Can you believe it? We’re in the last days of Build-Outs here in 2022, but we couldn’t close the series without first checking out what’s happening in Landsdowne, PA, in the Philly suburbs about a half-an-hour east of the city. That’s where you’ll find the all-new Camellia Coffee House, a new specialty coffee shop that’s a sibling brand to Nilaa Coffee, a roastery based in Philadelphia. The coffee scene in Philadelphia has long been incredible, and it’s exciting to see how that energy translates to coffee culture elsewhere in PA. Let’s learn more!
As told to Sprudge by Matt Saperstone.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Camellia Coffee House is a new specialty coffee shop in Lansdowne, PA. We are the sister-company of Nilaa Coffee, a roastery based in Philadelphia, that directly and carefully sources single-origin specialty coffees from SE Asia and other underrepresented origins. Camellia Coffee House will serve the local community through fresh roasted coffees, specialty teas, and other seasonal beverages as well as house made pastries and foods.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
The space is carved out of a maker space in a hundred-year-old building that used to be a popular thrift shop in town. We built out the space with a hand-made countertop bar as well as a re-purposed old sitting counter from an old cafe across the street. We have a small kitchen space behind the bar along with our brewing equipment—and we built out our glass pastry case into the bar so it’s one of the first things customers see when they walk in. Outdoor and indoor seating and easy access from the maker space next door.
What’s your approach to coffee?
We carefully and meticulously source and roast our coffees. Our main roasting brand, Nilaa Coffee, focuses solely on single-origin specialty coffees from SE Asia to bring attention to underrepresented origins that are working hard to produce high quality coffees. Our other label, Quartz Coffee, follows a similar mantra but sources great coffees from all over the world. Each coffee is roasted to bring out its best and unique attributes for cup quality and enjoyment. At the cafe, we work hard to brew and serve the best coffees we can as well as maintaining our equipment so that our coffees taste as best they can.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
Most exciting are the two Decent DE1 PROs that we have lined up next to each other on the bar. We’re using an Anfim SCODY II with titanium burrs for our espresso grinder. We’re brewing drip coffee on a FETCO cbs-1221 and a Mahlkönig GH2 as our drip grinder. As for coffees, we highlight a lot of our unique coffees, like Ruby Hills natural from Myanmar or our soon-to-be released Laos coffees or our Yemen Mokha Matari.
How is your project considering sustainability?
We always consider sustainability, from the producers we source from to our day-to-day operations at the roastery and the cafe. We have never served a straw, we compost as many of our grinds as we can, and we use compostable and degradable togo materials as we can—including incentivizing people to bring reusable cups. We try to educate our customers about why we value sustainability and how they can play a role.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
August 23rd, 2022.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Oscar Home Improvements in West Grove, PA built and designed out bar countertop. Sam Landsberg of Philadelphia designed our logo and a lot of our marketing artwork