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A Taste Of Artisanal LA, I: Outpost Cold Brew Coffee & Socha Tea

Socha Tea Artisanal LA 1

This weekend—April 26 and April 27—Artisanal LA returns for their Spring showing. The seasonal foodie fair brings small batch makers from all over the city to share their goods in one mega culinary destination. If you haven’t been before, you have to go. It’s delicious fun! To get you excited for it and to get to know some of the makers sharing work, we did a series of interviews with local artisans to find out more about them—and what they’ll be bringing to A.L.A.

To kick off the series, we hear from java junkies Outpost Cold Brew Coffee and similarly caffeinated Socha Tea. Ogle this as you sip your morning drinks!

Outpost Cold Brew Coffee Artisanal LA 1

Tell us a little about what you make and how you got into this field. What sparked you to become a (food) maker?

We bottle Cold Brew Coffee in classic long neck amber beer bottles. Our focus is on quality, we purchase the highest quality beans we can find, then we brew in very small batches (only about 6 gallons at a time)—just enough so our customers get the freshest product possible.

Our team has been in the coffee industry for several years now, and it’s the only thing we really know how to do. We were part of the founding team at Handsome Coffee Roasters in the Arts District. We started bottling cold brew because we wanted to make the coffee that we really like portable and ready to drink anytime. Those factors really fit into our So Cal type of lifestyle.

What does it mean to be a food maker (or maker in general) in Los Angeles? How do you think making in this part of the world differs from anywhere else?

We love the interaction being a food maker gives us with our customers and fellow makers. There’s an indescribable feeling we have when we’re able to share food we’ve made with the world. It’s a very intimate connection to make something that someone drinks and it’s what motivates us everyday.

Being a food maker in Los Angeles is amazing. The community is relatively small, and it’s fun getting to know them and learn from each other. There are so many open minded people in LA, and I think it’s awesome that they’re willing to try new things.

Outpost Cold Brew Coffee Artisanal LA 2

Are there any goods you’ll be bringing to Artisanal LA that visitors should be on the lookout for? Any specialty, small batch, or experimental products visitors should be aware of?

Our booth is going to be wide open for people to walk right in, sit down and have a cold brew coffee with us. Fill a cup of our cold brew on tap and hang out.

Is there any other vendor or happening you are particularly excited to see or try at Artisanal LA?

We try and eat pretty healthy (Paleo style.) but when we’re in the need for some bread and sweets, Bricklane Bread and Taart Pan have been our dealers of choice.

Socha Tea Artisanal LA 2

Tell us a little about what you make and how you got into this field. What sparked you to become a (food) maker?

Socha Tea Company is an artisan blender of premium loose leaf teas. We use all-natural ingredients including tea leaves, fruits, spices flowers and herbs to deliver a unique and fun tea experience. Our primary goal is to create an American Tea Culture which inspires people to better their lives.
My business partner and I are both health fanatics and love tea, so we wanted to share our knowledge and passion for tea with others. I have worked in corporate food service for many years, saw a market opportunity and jumped right into it. What really was the genesis of Socha was when I asked myself, ‘Will I be happy doing a regular 9 to 5 my whole life?’ The answer was NO! and Socha was created!

Being a beverage maker is important because there are so many food vendors, but everyone needs to drink and stay hydrated…knowing that, why not give the community variety and choices other than coffee, juice and water?

We offer a wide selection of teas ranging from our Organic Sencha green tea to our delicious Almond Goodness black tea. With tea, the possibilities are endless and it is a healthy way to treat yourself.

What does it mean to be a food maker (or maker in general) in Los Angeles? How do you think making in this part of the world differs from anywhere else?

To be a creator in Los Angeles is a dream come true. Competition is tough and to every day is a new challenge. About four years ago I came to LA from Detroit with two duffle bags and a dream of ‘making it’ in the big city, and today I own a successful, growing tea company! My whole family is back in Michigan and it’s hard not to see them, but they are very supportive of my business—my mother was my first salesperson!

I’m all in—I even quit my comfortable day job to pursue this full-time. Every day I must remind myself that it’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it. I think making it in LA is tough because everyone flocks to LA to ‘make it’. This leaves the competitive landscape crowded, and when you really do become successful, you are very humbled. We’ve only been around for just over a year and I’ve seen many friends’ businesses fizzle out. I always tell my team that we are blessed to still be around today.

Socha Tea Artisanal LA 3

Are there any goods you’ll be bringing to Artisanal LA that visitors should be on the lookout for? Any specialty, small batch, or experimental products visitors should be aware of?

Guests of Artisanal LA should be on the lookout for our tea bar and our new specialty mocktail tea drinks! They are a blend of cold-brewed iced teas, cold-pressed organic juices and premium herbs, spices and handmade syrups. Our most popular one is our Jasmine Mandarin Ginger. It has Jasmine green tea, cold-pressed mandarin juice, handmade ginger syrup, all shaken and topped with ginger beer.

Is there any other vendor or happening you are particularly excited to see or try at Artisanal LA?

We are really excited to see Orange Rose Bakery. Their scones are AMAZING! Also, looking forward to seeing KAGE Designs and their amazing furniture pieces. They were a big help in getting our portable tea bar built!

Also we are excited to see all of the great programming that is scheduled. It’s fun to learn from the artisan community.

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