January 06, 2017 Posted by

The Humans Behind Metric Coffee

A small crew is perched on stools around a scrubbed wooden table constructed of old coffee palates. A Chemex is being emptied into somebody’s cup, and the topic of conversations is turtleneck sweaters. This is about two weeks before the big opening. Chit chat and updates ensue. People gather their computers, wash their cups, and reach a conclusion about turtlenecks. The verdict: For ‘em.  Here are some other findings I collected that week:


“For me, it just has to be a stunning cup.”

That was Metric’s QC guy and sourcing manager, José, after I asked him the what’s-your-astrological-sign equivalent of the coffee world: “So like, what is your favorite coffee profile?” In an industry where carving out and voicing an opinion is valued (even if combated), I was struck by this incredibly balanced perspective. 


Days pass by. People pass by. This particular morning Xavier, co-owner and –founder is experiencing what I’ve come to know as a rare moment of not being pulled in a thousand different directions at once. Another set of passers-by stops by to see if we’re open for business yet, and he recognizes them and invites them inside. The group chats warmly while Xavier makes them a complimentary brew, pouring and talking coffee. “They’re our neighbors,” Xavier explains to me, introducing us to one another. 


As it stands, the way coffee knowledge is gathered and dispensed is rather enigmatic. Truly understanding what goes into things like latte art or palate development takes exposure and practice, and that’s the part that can be difficult to gain access to.

“Whenever you hit a wall, we’ll help you. We’ll teach you.”

That’s coming from Darko, co-owner and –founder of Metric, talking about the workshops Metric offers, including tours, tastings, cuppings, introductions to latte art and even roasting. The facility features a rebuilt German Probat roaster from the 1960s (which has its own story many people already know about), and also happens to feature people who are passionate about spending time with other humans who want to up their coffee game. This is all too rare in the coffee industry, and a central focus of Metric West Fulton.


That’s Metric in a nutshell: Stunning coffee, the easy comfort of pleasant neighbors, and the excitement of passing on and developing what we know.

In the next blog post, I’ll explore and underscore the reason we are utilizing this blog-space: to highlight the magnificent people who make coffee possible, who push boundaries, who start conversations, and who work incredibly hard to contribute to the coffee industry. And to keep talking, as humans do, about a drink we love very much.

In the meantime, I’ll be one of your neighbors over at Metric’s cafe at 2021 West Fulton, and I hope to see you soon.