Photo Album: First Public Cupping at Fishtown

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We held the first public cupping event in our Coffee Lab at the Fishtown café/distillery this past Friday. Making an unannounced appearance and leading the slurp-fest was La Colombe co-founder and Dangerous Grounds host Todd Carmichael. We also surprised the crowd with some fine and rare single origins such as Panama Esmeralda Geisha, Panama Perci N2 Geisha, Reyna Geisha Microlot, Ethiopia Werka Bauka, Zambia Mbuni, Nicaragua El Diamante Auction Lot, Colombia San Roque, Brazil Blue Diamond, Guatemala Tomastepec, and Haiti Mare Blanche. If you missed out on the cupping at Fishtown, the next one will take place on Friday, January 9, 2015, and other similar events will be taking place in New York City, DC, and Chicago as well!

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Meet Our Neighbors: Jinxed

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As we continue to open new cafés in various neighborhoods throughout the U.S., we are absolutely humbled by the graciousness of the communities that we become a part of – welcoming us in with open arms. We’ve had a great time getting to know our neighbors, and we thought that you might enjoy it too. Just two doors down from our Fishtown café is one of our favorite stores in Philadelphia, Jinxed. If you are looking for unique gifts this holiday season for your friends and family or something cool for your home, we highly suggest making it your first stop. And if you are simply too busy (or lazy) to travel over to Frankford Avenue, Jinxed has a most excellent Instagram (@JinxedStore) to make browsing through their 4 stores in the city that much easier. We recently had a chance to sit down and have a fun chat with Jinxed owner/operator Mike SuperModel. Below is an excerpt from our conversation and photos from his Fishtown store.

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La Colombe: How long has Jinxed been open, and how has it evolved over the years?

Mike SuperModel: We opened up 10 years ago. Actually, further back than that, we were a t-shirt company. There were 40 stores that we wholesaled to around the country, and from that, we evolved to a retail store at 4th and South. What we originally sold was art-based books, toys, and shirts – some of our own stuff plus anything that we thought would be interesting to our customers. We were at that location about 4 years, and in 2008, just due to economic conditions, we had to move to the Piazza in Northern Liberties, and we still maintain a location there.

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LC: When did you first start collecting?

MS: I was a little kid. I didn’t grow up with a lot of new things – put it that way. I got most of my toys at the thrift store, and I liked them better anyways. I really can go back that far. I was looking for Hot Wheels that were made before I was born when I was like 7. I would trade Matchbox cars with people – just to try and get the oldest possible ones.

LC: What’s your favorite thing that you found while searching for items for the store?

MS: A ’68 Ford LTD – honestly, the stuff that I hold onto is generally small stuff. I have a cast-iron devil figure. It’s like 3-inches tall. It’s one of the favorite things that I got.

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LC: Frankford Ave. & Fishtown is changing rapidly. How do you feel about that change?

MS: Well, I was born and raised here, and I remember when this street was just lined with prostitutes. My dad was an electrical contractor, and had a warehouse and office space further up from here. I grew up in the area, and I feel good about it overall. Being a Philadelphian, I generally do not like change. I don’t like people that don’t respect things that were here before them. Fishtown survived before everything got here. Philadelphia survived before this boom.

I guess that the only thing that I really look at is there are businesses and neighbors. Patronize them and respect your neighbors because I feel like there is a gap between those of us that are from here, especially the generation before me – the older folks that are retiring and seeing these changes come up. All a lot of the natives can see – the lifers here – is that all their property taxes just went up. They don’t see the positive changes of actually coming to a place like La Colombe, and enjoying the atmosphere here and enjoying the new things that this place is bringing to the neighborhood. They’re great and positive changes. There is plenty of room here for everyone. We’ve been celebrating bad behavior for like 250 years, and that’s just a part of the whole package.

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LC: How do you like your coffee?

MS: Black – yes – with an ice cube.

LC: Why?

MS: Because it’s too hot, I want instant gratification. I don’t want to wait for it to cool down. I want my coffee immediately. I do put honey in it now too though. Sorry to complicate the easiest question.

Trinity Children’s Centre to Celebrate Official Inauguration of New Boys’ Dormitory

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We received wonderful news from our friends Reverend Romans Serunjogi and his wife Sarah. They are the founders of Trinity Children’s Centre, a primary school in Uganda where approximately 400 of the enrolled 1200 students board (with many being orphans and refugees). As we reported in May, their boys’ dormitory was leveled after a disastrous fire, and with the proceeds from our Afrique blend, we have been funding the rebuilding of the new facility through ECHOES (Educating Children and Communities for Health, Opportunities, Enlightenment and Survival), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based outside of Philadelphia. Well, the construction is complete, and they will be celebrating its official inauguration tomorrow (Sunday, November 16) with an all-day event filled with music, a nursery graduation, gifts and speeches. They are expecting at least 3,000 people to turn out for this important event in their community. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to our brothers and sisters at Trinity Children’s Centre. For all of us here at La Colombe, it is a happy reminder that all our hard work is absolutely worth it. Thank you for all your support which allows us to do what we do.

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La Colombe Café in Andersonville – Chicago Opening This Friday!

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We are happy to announce that our new Andersonville café (5158 N. Clark St.) in Chicago will be opening its doors this Friday at 7AM. This will be our third cafe in The Windy City, and we also recently opened a roastery in the Fullerton neighborhood so Chicago residents will definitely have plenty of fresh La Colombe coffee in their cups every day. We have some preview photos of the new café for you. Looking forward to it being filled with our Andersonville neighbors!

La Colombe – Andersonville
5158 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
Tel: (773) 942-7090

Café Hours
MON-SUN: 7AM – 7PM

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Photo Album: Hudson Square Café in NYC

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We recently paid a visit to our newest location (75 Vandam St.) at Hudson Square in New York City. The café is rather spacious so folks from the many neighboring businesses have a place to relax from the hustle and bustle of the workweek during their coffee breaks. It also possesses a very clean, modern feel, as you can probably tell from our photos below. Stop on by, and see for yourself!

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Photo Album: Inaugural Fishtown Café Event With TG-LAB

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Before our new Fishtown café was officially open, we hosted an event with TG-LAB in our training center and sensory lab. TG-LAB, which stands for The Green Lab, is an organization based out of Guatemala that works with a lot of the farmers in the country, specifically with Tomastepec co-operative, in order to import coffee to the U.S. They are the folks behind La Colombe’s current Guatemalan single-origin roast. We got to know the TG-LAB crew, and had the opportunity to tour their facility and speak with some of the farmers from the co-op, predominantly a farm called San Jorge, via Skype. They talked about their upcoming crop, and their battle with roya, or leaf rust, which affected 20% of their harvest this year. The group is currently working on tests to see what varieties of coffee plants have the best capabilities to stand up to roya. We also did a fragrance test, and tasted the extremes of the coffee that they provided, which went from more floral to more depth. At the end, they revealed that all the coffees were the same, but the grinds were different. It was a very educational evening, and we wanted to share some of the photos from our inaugural event at the new Fishtown location with you.

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Photo Album: Re-opening of Our Newly Renovated Rittenhouse Cafe

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Yes, our Rittenhouse cafe is now open again! We’re sure that there are plenty of you out there that are very happy about that as well. We stopped by this morning to check out the renovations, and try out our new Geisha Bar, where you can now purchase some of the world’s finest and rarest coffee by the cup. And each individual one will be expertly brewed by our baristas, using the polished immersion method with a Silverton and paper filter combination. It was superb. So come on by to 19th Street for a visit – we missed you! But first, check out some of our photos of the newly renovated cafe.

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