We’ve all heard of a coffee pop-up. But how about a coffee pop-up without caffeine?
Swiss Water Coffee have launched a new space in Venice, California offering exactly that: a coffee bar without any caffeine buzz. This is their second such pop-up, following last year’s similar pop in New York. That event was met with a dubious viral gnashing and wailing: the Washington Post declared that the event provoked “horror; outrage” while QZ, the millennial-focused web version of The Atlantic, asked its readers,”Who needs this?”
Will Angelenos react with the same outrage? We doubt it—there’s nothing wrong with decaf, honestly, and in a health-conscious city like LA an experiment like this one should be much more welcome. But who can say?
Decaf coffee is nothing new; coffee drinkers around the world have been sipping Sanka since the early 1900s. At Swiss Water, the goal is to produce a cup of decaffeinated coffee using a source material that is delicious, which is why Swiss work with many of the best coffee producers around the world to develop their offerings. They do this with their “internally developed” Green Coffee Extract (GCE) caffeine removal method—it results in a cup of coffee that’s 99.9% caffeine free. You can make this decaf as a pour-over, or an espresso, or whatever; Swiss Water’s goal is for the flavor to remain while whisking away the caffeine.
The LA edition of Swiss Water’s pop-up runs from October 14 to the 24th, and it’s happening right in the epicenter of Venice on Abbot Kinney, at the Heresy Brand design space. Sprudge attended an opening night soiree alongside other invited media, and it was quite a scene: a DJ dropped beats, hors d’oeuvres were passed, and coffee drinks went fast, including Verve Coffee espresso shots from a La Marzocco Strada and filter coffee via Chemex. And what’s this? Yes, not one to miss out on the zeitgeist, a slate of Stumptown decaf cold brews were also served—including a decaf nitro edition.
There were food and drink pairings across the space, the doings of noted chef Ella Freyinger and cocktail gadabout Matthew Biancaniello, who will be leading a series of food & coffee pairing ticketed events later in the week. Think cheese and charcuterie plates with coffee infused jams, duck rillettes with espresso powder, whipped espresso butter, and even polenta squares topped with a cold brew coffee mushroom demi-glace. All delicious, all fabulous.
#CoffeeWithoutCaffeine is the slogan and hashtag for the event in LA—if you follow LA food media this is surely already trending across your devices. If you can’t attend the event personally, we advise you to keep up with Swiss Water Coffee happenings on Facebook and Instagram. Come early, stay late—it’s not the caffeine that’s got your heart racing, darling, it’s the glamour.
Tatiana Ernst contributed to this reporting. All photos by Tatiana Ernst for Sprudge Media Network.
Sprudge Media Network is proudly partnered with Swiss Water Coffee.