Yeah, brewery tours are cool, but have you tried one devoted entirely to coffee?
La Terza Coffee, the Cincinnati roasterie that supplies some of the best restaurants and cafes in the region with joe, like The Bagelry OTR, Wyoming Community Coffee, and more, has been offering weekly behind-the-scenes walk-throughs at its Lockland location for years. And if you haven’t been, it’s the perfect weekend perk-up.
La Terza calls the tours “interactive experiences.” The visit is a crash course in coffee history (SPOILER: it’s super interesting) that includes samples and a brief look into how beans are sourced and processed.
Aaron Parker has been leading the tours since October 2015 when La Terza CEO David Gaines plucked him from behind the bar at Rivertown. The brewery was located across the street from La Terza at the time, in the same industrial Lockland complex on Shepherd Drive. So it’s easy for Parker to compare and contrast between the two. The coffee tour is unique because attendees actually get to roast a batch of beans from start to finish, and, after about a 12-minute process, enjoy the fruits of their own labor. They can’t get that experience with beer, he says.
For La Terza, the tours create a connection that most people don’t know exist. La Terza coffee is sourced ethically and sustainably from all over the world, from small farms and estates in Indonesia, Africa, and Central America, where workers are paid a fair trade wage. For those people, coffee is more than a commodity. It’s transformative. It’s a livelihood.
“I don’t think people know how special coffee is,” Parker says. “They see a name on a bag, but they don’t know how it impacts people. We can’t grow coffee locally [in Cincinnati], but we can make an impact globally. That's what we really need to educate people about. It’s not just a cup of coffee. It's more than that. It’s a life-changer.”
Tours took a brief hiatus during the first COVID-19 shutdown, but La Terza is slowly opening up bookings again for small groups—people in the same social circles, like families and friends. Masks are required and can be provided if you arrive on site without one. Guests will also have to fill out a symptom monitoring form. And expect a temperature check. Tours start at 9:30 AM in the summer.
La Terza, of course, supplements its tours with additional classes that teach the fundamentals of making espresso and drip brews, which will totally wow your future holiday house guests.
IF YOU GO
La Terza’s interactive roasterie tour experiences are super popular. Pre-COVID, Moriah Johnston, one of two roasters on staff, said they would typically sell out a couple of weeks in advance. Tours start at 9:30 on Saturday mornings (because, you know, the heat) and take roughly two hours to complete. The cost is $10 a person.
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La Terza is located at 611 Shepherd Drive, in Unit 17. To learn more about it, visit their website, or shoot them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.