Caffe Luxxe Grows Il Laboratorio in Gardena

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Caffe Luxxe, the European-style specialty coffee company from Gary Chau and Mark Wain, debuted in 2006. The business partners remained committed to brewing white label beans from Seattle’s Espresso Vivace, and to displaying consistent espresso artistry, and the model helped them to build three successful locations in Santa Monica and Brentwood. To help fuel further expansion, which means wholesale accounts and potential cafes in neighborhoods like Pacific Palisades and Larchmont Village, they purchased a Probat coffee roaster and have been refining roasts at their new Il Laboratorio in a Gardena industrial park.

Chau and Wain opted for a Gardena facility due to zoning and emissions criteria, plus proximity to the Port of Los Angeles. It also helps that Wain lives in nearby San Pedro.

In addition to a coffee roasting room, the new Caffe Luxxe space also houses offices, storage, a room for packing and processing, and a lab with a communal wood table.

They plan to produce 65 – 70,000 pounds of coffee per year, which will supply cafes and wholesale accounts. They purchased a 12-kilo 1993 Probat roaster, which gives Wain the fluid bed and air flow that he needs. Willem Boot of Boot Coffee taught Wain to roast.

Wain said they’ve been sourcing the same beans from Espresso Vivace’s Testarossa blend. However, he pointed out, “Selecting the same beans is not the art. There can be many interpretations of the same beans through roasting.” Given that, they’re attempting to match the flavor. Chau said the goal is to “minimize the impact to the customer.” They’ve been refining the roast profile, getting closer to their goal, including side-by-side tastings of Vivace’s roast and their roast, and once the ‘tween meet, Caffe Luxxe coffee goes live in Los Angeles.

Address: 14932 South Figueroa Street, Gardena, CA 90248

Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

Fluid bed… How silly and wrong. That would be a Sivetz or hot air pass roaster… NOT a traditional drum roaster. This is why the entire world should not be roasting.

And 70,000 lbs a year out of that roaster… You must be joking. That 4,666 batch per year when you include roast loss averaging 19 baches per 5 day work week. Again, not everyone has to roast or knows how to

A 12 kilo would equal 26.4 lbs. 1kilo =2.2lbs
at 70% capacity – 26.4lbs times .70%= 18.48lbs
Minus roasted weight loss – 18.48lbs batch times .15%weight loss= 2.77lbs loss
18.48 minus 2.77= 15.71 lbs batch.

Let’s just round that down for fun and call it 15 lbs batch. And for arguement sake let’s just say 3 batches per hour…. maybe some people like longer roasts….
15lbs batch, times 3 batches an hour = 45lbs per hour
45 lbs, times a 7 hour roasting day = 315 lbs per day
315 lbs, times 5 days a week = 1,575 lbs per week
1,575 lbs times 50 weeks per year(2weeks off for vacation:) ) = 78,750lbs a year

You might either want to work harder or take some math courses not sure which will be more helpful for you Ryan

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