Rising Star Roaster Xavier Alexander of Metric Coffee Co. - Biography

Chicago, IL

May 2015

Starbucks baristas aren’t always in it for the coffee. Xavier Alexander is the exception, making a dedicated 14-year climb from pulling fully automated shots into paper cups , to roasting his own beans as co-founder of Chicago’s Metric Coffee Co.

A self-identified coffeephile, Alexander found his calling with a position in roasting and quality control at Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee. Alexander was ambitious, but as he continued working, he realized the better wisdom in coffee came from admitting—and exploring—everything he had yet to learn about the beans.

Intelligentsia wasn’t just a serious training ground, it’s where Alexander met his future business partner Darko Arandjelovic, owner of Caffe Streets. Besides a mutual respect for an integrity-driven approach to coffee, Alexander and Arandjelovic had a similar itch to start something entirely their own. Two years after the concept for Metric was born, and one year after opening, they’re roasting their own beans with a German cast iron drum roaster. And while Alexander is still driven by a measured, meticulous perfection—which the name Metric implies—he now roasts with an intuition that can only be earned from more than a decade of studied attention to coffee. In 2015, Alexander earned a StarChefs Rising Star Artisan Award for his work at Metric.