San Antonio, TX

John Cunningham – Topeca Coffee – Tulsa, OK

Mike McKim – Cuvee Coffee – Austin, TX

Tyler Wells – FRANK – Austin, TX

Sean Marshall – Fusion Beans – Houston, TX

Steven Wimberley – Caffe Medici – Austin, TX

Garth Bjorklund – Double Shot Coffee – Tulsa, OK

David Buehrer – Tuscany Coffee – Houston, TX

Matthew Long – Sugar Brown’s Coffee – Lubbock, TX

That’s quite a list this year. 24 in-region competitors. Go, SCRBC, Go!

Bon Appetit Names Progress Coffee In Top 10 List: Austin

December 21, 2009 · Filed Under Article, Austin, Community, Publicity, Retailers, Texas Retailers · Comment 

9th item down on the list of Bon Appetite’s list of “Top 10 Best Boutique Coffee Shops” is Progress Coffee in Austin, TX. (go Progress!)

Progress Coffee
Favorite coffee shops don’t just serve terrific joe; they also act as a modern-day meeting place. This Eastside spot with Owl Tree coffee and fresh biscuits is the best hangout in town. 500 San Marcos Street, Studio 105; 512-493-0963; progresscoffee.com


(if you love to cook, this magazine has a lot of great info for a shockingly low subscription price)

The author (Andrew Knowlton) begins his list with a disclaimer of sorts:

A coffeehouse used to be just a few couches, ho-hum muffins, and free Wi-Fi. But a new generation of artisinal roasters and enthusiastic baristas is offering not only a quality cup of joe, but also sophisticated menus and innovative design. End result? Now you’ve got a real reason to hang out.

So take from that what you will, but you’ve got to love seeing Progress on the list! Congrats!

(Congrats to Owl Tree for the mention as well)

Brilliant Idea – Gwilym’s disloyalty card

via – http://www.jimseven.com/2009/12/17/gwilyms-disloyalty-card/

The idea is simple.  Take a tour of local up-and-coming cafes, and get one on the house from the World Barista Champ himself.  It’s a great idea, and it would REALLY help to build local communities and cooperation between “competing” businesses.

This was taken from the Jim Seven blog, and while it is a clever idea, I think Gwilym would be happy if lots of other people started adopting the concept.

This also gives me another idea that I think I’ll save for next week.

The Pearl Cup's Winter Coat Drive – Dallas

December 13, 2009 · Filed Under Community, DFW, Holidays, Seasonal, Texas Coffee People, Texas Retailers · 2 Comments 

I saw this on Facebook, and decided it was worth sharing.

“The Pearl Cup is participating in a winter coat drive to gather clean, gently worn coats for ages kids through adults. Our neighborhood DISD schools have voiced a need and we would like to help.  So, bring by one that you can live without, inform the staff at TPC and get $1.00 off of any drink we prepare.  Thank you in advance for sharing this season.”

Donate a coat and get $1.00 off any drink in the house.

The Pearl Cup

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