The coffee scene in Texas right now is pretty remarkable: new roaster/retailer destinations like Oak Cliff Coffee in Dallas; established brands pushing quality wholesale, like Cuvee Coffee, roasting just outside Austin; exciting new developments like Tweed Coffee, the roasting arm of Austin's excellent Houndstooth multiroaster cafe; top quality Texas Panhandle microroasting by Evocation Coffee in Amarillo; and the varied waves of deliciousness emanating from Blacksmith in Houston. This is, of course, just a partial list.
The team at Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits want the city of Waco to be a part of that conversation. Much more than just a stop off I-35 for a visit to the Dr. Pepper Museum, Waco is uniquely situated equidistant to the bustling metropoli of Dallas and Austin. The buildings are old and gorgeous; Baylor University is right there in town; and the city is pretty much primed for a boom in cool, brought on by proximity, access to top quality products from around the state and country, and comparatively cheap rents.
For many folks around the world, Waco is intrinsically tied to the horrific events that occurred at the Branch Davidian compound in 1993 (actually located outside of town, in nearby Elk, Texas). This tragedy does not reflect the spirit and culture of modern Waco. Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits is far more indicative of a city, and state, whose culture and abundance of quality outstrip any associated negative stereotypes. Texas is awesome, is what we're trying to say, and Waco is part of that.
To that end, Dichotomy has got a bevy of cool gear lined up, including a Modbar espresso system, and they're showing off Waco by setting their cafe in a gorgeous 100 year old historic downtown building. It won't be long before every little town in Texas – from Nacogdoches to Pecos – has a quality coffee operation up and running. In the meantime, let's find out more about Dicohotomy Coffee and Spirits, in Waco, Texas.
As told to Sprudge.com by Brett Jameson.
Can you tell us a bit about your new space?
Nestled in the heart of downtown Waco, the building has been in existence at least since the turn of the 20th century. The space had been unoccupied for quite a few years before we chose to make it the home of Dichotomy Coffee and Spirits. We've had the pleasure of renovating the interior and exterior facade to provide the feel of a modern business while preserving the essence of its historic presence within the city. Located only a block away from Waco's iconic ALICO building and historic courthouse, both can be easily viewed from atop our building on downtown Waco's first recreational rooftop deck. Some of the major renovations we have done include dropping the front facade of the building back 15ft to create a patio space as well as running electrical service to the building (previously electrical had been run from another building). The bar, composed of maple wood with granite counter tops, will house both our coffee and spirits sides of the business. A light colored granite on the left and darker on the right, create the dividing line between the coffee and spirits sides of the bar. Live music stages with be built both in the back of the interior space as well as on the rooftop.
What's your approach to serving coffee?
In a market that is largely lacking exposure to specialty coffee, our goal is to educate our community about exactly what specialty coffee is and what it stands for, from seed to cup. Our goal is to provide the highest quality beverage in an environment that is welcoming to everyone from those knowledgable in the coffee industry to the person off of the street who is experiencing specialty coffee for the first time. We will offer regular cuppings, brew at home classes, TNTs, and guest seminars from our roasters. We have already sent two of our baristas to barista camp to help further our collective knowledge base, & plan on continuing to learn as much as we can about coffee and passing that knowledge on to our customers.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
With Waco market's lack of exposure to specialty coffee, we wanted to introduce our customers to a wide variety of coffees and companies. We currently hold relationships with 11 specialty roasters and will continue to provide a variety of coffees as we develop a better understanding of the market in our town. We are proud that our cafe will be home of one of the South's first Modbar coffee systems. With the Modbar's eye catching design and unique programming features it's definitely something we are excited about. Our spirit's side will house a great selection of craft liquors from around the world which we will use in our unique specialty cocktails; we also look forward to introducing these craft liquors to the Waco community and educating others on what it takes to create a great craft cocktail.
What's your target opening month? Where exactly will the cafe be located?
Can't get enough Build-Outs of Summer? Revisit our sprawling smorgasbord of under construction content in this handy archive.