I was recently introduced to this month’s Coffee Roaster of the Month, which hails from Waco, Texas. Apex Coffee Roasters was established in 2014, and is playing a key part in contributing to the resurgence of this city located along the I-35 corridor, half-way between Dallas & San Antonio.
Ask anyone about Waco, and what likely pops into their mind is the Waco Siege back in 1993. Or maybe you and/or your significant other are fans of Chip & Joanna Gaines and their hit show Fixer Upper. And if that’s the case, then when you hear Waco, your mind likely goes right to their Magnolia Market which has quickly become THE tourist hot-spot drawing thousands of visitors a day!
But perhaps what is less known about Waco, is their emerging coffee culture. And Apex is doing some significant work to showcasing specialty coffee to this city and beyond. Located about 1.5hrs away from Austin–which is arguably the coffee epicentre of Texas, I think that Waco is beginning to see the drive & passion of the coffee-culture of Austin creep into its city limits. And that’s what attracted me to Apex, and why I wanted to shine some light on them this month. The specialty coffee scene is flooded with great roasters, but when a company like Apex comes along, and begins to really do something special in their community and for their community it’s something worth mentioning.
So who is Apex? Apex is the second project from owner Brett Jameson. With Cody Fergusson and Michael Suttle by his side, Brett opened Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits in 2012 in Waco, TX. Roasting was always on our radar Cody said, and we got the process started in 2014, with first product hitting shelves in 2015.
Apex’s head-roaster is Cody Fergusson along with Ryan Ross. We connected a number of months back through social media, and while I love getting to know other passionate people in coffee through digital means, I am equally as excited that I’ll be taking a trip down to Texas this coming June with a planned stop in Waco to connect with these guys in person! And you can be certain that I’ll be sharing more about that upcoming trip on this blog.
Apex does all of their roasting on a custom painted Diedrich IR-12 and also uses a double-barrel US Roaster Corp sample roaster. The Apex roastery and cupping lab are housed within the same building located at 324 S. 6th Street in Waco. Apex has worked hard to establish strategic partnerships with a number of cafes in Waco and other surrounding communities, ensuring that their presence continues to grow regionally.
They have a very well laid out web-shop where you can order from their current selection of beans. One thing that I really appreciate is when roasters offer a sample-pack. Apex does four different coffees in 85g (3oz) bag portions. It’s a great way to showcase a wider selection of coffees and to give you the chance to then narrow down to one or two favourites the next time you order.
I was able to get my hands on a couple of bags of their coffee and it’s been a delight to brew. Their Honduras-Mata De Platano was a lively cup with bright notes of green apple, raisin-like sweetness, and a hint of cocao. It is a washed coffee grown at 1650-1750 masl. It shined nicely when I brewed it with my Chemex for a few friends.
The second coffee was their Kenya-Windrush. This dry ferment/washed processed coffee grown at 1730 masl, packed a punch with some tropical notes of mango, pineapple and pear-like sweetness. A really juicy coffee that you come to expect from Kenya.
I had the chance to ask Cody what some of their recent accomplishments were: “I have got the change to travel to origin in Costa Rica which is an amazing thing for any coffee lover. I teach a variety of coffee related material with the local college and university, as well as a yearly event with Girl Scouts of America. Moving forward I hope to get involved in more coffee competition.”
It’s hard not to notice the brilliant orange and blue colour scheme on their bags & Diedrich roaster. I asked Cody what played into that branding decision: “Cars and Formula 1 racing played a lot in our branding. The name Apex, is taken from the apex of a curve on the track and our blue and orange colours are modelled from the Gulf Oil Ford GT.”
Lastly, I asked Cody what coffee he’s been enjoying recently: “Having access to a lot of our
own coffee I do drink a lot of it…. I have really been loving our Rusiga-Rwanda. It’s delightfully crisp and clean and juicy.”
The tagline featured on the back of every one of Apex’s bags says “The distinct qualities of specialty coffee like at the apex of acidity, body, and sweetness. We roast to showcase the farmer’s craft and reveal coffee’s unique natural flavor”
I’m super glad to have had the chance to connect with these guys, and to be able to feature them on this blog. To learn more see below.
324 S. 6th Street, Waco, TX (Roastery)
508 Austin Ave., Waco, TX (Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits – retail & brewed coffee)
Well there you go! Thanks for reading, and a huge congrats to Apex for bringing coffee love to the masses!