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Our Mission

La Terza Coffee is an artisan coffee and espresso roasterie that specializes in freshly and expertly roasted coffee beans. We serve coffee houses and restaurants and deliver freshly-roasted beans, so that our customers experience the freshest, best-tasting cup of coffee possible.

We source our coffee beans ethically and sustainably, partnering with small, authentic farms and estates. We know where every bean comes from, and we know that each farmer and worker is paid a dignified, fair trade wage.

In Italian, “La terza” literally means “the third.” We wanted to honor espresso’s Italian birthplace, and coffee comes three primary regions of the world: Central and South America, Africa, and Indonesia.

We also roast each coffee bean differently. When sourced and roasted at the highest levels, coffee is very similar to wine. It has specific cupping notes and natural flavor profiles; it changes seasonally and annually, based on soil, rain, and other weather conditions. It pairs wonderfully with different foods. Our roasting team is led by Robert Mbabazi, a certified Q Grader. He evaluates each coffee bean and develops a custom roasting recipe to ensure each bean is roasted to bring out the most flavor.

We deliver fresh coffee to our customer within 48 hours of roasting. Coffee tastes best when consumed within 7-10 days from roasting, so we ship and deliver quickly so that beans are at your door — and in your cup — within 48 hours.

We love talking about and experiencing coffee, so we designed our roasterie for tours and classes. Our customers are encouraged to come in throughout the week to see the roasting process and ask questions.

Meet Our Team

David Gaines

CEO

David Gaines is passionate about Social Enterprise and using business for good. Through La Terza and his other entrepreneurial endeavors, he loves creatively challenging the traditional business status quo and incorporating life-bringing ideas into everyday business practices. He is the Board Chair of the Greater Cincinnati chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance where he works to foster connections and provide resources for other social entrepreneurs in Cincinnati. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling, and spending time with his wife Beth and son Parker.

Benjamin Mick

Head of Maintenance

Ben has loved coffee since waking up early and making it for his parents at age ten. He enjoys tinkering with things and the art of espresso machines.

Robert Mbabazi

Master Roaster

Robert is a professional Coffee Quality Controller, Roaster and Barista Trainer with over ten years of experience in the field. He has substantial work experience in all aspects of the coffee industry including green coffee bean grading, roasting, cupping, marketing, and barista skills and training. He has also spent several years living in coffee producing countries. Combining a strong analytical perspective within the small business and coffee industries, and significant experience in practical skills, he strives to positively contribute to the development and success of the highest quality coffee components from bean to cup. Robert loves British Premiere League soccer, playing chess and cooking. He can often be found exploring Cincinnati's parks and restaurants with his wife and two daughters.

Mike Gaines

Wholesale Manager

Mike was born and raised in Cincinnati. He is the younger brother of the CEO and long time friends with the Founder, so his role at La Terza became a natural fit with the company. He started drinking coffee early on in college like most everyone with lots of cream and sugar, but eventually developed a palate for great quality roasted coffee! Working in both retail and food service for a number of years has helped Mike develop a thriving sense of passion in service and hospitality. As an employee with La Terza, he uses his experience to share coffee knowledge and fulfill the needs of others. From the coffee bean to the cup, he has learned that there is a story in which we are all a part of and one worth sharing over a nice quality cup of phenomenal coffee.

Chuck Pfahler

Brand Founder / Chief Educator

Chuck Pfahler has been involved in specialty coffee in Cincinnati for over 15 years. He is the brand founder of La Terza Artisan Coffee Roasterie. Currently at La Terza Chuck is serving as lead barista trainer and teaches many of our classes.

Kit Meyer

Office Manager

Kit most recently hails from Seattle where she studied at the University of Washington. In 2016, she graduated with a degree in Business Administration- Finance and International Business with minors in Spanish as well as Education. Her drive to learn and embrace cultures shows through her passport too; there are stamps from Spain, Nicaragua, Japan, Taiwan, London and France! Apart from Admin work at la Terza, she plays ultimate frisbee, manages at Wyoming Community Coffee and spoils her puppy dog, Nitro.