Looking back on 26 years of La Colombe Coffee

This month, we’re celebrating our 26th birthday. 26 beautiful years. There’s no time like another trip around the sun to reflect on where you came from and where you’re going.

Our Co-Founder Todd Carmichael shares a story about our humble beginnings and the discovery of our first coffee, Nizza.

“JP and I arrived in 1994. We made the jump from different parts of the world to this hardworking, blue-collar city to chase our dream. We knew Philadelphia, with all of its spirit and persistence, was the place where we could build something special.

We roasted 100 bowls of different coffees using a gas stove in a 3rd floor walk-up on 21st and Spruce Street. We started blending them, hand grinding them, and testing them in pursuit of the perfect flavor. We knew we wanted to find the perfect espresso coffee. A roast that’s nutty, sweet, and fully washed. Espresso was new to America, so we had to nail it right on.

After testing over and over, we finally discovered it. Nizza was born. It was like hearing the very first pop song. There was nothing like it. From that moment on, we felt invincible. We had finally realized our vision and had the confidence that nothing could stop us. Our life trajectory unraveled before our eyes. No matter what happened, we could hang our hat on that taste. We knew this was going to be something important. Shortly after we started building our first cafe in Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia with our own two hands. The rest is history.”

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