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Acclaimed Nordic Roaster La Cabra Is Settling Down in New York

The East Village outpost also boasts a bakery helmed by a Bien Cuit alum

A glass jar filled a quarter of the way with amber-colored coffee is held up to the light.
La Cabra’s coffee.
La Cabra
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

Acclaimed Danish coffee company La Cabra — a supplier to multiple Michelin-starred restaurants in Denmark — is making its debut in the United States. The European coffee brand is launching in New York City on October 1, at 152 Second Avenue, near East 10th Street, in the East Village.

Nordic roasters such as Norway’s Tim Wendelboe, Sweden’s Koppi, and fellow Danish roaster Coffee Collective are generally renowned by coffee cognoscenti as among the best in the world, with intensive sourcing practices and a trademark light roasting style that have greatly influenced the American coffee scene over the last decade. La Cabra is the first of these to set down permanent roots in the U.S.

La Cabra will be serving coffee made from beans typically roasted at least three weeks in advance — as compared to the typical 10-14 day window at many cafes — as the company will be shipping its in coffee from Copenhagen, rather than roasting locally. La Cabra claims this will give the light-roasted beans more time to release carbon dioxide, and “the coffees are brighter and clearer and ultimately easier to have a conversation about,” says La Cabra founder and CEO Esben Piper.

The team knows that their methods are unique among most other coffee roasters in the city, and they see that as a competitive edge. “I think New York coffee has been maybe coasting for a little bit,” says La Cabra’s general manager and head of coffee Ian Walla. “What we’re doing here is taking a chance by doing things in a very different way. And if we can inspire the rest of the city to do the same, I think it would be a very positive change.”

Baked cardamom buns laid out on a sheet pan and set on a white table.
La Cabra’s cardamom buns.
La Cabra

The East Village shop will be selling pour-over coffees that range from $6 to $9; batched brews that start at $3.50 per cup; and a few standard espresso drinks. The shop also stocks retail boxes of coffee priced at $18 to $22. In addition to coffee, La Cabra will offer a daily spread of cardamom buns, sweet and savory croissants, rye pastry tarts, caneles, and loaves of Danish rye and naturally leavened sourdough breads. The NYC food menu is overseen by head baker Jared Sexton, who comes to La Cabra from Bien Cuit, where he was a pastry sous chef. He also previously spent time as a baker at Pain D’Avignon and a pastry cook at Dominique Ansel Bakery.

Based in Aarhus, Denmark, La Cabra has been establishing a small coffee empire — which now includes two shops, a roastery, and a bakery in Copenhagen — in the country since 2012. The company also runs outposts in Bangkok and Dubai. The East Village shop marks La Cabra’s first location in the United States.