Partner Feature: Chairlift Coffee

Partner Feature: Chairlift Coffee

Feb 23, 2018Stephen Robertson

There is a special kind of pride felt when a client asks you to send them all of your most exciting, unique coffees in a single order, especially when they tell you they'll be featuring beautiful natural process Ethiopian coffee on the espresso bar. A lot of trust goes into sending out your best to a client, knowing they then have to prepare and present that product at a high level.

Since August of 2017 we've been building a lot of trust with our neighbor across the train tracks, Chairlift Coffee. Chairlift is attached to one of Richmond's most exciting new restaurants, Brenner Pass, and has been bringing a consistently exceptional cafe experience to Scott's Addition since the day they opened.

{cheese monger and cafe manager Joshua Franklin makes espresso}

Walking in the door of Chairlift, you're met with clean, airy design in a small space surrounding the coffee bar and a simple pastry display featuring beautiful handmade pastries from chef/owner Olivia Wilson. If you explore around the bar-corner past a cold case full of prepared lunch items, the bar opens up with more seating, thoughtful selections of wine, beer, and a full cheese and charcuterie bar that continues into a large rear seating area accented with white furs and lots of natural light.

In addition to Rosedale, our fruit-forward espresso blend, Chairlift features a rotating selection of single origin batch brew and hand pour coffees, and this weekend they'll be featuring our favorite natural process Ethiopian coffee - Chelchele - on the espresso bar, with the washed process Ethiopia Layo Teraga and Honduras Finca San Isidro as brewed coffees. We think this is going to be the best coffee line-up in town this weekend, so we hope to see you there.

We caught up with owner/pastry chef Olivia Wilson recently for a short interview - here's what she had to say:

What is Chairlift's vibe/motif?
Relaxed, bright, curious.
How do you guys see yourselves fitting into the specialty coffee scene in Richmond?
I think we offer a tight menu focused on highlighting what y'all roast for us - not [messing] with it too much. I also love that we have a great tea menu and am excited to introduce that to Richmond.

What do you love about Richmond (other than coffee)?
I love that we all help each other out here! Ive never been part of such a close-knit community within the industry (restaurant, small business etc). Theres also never a shortage of new ideas and ventures whether it be in food and drink, or art and culture. I found myself at home here because I really felt like I could grow freely and happily.

What coffee are you most enjoying right now?
Geisha... duh.
(Chairlift still has some of our Colombia El Obraje Geisha on the menu with some interesting preparations - ask them about it when you visit, but it won't last long)

What is the perfect order at Chairlift, for someone who has never been?
Coffee & a Canele from our bake case!  The notes of vanilla, burnt sugar, and rum go so nicely with a cup of coffee.

We put together a collection of all of the coffees featured at Chairlift right now. Make plans to visit them as soon as possible, or add some of these excellent coffees to your home brewing rotation today.

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