Dream. Declare. Deliver.
This is the tagline for Katz District Coffee, and it couldn’t be more appropriate.
Kyle Katz and Brian Edling used to be roommates in DC. Their love for coffee originated with a chocolate-y, almost Snickers-like cup of coffee from Filter Coffeehouse in Dupont that really opened their eyes to what coffee could be. Kyle then moved to his home state of Florida for a job that couldn’t be passed up before making his way to Atlanta. At that point he was faced with the question: “What is it that gets you up in the morning?” Realizing his answer wasn’t satisfactory, he rearranged his priorities and set out to accomplish his goal of making a really good cup of coffee.
Meanwhile, Brian and his girlfriend, still living in DC, decided to take several months to travel around Southeast Asia. That was when he received a call from Kyle telling him about his idea and asking if he was interested. Without hesitation, still in Thailand at the time, Brian hopped on board. This was early 2016, not even a year ago.
They have been full speed ahead ever since. The two found warehouse space in College Park which they are really excited about. College Park has developed a “College Park City – University Partnership” to become a sustainable top 20 college town by 2020, and Katz District Coffee feels lucky to be a part of that. They figured out what kind of roaster they wanted after Kyle’s previous experience learning from the guys at Firelight Coffee Roasters in Atlanta. So they took their van down to Florida to pick up their roaster, picked up some beans from a crazy coffee enthusiast in Tampa with a warehouse lined with silos of coffee beans, and made their way back up to roast their very first official batch of Katz District Coffee.
The guys tried around twenty different kinds of coffees before settling on their current four, all fair trade and good for this colder weather: Ecuador, Honduras, Peru, and Sumatra. The Sumatra is processed specifically by women through the cooperative Kopi Wanita, and the profits in turn go towards training programs for female co-op members. They are fond of the single-origins, citing that they help one learn what they like about different kinds of beans.
Through my time talking to them, it’s clear that they are not only passionate about coffee, but about coffee education, teaching people more about the process of farm to cup and helping them discover the different aspects of coffee. It’s also evident how welcome they feel entering the DC coffee scene. Rather than feeling threatened or intimidated, they feel inspired and encouraged, and honored to play a part in it all.
Kyle handles the sales and marketing side of the business while Brian handles operations and roasting. The two still work outside part-time jobs until the business really takes off, which my guess will be soon.
Katz District Coffee is currently available for retail at Dacha Market and Pleasant Pops as well as on their website. Stay tuned for more places to find them! Everything is roasted to order with their beans being good for up to a month. You can even order a sample box and receive 4 oz. packages of all four of their current offerings.
They look forward to exploring how to roast the perfect bean for an iced coffee or cold brew, and a storefront is definitely on the horizon. But for now, I still sit amazed at how much they have accomplished in such a short period of time. It just goes to show that if you DREAM something and DECLARE it, you can DELIVER.