Whether you’re a coffee lover or a new caffeine drinker after this midterm season, there is no question that Tom and Juanice Christian, owners of JavaGenesis Coffee Roasting, will have a beverage you’ll enjoy sipping. 

A vendor at the Emory University Farmers Market, JavaGenesis offers a wide array of gourmet roasts that students won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Tom and Juanice Christian decided to quit their corporate jobs and start their own coffee company. Photo courtesy of author.

The Christians have been selling freshly brewed coffee and coffee bean bags at the Emory Farmers Market since spring 2020. Their small business has quickly become an Emory staple every Tuesday morning. 

Born out of a decades-long love of home roasting, the Christians decided to quit their corporate jobs a decade 10 years ago and start their own roastery, which they own and operate together. Their collective business acumen has not been forgotten, however, as they describe some of the logistics that allow them to get their premium beans. 

Java focuses on bringing quality coffee straight from importers to give a rich taste to a black cup of coffee. Photo courtesy of author.

“As a hobby roaster, we were roasting about a quarter of a pound per batch that we’d give to friends,” Juanice Christian said. “But it really isn’t effective from a labor standpoint to do home roasting on a roaster that can only handle that small of a batch, so we had to upgrade.”

The Christians get their beans directly from importers in all of the major growing regions — Asia, Africa, South and Central America — which gives them full control over the quality and flavor notes that they seek. 

Coffee is graded on a 100 point scale for quality. The bulk of coffee that people buy at shops or in grocery stores is below 60, or “commodity grade.” The coffee that JavaGenesis serves uses beans graded 84 or higher, which puts it in the top 3% to 5% of beans around the world. 

As the ever-evolving taste buds of the American coffee drinker develop, the Christians are ready to fuel their customers with the best quality products. 

“Thirty years ago, things were pretty industrialized and homogenized,” Tom Christian said. “You kind of got what was presented to you at the grocery store, be that beer or coffee, but now times have changed. What we discovered when I first started roasting was that people had never had fresh coffee. When it’s freshly roasted, you get all of these different flavor notes.”

The Java Genesis menu with its best-selling cup of black hot coffee. Photo courtesy of author.

 This realization launched the Christians’ business, and their tagline, “Discover the Fresh Roast Difference!” points to their aim to spread their love of pure and simple coffee to the public.

“We want people to understand that coffee doesn’t have to taste like something that you have to doctor up with a bunch of cream, sugar or flavors to cover up that bad taste,” Tom Christian said. “It can actually be good on its own.”

Under their tent, they have a variety of sweeteners that they use to give students pumps of chocolate or caramel, but perhaps their most flavorful item on the menu is a cup of black coffee. 

JavaGenesis has only been at the University for a little over a year now, but it has already found its way into the hearts and minds of many students. 

“We’ve had people tell us lately that they look forward to us being here on Tuesdays [and] that it’s the best coffee on campus,” Juanice Christian said. “That is why we do what we do.”

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