As the first coffee shop to bring specialty coffee to Coachella, ElaBrew Coffee returns to one of the biggest music festivals in the world and in California. She brings a dedicated team, a coffee brewed for the strength of desert temperatures and most of all with the goal of creating an experience. This culture talks with Joy Park, tune in, the coffee and the music are not far away.
c.: Its so exciting to see you return to Indio this year. What are your plans for the people?
Joy Park: It’s our third year and we feel like blessed to have this opportunity again. Its one of our biggest events in California, bringing quality coffee to Coachella goers is our main intention – it’s a super cool opportunity and we have a great team going – we’re going to have fun in this environment.
c.: Tell me about the environment of Coachella.
j.p.: Its another outlet for us, its an extension of what we do. You feel the music and you serve coffee. Going out to these festivals, its nuts on so many levels and we know the importance of keeping people going. Coffee is a daily habit no matter what you’re doing – whether you’re going to work or to a festival.
c.: What does it take to bring coffee to one of the biggest music festivals of the year?
j.p.: Every year we learn. The first year we took a coffee truck. We were the only specialty coffee truck for the first time and we were so excited. But, we learned its not smart to bring a coffee truck, its 110 degrees and you’re cooking in an oven. It was crazy and tough and our truck broke down. She laughs.
The second year, we decided to forgo the coffee truck and set up a booth. It was also a new experience because you’re setting up a small shop, eight people in the tent and everyone getting use to that and the conditions – it isn’t your normal 70 degree in the shop – good temperament is really important.
Angelenos don’t have to stress about weather – serving at Coachella you take those things for granted. Working in the booth is just as hot as the truck, you’re enclosed and sun is beating in face through the one opening you have. But it was so much fun and we blasted music.
c.: That’s what I like to hear. Your booth kicked rocks last year – it was a party in the campgrounds.
j.p.: Yea, Coachella teaches us as a team to work well together. And, to adapt. If you work in a coffee shop, you learn to adapt over a stretch of time and there’s no real minute to minute pressure. I was grateful to have a team to adapt with me. And, a team I could trust. This year we’re doing a booth and the people can expect great coffee and some surprises.
c.: Lets talk about the coffee, that beautiful substance that the people want and will need.
j.p. Last year I took the craziest setup, including two La Marzocco GB5. We made espresso based drinks and did a lot of cold brew, we ran out of our cold brew. But we didn’t make a lot of hot drinks in 110 degree weather.
So this year we’re coming with a simplified menu, we’ll have a coffee brewer for hot drip coffee, tea but we’ll be sticking with cold brew mainly, lots of it and a lot stronger too.
We’re bringing Kuma Coffee again. We’re cold brewing their Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kokanna. Its so smooth and chocolate-y. For tea, we’re doing loose leaf tea by Adagio Teas and Adagio for our chai tea too.
c.: Well alright alright alright! Cold brew is definitely a fantastic option. You can do so much with it and people can have it in varying ways. But, how much cold brew does it take to take care of a Coachella crowd?
j.p.: We prepped a good amount, 75-80 percent of what will sell. Twenty percent of it we’ll be ready to make there, based upon what’s selling.
c.: This is serious cold brew game. Last year, as you manned the campgrounds -it was easy to tell where the coffee was because of the lines. How do you manage the inevitable lines – people waiting in the heat while keeping them satisfied to come back to the lines again?
j.p. We’re aware. We keep the line feeling like its moving. People will know from our booth that we are here to take care of them. We represent not just coffee, but coffee service. We want our customers to have an experience, where your senses are heightened. Even in our shop, we’re cognizant of the social media world and that when a person walks into our shop they also come with their Instagram following, their Twitter fans and Facebook profiles.
c.:Very true, a person of one is no longer just themselves, they could be one, walking in as 185,000.
j.p.: Exactly. And, we’re in the business of making people feel good.
Starting at 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. find ElaBrew in the campground serving service – and most of all an authentic specialty coffee Coachella experience.