Nabeen Singha became a coffee professional after a background of helping his father with contracting work led him to answer a Craigslist ad fixing coffee equipment. Several years later, after developing a passion for coffee and the process of crafting it, he came on board with Le Pain Quotidien as our Coffee Manager and guru for all things coffee and espresso. We sat down with Nabeen to pick his brain about everything from espresso to sustainability. His answers had us craving caffeine in the best possible way!

You got really into coffee management through fixing equipment. Is that unusual?

Yes – I think most people get into the industry more from being a barista, and then you develop an interest in the equipment, and you want to learn about it. That’s probably more common. I was working for a small roasting company, and that’s where I got my passion for the coffee itself.

What about Le Pain Quotidien’s coffee program are you most proud of?

I love the coffee experience that you can get at LPQ. You can really make it your own – it’s a true coffee service.  I think the table-side experience is something that’s unique to us – you don’t even get coffee service like that at a nice restaurant. I also think our coffee is awesomely consistent. The equipment that we use allows all of our coffee throughout all of our restaurants in any marketplace to taste the same. That’s really hard to do.

Nabeen

How does LPQ bring the spirit of local dining to a product that cannot be grown in the continental US?

We work with one grower. That’s really important because it allows us to trace our funding. We’re dealing directly with them, we know that we’re benefiting this farmer, his employees and the economy of that one area.

What’s your favorite way to drink coffee?

My favorite drink is quite boring! It’s black coffee. But in the winter, I definitely drink cappuccinos in the morning, which I don’t usually do. I don’t love milk too much, but I love a good cappuccino if it’s done really well, with awesome textured milk. It’s a treat!

Nabeen - tasting

Tell us about an upcoming coffee trend that you’re excited about.

What I’ve been getting really into is sparkling espresso drinks. Espresso with tonic; espresso with sparkling water. Trying to carbonate cold-brew. Things like that. I like the idea of a more lively experience in your mouth with the coffee flavor.

What’s on the horizon for LPQ coffee?

I like how much more personal our coffee service is getting – our counters are getting lower. It’s becoming more heads-up. We’re constantly experimenting with new methods, equipment and options for delivering the freshest possible coffee that we can. It’s exciting!

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Ready for more on coffee? Read about our organic coffee’s journey from Peru to brew and feel better about your caffeine addiction with 5 Reasons to Drink More Coffee.