In the latest in a series of San Francisco Weekly articles discussing Bay Area specialty coffee trends, De La Paz Coffee’s Shark Sesenac discusses topics ranging from the company’s new bar concept to coffee’s demise as a commodity.
Sesenac describes De La Paz’s coffee bar, resembling a cocktail bar, planned for a San Francisco location:
We will have no tables. Just a bar. It doesn’t have to be one of those places where you come in and talk about coffee, you can just come in and talk to someone about anything while having a cup of coffee. We want it to be approachable. The bar is at an angle so customers can see the roasting. There’s no delineation between coffee bar and roaster and wholesale and retail.
Sesenac also shares some interesting thoughts on the trend in which roasters are making their operations more transparent to cafe patrons:
It’s good for people to know where the coffee comes from. We’re not the first to roast inside of a cafe, but I think it’s important and it’s an important aspect. I think making things more transparent between the coffee in this mug and how it got there is an integral part of us being able charge more for coffee. Because then people know where it’s coming from, that there is a physical person roasting the coffee they are drinking. I think that’s part of the goal we’re all shooting for — to do what we want to do with the coffee and make it a more sustainable practice. It’s good for us, and it’s good for everyone.
After addressing De La Paz’s growth locally and regionally, Sesenac introduces what he sees as a troubling trend, as prices worldwide continue to rise as supplies fall short of demand:
The challenge that everyone is facing across the board is what do you do when there’s no coffee left. I’ve been thinking about this since I started in coffee. All these reports are out there about climate change and what’s happening to coffee. What do we do when we no longer have coffee to buy? How does this apply to us? With all the roasters opening across the country in the last two years, I’ve noticed the prices going up because the supplies are going down. More and more there’s less and less coffee. What do you do when it’s all gone?
The full interview: SF Weekly