Lift Coffee Roasters has partnered with Provider Contract Food Service to bring high-quality coffee to Wanda’s Place at California Baptist University.
Steffen Sommers, one of the co-founders of Lift, is a graduate of CBU, and Lift Coffee Roasters frequently caters the coffee for on-campus events.
Lift coffee beans are being used for the drip coffee at Wanda’s Place. Much thought was put into the process of choosing the coffee to be served. Matt Henderson, director of coffee at Lift Coffee Roasters, said that two specific coffees were chosen for the target CBU customers.
Lift currently provides two blends of coffee for Wanda’s. Henderson said the flavor Blackbird serves as a bridge between dark and light roasts.
“I knew the Blackbird would be a good fit right off the bat,” Henderson said. “I knew they were looking for something approachable because a lot of the time specialty coffee can be something so different that it’s not something they necessarily take to right away.”
The Blackbird is a light roast blend of Indonesian and Brazilian beans. Shawna Zakikhani, food and beverage manager at Wanda’s, said the Blackbird was chosen to be the crowd-pleasing coffee.
“(The Blackbird) produces this earthy, heavy chocolaty profile that is very typical of what you think of when you think of coffee, but it isn’t dark roasted,” Henderson said.
The second coffee Lift is providing is the Burundi, a single-origin coffee from the small African country of Burundi.
Lift Coffee Roasters works directly with Long Miles Coffee Project to source the coffee beans for the Burundi.
Long Miles Coffee Project is run by Ben Carlson, a man dedicated to telling the stories of coffee farmers while producing quality coffee beans.
“When they buy this cup of coffee they’re not just supporting a local business, not just supporting specialty coffee, but they’re supporting the livelihood of people in Burundi which is really exiting for us,” Henderson said.
The Burundi is a lighter roast with a flavor profile that is complex and layered with raspberry, citrus and chocolate, as well as floral hints.
Zakikhani said it was a good alternative for those with a more refined taste for coffee.
“I like what they were doing in that country,” Zakikhani said. “It kind of fit in with what we do with ISP here.”
Lift is also stepping in to help tailor Wanda’s coffee making process.
“They really know what they’re doing,” Zakikhani said. “It’s complete science to them and we’re so high volume that we can’t go too far into the science, so partnering with Lift helps us achieve that, which is really cool.”