La Terza Artisan Coffee Roasterie
began 10 years ago when owner Chuck Pfahler began roasting coffee out of his house. Eventually, La Terza moved to a warehouse in Northside; in January, it relocated to Short Vine, and is now inside the 86 Club
About 15 years ago, Pfahler started roasting coffee in a hot air popcorn maker, and fell in love with the process. He has studied time and temperature relations and knows how to cup and taste coffee like a pro. He’s also found a way to roast coffee that maximizes the beans’ flavor.
“It’s been a labor of love,” Pfahler says. “I love sharing coffee with people, and over the years, I’ve gotten very positive feedback.”
La Terza isn’t a coffee shop, but a wholesale coffee roaster that provides coffee to local coffee houses, restaurants and community groups. In February, La Terza partnered with Christian Moerlein
to make a coffee-infused Baltic Porter for Cincy Beerfest
. The beer was made with La Terza’s Brazil Daterra Estate Villa Borghesi, which was cold steeped in the Baltic Porter.
“We want to be a catalyst for the community,” says Pfahler. “We really believe that community is a ‘third place,’ and we want to support coffee shops that serve as a community’s ‘third place.’”
Pfahler wants La Terza to help bridge the gap between the coffee bean farmers and the communities that buy their crops. When a customer places an order, the coffee is roasted the next day and then shipped, so it’s very fresh, Pfahler says.
“Many people have never had freshly roasted coffee, and it’s cool to see them experience it for the first time,” he says. “Coffee should be handled like bread or produce. It can’t sit around for six months and hold its quality.”
Although coffee beans change with the seasons, Pfahler says La Terza’s Sumatra was very popular this year. The roasterie always offers a variety of light, medium and dark coffees, but its inventory changes.
“We try not to get people locked into one coffee,” says Pfahler. “Although one coffee is great this year, it doesn’t mean it will be great [next] year, or have the same flavor profiles.”
La Terza also offers coffee equipment sales and services, ongoing barista training and public coffee tastings. Along with wholesale, La Terza also sells coffee as retail through online orders
By Caitlin Koenig
Follow Caitlin on Twitter