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Unpacking Coffee with Kandace and Ray: La Colombe’s Todd Carmichael

La Colombe Coffee

Photo by Needmore Designs.

In this week’s episode of Unpacking Coffee, Kandace and Ray have a virtual sit-down with outspoken specialty coffee ambassador and La Colombe Co-Founder Todd Carmichael.

Carmichael most recently made headlines with Philadelphia-based La Colombe’s pledge of financial support for the National Park Foundation. In this interview, Ray pledges his own moral support for our U.S. national parks, stating “they’re awesome; we should keep ‘em.”

Never short for words, Carmichael covers a range of topics throughout the episode, including La Colombe’s work in Haiti, the indecency of exploiting workers with “predatory wages,” and a dramatic shift in the coffee business over the past 25 years, which he describes as “the ice age.”

La Colombe draft latte

Photo by Needmore Designs.

“I remember 1995 someone came into the cafe and asked for an iced latte. It was the equivalent of someone asking me for, let’s say, a piping hot pint of beer,” Carmichael told K-Ray. “I made it for them, and as the years went on, that percentage of cold products grew. So, right now, 62 to 65 percent of all coffees that we brew on premise in 34 cafes across the United States are cold. That transition is probably the most dynamic that I’ve witnessed among all these changes that we’ve seen in coffee.”

Check out the full episode:

Unpacking Coffee is a show discovering new coffee roasters one episode at a time led by Kandace and Ray of the Portland-based studio Needmore Designs, which specializes in coffee, wine and lifestyle brands.