Coffee roasters a big hit in the Big Bend

Fort Davis residents and home grown artisan coffee sellers Krysta Johns and husband Robert delight in sharing their unique, specialty blend coffee at the Alpine Farmers Market on May 2. 

Coffee has always given people a way to slow down and enjoy life. Specialty coffee is now delighting enthusiasts by captivating their sense of wonder - and people do not have to venture far to buy artisan coffee.

Fort Davis resident and food connoisseur Krysta Johns, along with husband Robert, are eager to share the rich rewards of specialty coffee with the launch of their new small-batch artisan coffee business, Texas Coffee Roasters.

Coffee roasting started as a hobby and a learning experience, as they have shared the fruits of their labors with family and friends. The roasting process is meticulous and precise, and there is so much more to roasting coffee than just dumping beans into a machine and waiting.

Krysta explained, “The temperature has to be correct at the right time, and the coffee gods need to be on your side. While there are many computerized gadgets for roasting the same roast every time, we vary our roasts from light, medium, medium dark, dark, and espresso, and Robert carefully crafts each one.”

Krysta and Robert’s roasting game was forever changed when they found a vintage 1960s Otto Swadlo roaster, made in Vienna, Austria, one day during a road trip to Marathon. Krysta and Robert only choose the highest quality beans from around the world, and only use specialty, high-grade green coffees, carefully selected and expertly roasted.

So far, the Johns have roasted and shared coffee from importers that have close relationships with growers in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, India, Kenya, Nicaragua, Peru, Panama, and Rwanda. More will also be added in the future. They recently introduced a rich and smooth decaf from Chiapas, Mexico, and it has become Robert’s afternoon beverage of choice.

Texas Coffee Roasters has made its presence known at the Alpine Farmers Market, where it provides its unique blends of specialty coffee. The Johns are happy to share the delightful artwork and packaging with customers, whether it’s Mexican calendar art photos, Krysta’s original local photography scenes from around the Tri-County, or artwork from their home.

Krysta is elated to see the enthusiasm that Texas Coffee Roasters has generated, as well as the new friends they have made.

“Our second week at Alpine Farmers Market, we had repeat customers,” said Krysta. “One man claimed at his first purchase, ‘I normally only drink Folgers.’ The next week, he said, ‘I’ll never drink Folgers again - I need two bags of what I got last week!’”

Texas Coffee Roasters maintains Facebook and Instagram pages, and the storefront and roastery in downtown Fort Davis are located at 211 North State Street, also known as the Sleeping Lion property. Krysta and Robert have pop up sales there every Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

“We’re so grateful that the response has been so positive. At the Alpine Farmers Market, quite a few people give me the, ‘Where do I know you from?’ look, and when I tell them I write the food column in the Avalanche, they always say they recognized me. It’s wonderful to be able to connect with readers when they are out at the market, and to get to visit with them in person,” said Krysta.

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