August 12, 2019 5 min read

Featured Roaster - August 2019 

We are beyond proud to unveil that our featured roaster for August 2019 is Copa Vida, a top-notch coffee shop that prides itself on being approachable and welcoming, authentic and transparent, and an engaged member of the local and global community. We fell in love with this coffee shop as soon as we set foot in their beautiful and spacious cafe in Pasadena. From the atmosphere to the quality of the coffee, this shop more than checks all the boxes. 

The first thing we noticed was the friendliness and welcoming attitude of the barista who took our order. Rather than treating our exchange as a mere transaction, she enthusiastically helped us find the coffee that best fit our tastes. As I’m a purist who enjoys single-origin pour over and loves discovering unique coffee, she suggested I try the Nyeri Peaberry. It was one of the best pour overs I’ve had in all of Los Angeles. My girlfriend, who loves to customize every drink she gets, was very pleased with her vanilla, oat-milk latte! While some high-end coffee shops have an heir of snobbishness and are not welcoming of people who are not purists, Copa Vida willingly designs their drinks to meet your taste preferences.

Copa Vida pursues excellence in each step of making great coffee, from sourcing the beans to brewing them. They take great pride in sourcing extraordinary coffees from some of the best farms around the world, carefully roast each coffee to bring out the unique characteristics of that bean, and have a team of award winning baristas that brew the coffee perfectly for each customer.

 

The “Go, Enjoy, Experience” approach to their coffee assortment is one of the aspects that really differentiates Copa Vida from other coffee shops and ensures that they truly have a coffee for any customer - from the most particular purist to the lover of oat-milk lattes with agave sweetener. Their “Go, Enjoy, Experience” lineup showcases their coffees by their characteristics, so you can systematically explore and be delighted by each coffee in a category that meets your taste profile. It allows a customer to experience different styles of coffee, from the more traditional and classic “Go” coffees, to the fruitier “Enjoy” coffees, to the rare and next-level “Experience” coffees. This month, our members received a coffee from each of the categories! Here’s the inside information that the Copa Vida team shared with us about each of the coffee’s we sent out in our August coffee club box:

Go – Coffees in this category are classic, approachable, easy

Coffee: Santa Rosa

Region: Cajamarca, Peru

Taste Profile: Butter, Tangerine, Almonds

Variety: Typica, Caturra, Bourbon, Catimor

Process: Fully Washed

Altitude: 1800M

"A recent focus on quality in the Cajamarca region in Peru is very exciting for us, and is well displayed in the coffee from the Santa Rosa district. This lot was produced by various farmers in the village of Shumbana, an area being vitalized by new opportunities in the coffee buying market. We think you’ll find that the cup profile is quite different from other areas in Peru, with lower acidity but lots of sweetness and creamy, milky flavors."

Enjoy – Coffees in this category are lively, fruity, floral

Coffee: Mokamba Natural

Region: Kambata, Ethiopia

Taste Profile: Boysenberry, Dark Chocolate, Hibiscus

Variety: Heirloom Cultivars

Process: Fully Washed Process

Altitude: 1500-1800 MASL

"Mokamba is actually three Arabica heirloom coffees from three different regions in Ethiopia, blended together to make a delicious natural-process coffee. The lion’s share of the blend comes from the Kambata region, with cherries from Sidamo and Wolyata supplementing the profile to create hints of boysenberry, hibiscus, and dark chocolate. Mokamba’s final gift is the creamy body created by the careful selection of these green coffees."

Experience – Coffees in this category are refined, exquisite, next-level

Coffee: Nyeri Peaberry

Region: Othaya, Kenya

Taste Profile: Cranberry, Orange Blossom, Maple Syrup

Variety: SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, Batian

Process: Fully Washed

Altitude: 1700-1890M

"Nyeri Peaberry is sourced from the Othaya Farmers Co-operative Society Limited (FCS) in Othaya Town, a city that is 150km north of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Othaya is sandwiched between Mt. Kenya and the Aberdare Ranges at an altitude of 1828 meters above sea level which is where the world-famous Arabica coffee is grown. This peaberry coffee Is small and dense which means it packs a ton of bright and floral flavors. The Othaya FCS was born in 1956 with a membership of 250 farmers. Today, it was more than 14,000 members and 19 wet mills. They are also involved with their community by focusing on children’s outreach, aiding the needy, and building foot bridges."

Our espresso of the month members were able to enjoy an incredible offering from Copa Vida’s “Go” collection.

Coffee: Grace - Espresso

Taste Profile: Rich, Sweet, Dynamic

"Grace abounds in our coffee. First, it is by Grace that these amazing coffees have been discovered. It takes just the right location, weather and genetic makeup for this coffee to have a chance at being amazing. Then, it is with Grace that this coffee is made enjoyable. For it takes much practice, skill, humility and hard work for the farmers, processors and roasters to reveal and emphasize the inherent beauty of this coffee. And finally, it is from your Grace that you enjoy this coffee. There is no such thing as a perfect cup of coffee. For most of us, it is the search rather than the destination that we enjoy. So in experiencing our “work in progress”, we’d like you to extend Grace."

Regardless of which category the coffee you taste falls into, it has been picked, washed, sorted, pulped, dried, bagged, auctioned, shipped, roasted, packaged, delivered, measured, brewed then served. Copa Vida works to ensure quality at each step of the process, even though their primary responsibility is the last step of the journey from the farm to your cup. They use scientific accuracy to optimize the flavor of your coffee and infuse their baristas artistic creativity into the beverage’s presentation. If you somehow still don’t like it, they are committed to working with you to fix it. 

Even though our main focus resides on their coffee, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention their incredible selection of teas and restaurant quality food. Honestly, when we first walked in there and saw them serving people large plates of food, we thought we had maybe walked into a trendy local restaurant. 

Beyond their incredible coffee, tea, and food, Copa Vida strives to be an active participant in the local and global community. They aim to provide a space that allows people to be creative, hosting meet and greets for entrepreneurs and displaying local artwork in the shop.

Copa Vida originated in Pasadena, cementing themselves as what we dare to call one of the best cafés in the area! And the caffeine trail doesn't just end in Old Town. Perhaps after you fall in love with their Pasadena location, you’ll be planning a San Diego weekend trip to check out one of their five San Diego locations.

Café Address: 70 S. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

Want to discover a new LA roaster each month from your kitchen? Click here to join the club today!


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