“Coffee is the centerpiece where people start their day, relationships are fostered, business deals are created, and time is spent reflecting. We are honored to be a part of all these life’s moments that make us all feel happy, peaceful, and alive."

Photo courtesy of @kuksa_coffee

In this local feature, we chat with Kevin Larson and David Kahn, founders of Kuksa Coffee Roasters. Kevin and David spent their professional careers as Firefighters/Paramedics serving their local communities before creating Kuksa Coffee Roasters. Based in Petaluma, Kuksa Coffee Roasters is a celebration of daily life and adventures with friends and family, with a vision of creating a community around the coffee that they roast.

Tell us about Kuksa Coffee Roasters and the inspiration behind it.

We draw inspiration from many areas for our company values and our coffee. Our name Kuksa Coffee Roasters was inspired by the Finish word, kuksa. The kuksa is a traditional wooden cup originally made by the Sámi, the indigenous people of Lapland, known today as the Scandinavian countries. It holds a special place in coffee history, linking the landscape of which it is crafted to the delicious coffee creation it holds. It’s used when hiking, camping, adventuring, celebrating with family and friends, and any other time appropriate for enjoying a great cup of coffee.

As the founders of Kuksa Coffee Roasters, we believe in being active in the outdoors and celebrating life’s special moments with a great cup of coffee. The places we love to visit, the adventures we enjoy, and the fresh local vibes we love inspire the names of our coffees. We roast our coffees in a cast-iron roaster. Cast iron roasters are an older style of roasting coffee, providing more character to the flavor profiles of the coffees. We have heard from our customers that our coffees remind them of coffee they have had in Europe. To us, that is perfect. To have a customer relate our coffee to a special memory in Europe and to be compared to a high caliber of coffee is a true honor.

Photo courtesy of @kuksa_coffee

How are the coffee beans sourced?

Delicious coffee starts at the source. How the coffee cherry is picked, processed, and transported affects quality. Knowing the origin of our coffee and that it is responsibly sourced is of vital importance to us. It often costs more this way but it ultimately means a sustainable source of production and better-tasting coffee. Coffee is a seasonal product so we supply coffee from farmers all around the globe. Our aim is to provide a constantly changing supply of dynamic single-origin coffees along with a complementary range of blends.

We source our green coffee beans with long-time industry importers that work directly with the farmers and co-ops in the country of origin. We are careful to learn about the farmers themselves and their growing practices. It is important to us to ensure the coffee we are sourcing is grown sustainably and that the farmers themselves are being paid a fair wage. Our goal is to have the smallest impact on the environment and the biggest positive human impact as possible all along the chain from the farmer who grows our beans to the customer who drinks our coffee.

Where do you guys get inspiration from when creating different coffee blends?

The inspiration of each coffee starts with the name itself. We want each coffee to have its own identity and take on a life of its own. The name is the book cover and then we develop the coffee profile to best represent the name. We develop a separate roast profile for every coffee to show its highest potential and produce the very best taste in each cup. For coffee lovers, enjoying their cup of coffee can be a very personal experience—how they drink their coffee,

where they drink their coffee, when they drink their coffee, and who they drink their coffee with. We want each coffee to be able to pair with their personal experience.

Photo courtesy of @kuksa_coffee

What is the vision for creating a community behind coffee?

We are inspired by people who explore, push themselves to new limits, seek new knowledge, and enjoy the little things in life. When we created Kuksa Coffee Roasters two years ago, our vision focused squarely on producing the best specialty coffee possible. That vision has never been more true than it is today. Coffee is the centerpiece where people start their day, relationships are fostered, business deals are created, and time is spent reflecting. We are honored to be a part of all these life’s moments that make us all feel happy, peaceful, and alive.

Being based in Petaluma, what do you guys like best about the community there?

The Petaluma small business community is very strong and rich in history. Petaluma is known for its agriculture, amazing restaurants, inviting downtown, and the delicious beverages that are created here. 2020 taught us that it is more important than ever as small business owners to support one another. We really enjoy being a part of this community and to also be an ambassador for Petaluma through our coffee business.

Photo courtesy of @kuksa_coffee

As first responders, we know that the desire to help the community is important to you guys. What are ways that Kuksa Coffee Roasters is able to support the community?

We are active in the small business community through the relationships that we are creating. Dave is retired from the fire department and Kevin is still actively working as a Firefighter/Paramedic. We believe in being active participants of a community that supports their own. Our First Responder Blend was inspired for customers to give back to their local Firefighters, Police, Dispatchers, and EMS workers. Often during disasters, the public asks First Responders, “What can we do to support you?” It is no secret that First Responders love coffee. We created this bold and delicious blend as an opportunity for customers to send a bag to those in the First Responder community they would like to support.

Additionally, we are supporting an organization named Operation Freedom Paws with a portion of our sales. Operation Freedom Paws rescues dogs that have potential to be service dogs and pairs them with Veterans and First Responders who are suffering from PTSD. Operation Freedom Paws trains the human and the dog as a team. We truly feel it is a privilege to be able to support this amazing organization and to bring awareness to our Veterans and First Responders with PTSD. We are also currently seeking environmental preservation organizations and cancer treatment organizations to support.

Photo courtesy of @kuksa_coffee

What retail stores can Kuksa Coffee Roasters be found locally?

Kuksa Coffee is sold primarily in Petaluma and Sonoma County grocery stores and cafes. We focus on creating partnerships with other small local businesses. Some of our wholesale partners include: Route One Bakery & Kitchen in Tomales; Dillon Beach Resort; Jupiter Market in Petaluma; Rusty Hinges Ranch in Petaluma with their amazing CSA boxes; Petaluma Market; Lunchette restaurant in Petaluma; Stokhome restaurant in Petaluma; Penngrove Market; the farmers market in Larkspur Landing with Ethel’s Bagels; Granola’s Cafe in Half Moon Bay; Andy’s Local Markets in San Rafael, and many other small local wholesale partners.

What’s the best part about what you guys do?

Being able to connect with our customers over our product. We love to talk coffee, drink coffee, and be a part of our customer’s daily routine. It is pretty awesome to spend our time roasting, smelling the fresh dropped beans, packaging up our product, and then delivering it to an excited customer. As owners of Kuksa Coffee Roasters, we have been super fortunate to be connected

with excellent humans along our journey, like our branding expert Heather, our coffee roasting consultant Daniel, our countless taste testers, and most of all—our customers.

Photo courtesy of @kuksa_coffee

What are some of your favorite fresh local vibes?

We are big fans of the microbrewery and winery scene in the North Bay. We take every chance we can get to visit Lake Tahoe, the inspiration for our coffee Tahoe Vibes. Mountain biking and running the trails of Mt. Tamalpais and the Marin Headlands give us amazing vibes, inspiration for our coffee Happy Trails.

What’s up next for Kuksa Coffee Roasters?

We are reaching out to new wholesale partners to expand our availability to a larger customer base throughout the SF Bay Area. We are also in the planning phase of creating our own cafe. We feel it is important to be able to create an environment where customers want to come and enjoy their coffee, foster their relationships, create business deals, and form a community establishment to call their own.

Thanks for chatting with us! Kuksa Coffee Roasters can be found online at their website or at local grocery stores and cafes in Sonoma and Petaluma. Visit KuksaCoffee.com to learn more about their coffee.