It never ceases to amaze me the ways in which I get connected to various coffee roasters. You may recall that back in June I took a trip down to Texas and had the chance to visit Forth Worth for part of a day. I didn’t have a lot of time to visit all of the amazing coffee shops and roasters that city has to offer due to my short time there, and I knew that it was a city I would love to return to one day to try more.
Fast forward a few months later and I’m chatting with a follower of my account named Emily and soon find out she is the head roaster of Buon Giorno Coffee Roasters. They were one of the places I had hoped to visit but couldn’t while I was in Fort Worth, Texas.
In the specialty coffee community the position of head-roaster is still one dominated by men. But there are trail blazers that are doing an incredible job and whose passion for specialty coffee and especially roasting is noteworthy–Emily is such an individual. And it’s for those reasons (and because I enjoyed the coffee that I did end up getting from them) that I am thrilled to have Buon Giorno Coffee Roasters as our February “Coffee Roaster of the Month.”
Like I said I really enjoyed the coffee that I had from Buon Giorno. I tried two of their Ethiopian roasts–their Misty Valley Yirgacheffe, and their Limmu-Kossa Gesha. Their tag line says “taste of Italy”, and certainly these roasts are slightly more developed in their roast-profile than perhaps what I would typically select, but these coffees surprised me. They have found a way to really still showcase the fruity-floral notes and nuances that you would come to expect from Ethiopian coffee, yet still providing a coffee that is appealing to many people’s preference-points. I shared this coffee with many friends at a tasting event recently and they loved it.
So I reached out to Emily and asked her some questions to better share her story and the story of Buon Giorno. Here’s what she said:
Q: So where are you from? How did you end up in Fort Worth?
[EMILY] I’m originally from Aledo, TX, but I’ve lived in Fort Worth for most of my life. I truly believe Fort Worth is one of the greatest cities in the world.
Q: So what’s your backstory in specialty coffee? How did you end up in this industry?
[EMILY] I started at Buon Giorno in 2016, which was my first job in the specialty coffee industry. I had worked at Starbucks previously, but I left not knowing anything about coffee. I worked my way up to a shift lead/barista, then I became a roaster exactly one year after I started working there. I was a full-time music major so I only roasted coffee one day a week, but even doing that for 2 years made me realize that this is what I wanted to do with my life.
So after graduation from college in May 2019, I began working at Buon Giorno full-time. That August, I was promoted to Head Roaster and have been loving every minute of it. I have the pleasure of roasting all of our coffee on a 15-Kilo Giesen Roaster.
Q: So who were some of your early influences in specialty coffee?
[EMILY] My first influence is my boss/owner of Buon Giorno, David Clarke. He has taught me so much about coffee and how to run the roasting side of it efficiently. Another influencer of mine currently is Mark Michaelson from Onyx Coffee Lab in Rogers, AR. I had the pleasure of meeting him last September, and just being in their new HQ and speaking with him showed me what a successful coffee shop (good coffee, good people, amazing culture, etc.) looks like.
Q: Tell us a little bit more about the history of Buon Giorno! How did it all begin?
[DAVID (owner of BG)] “I was 18, hitch-hiking from the Netherlands down to Rome with my friend Chris. When we arrived in Italy, I tasted that rich dark nectar they call Espresso and I was hooked! I had never tasted coffee quite like this– it would stay with me for the rest of my life. This eventually led to the creation of Buon Giorno Coffee when in 2006 my wife, Leyna, and I opened the doors of our original Grapevine coffeehouse. With nearly five years of roasting training and experience behind me, I sought to apply my lifelong passion to our own micro-batch roasted coffee.
Nearly seven years later, we have successfully opened locations in Downtown Fort Worth and Southlake, and are always expanding our roasting venture with wholesale distributions. Because our culture and ethos have been so influenced by the history of European coffee houses, we specialize in offering two classic forms of coffee; Espresso and the Cafetière (or French Press). For a quick on-the-go drink we also brew our coffees using a slow drip method and always have at 2 choices: one of our daily blends or a different single origin every day.”
Buon Giorno Coffee is significantly influenced by the long tradition of coffee houses in Europe. One of our biggest concerns in this age of social networking and fast paced technology driven lifestyles is the danger of losing our human connection. Coffee was the original catalyst over hundreds of years in the past for creating a place for people to meet, connect, and converse face to face. In the ‘old days’ politics, religion and philosophy were pillars of the coffee culture and an environment of creative thought was often fostered without effort simply in ‘the place where we meet’.
Q: So why the name Buon Giorno?
[DAVID] Buon Giorno is Italian for “good morning or good day”. Our coffee house experience is based heavily on the Italian daily coffee drinking culture based around connection with fellow human beings and the Italian espresso style of coffee.
Q: When did you first cafe open, how many do you have in total?
[EMILY] We have three cafes in total. Our Grapevine location is our first and opened in 2006, followed by our Forth Worth location in 2012, and our Southlake location in 2017! We recently moved locations in Ft. Worth and our Grand Opening was just this past week. We are so excited about this new cafe and from what we’re hearing from our customers, they are too!
Q: In your opinion, what is the specialty coffee community like in Forth Worth? What do you love?
[EMILY] What I love is that there are plenty of latte art throw downs hosted by several local shops. We have also had the opportunity to do several collaborations with local breweries that have used our coffees for stouts (such as Hop&Sting in Grapevine, and Panther Island Brewing in Fort Worth).
We are hoping to do more collaborations with more breweries and other companies in the future. Overall, the coffee culture in Fort Worth is really growing & thriving. A lot of new shops are opening up, and many baristas from other shops are willing to visit and help support other coffee shops which is encouraging. It doesn’t feel like a competition with everyone because each shop in Fort Worth has its own vision and aesthetic.
Q: So speaking of coffee what are you drinking/enjoying right now?
[DAVID] “I really enjoy a variety of different coffees starting with a pour over/drip of one of our single origins – at this point our Mexican Oaxaca. On my regular visits to our coffee shops I usually partake of a cappuccino or macchiato or sometimes just a straight shot of espresso.”
[EMILY] I normally enjoy any pour over black coffee; from our shop I’ve been enjoying our Mexican Oaxaca and our Ethiopian Limmu-Kossa Gesha. Other than that I enjoy an oat milk cappuccino, sometimes with honey and cinnamon.
Tell the readers of commonly coffee about some of your recent accomplishments. Or any upcoming announcements.
- Sometime this year I [Emily] will be traveling to Boot Coffee School in California to obtain my Q-Grade Roasting License which is so exciting!
- A few of our coffees have received great ratings from Roast Ratings, but our Misty Valley single origin received 5 stars!
- We have been featured on a few local blogs and brew reviews recently so that’s been exciting!
- Our Downtown Fort Worth location has moved to a much bigger space with more parking to serve more of our community!
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
[DAVID] “Coffee has always been more about creating the flavour profile that went with the culture rather than a particular style of roasting. Roasting coffee is like cooking, the means to create flavour and although a certain technical ability and an understanding of roast profiling is required – in the end it is the means to a much more important end – the flavour of good espresso and coffee.”
[EMILY] There is so much more to coffee than just drinking it. Roasting coffee is truly an art and a science. It is a means of creativity and discovering endless possibilities with coffee to bring out different flavours and body.
Coffee and community really go hand in hand; there is a magic it possesses by bringing a diverse group of people together. I have met some of my best friends through coffee (even through social media), and it’s a community that keeps growing.
Find their beans:
If you’re looking to get your hands on some beans then definitely check out their web-shop for what they’re currently roasting!
Thank you so much to Emily & David for sharing with us more about Buon Giorno Coffee Roasters and for being a key part in the coffee culture in Dallas-Forth Worth! Keep up the great work!