Jeff Yerxa and Nicolas Cabrera met in 2012 at American University and quickly realized their mutual affection for a great cup of coffee. As their admiration for coffee grew so did their relationship and so did their ambition. The two became roommates in 2013 and began home roasting their own coffee shortly thereafter. Their obsessive pursuit for the perfect cup has culminated with the opening of Lost Sock Roasters.
Western House Blend
Now in it’s second iteration, the Western House blend has upped its ante. We’ve kept the Mexican Chiapas providing that plump body and nuttiness, and introduced a Peruvian bean coming from the Cajamarca region. The GUAY APE farming association in Peru enjoys significant altitudes, great soil, and favorable climate – providing a unique balance of fragrance, flavor, and acidity in the cup. Furthermore, the members of the group not only receive benefits for social and financial services but they also focus on gender equality and the role of women in the coffee industry.
This blend is a medium roast. As is cools, nutty and chocolate notes gradually give way to a warming cherry-like acidity. Not flashy or over the top, but pleasing. A cup you want to wake up with.
Origins: Cajamarca, Peru & Chiapas, Mexico
Varietals: Typica, Caturra, Bourbon
Process: Fully Washed
Tasting Notes: Almond, Pecan, Milk Chocolate
This is the second Rwandan lot we’ve sourced this season, and for good reason. The crop we’ve sampled this year coming out of Rwanda has been outstanding. The one common attribute we’ve found in the Rwandan coffees we’ve sampled this year, has been the finish. The Kibirizi has a sweet lingering finish that has you constantly yearning for the next sip. Prepare for a very herbal tea-like experience, with definite notes of white grape and hibiscus.
This is one of the first lots coming out of the Kibirizi washing station, located in Rwanda’s southern province, Nyamagabe. The station, which was recently built by two local farmers who wanted more control in the processing of their crop, now processes cherries from the farmers’ 20,000 trees.
Washing Station: Kibirizi
Region: South Nyamagabe
Altitude: 1,600 meters
Tasting Notes: White Grape, Honey, Hibiscus
Q: How did you get involved in the coffee business?
Nico and I both grew up in the service industry. Nico, being born and raised in Ecuador, grew up in a family of restaurantuers with family members owning and operating coffee farms. I’ve spent my entire working life in and out of restaurants moving from a busser, to server, to bartender, then finally landing as a barista. We met during Sophomore year at American University, and quickly realized our mutual affection for a good cup of joe. We became roommates our senior year, and began home roasting shortly thereafter. Roasting turned from hobby to passion. DC was at the time, and still is today, experiencing a renaissance in terms of the DIY community and explosion of small businesses. We saw it as the perfect time and opportunity to turn our passion into a business.
Q: Can you explain your mission a bit?
Outside of perfecting our craft and continually offering the highest quality coffee possible. It’s always been a mission of ours to give back – both locally and internationally. Locally, we look to strengthen and celebrate the creative community in DC through collaboration, interaction, and support. Internationally, we look to work closely with international organizations and the communities from where we source our coffee.
Q: Is there a meaning behind the name “Lost Sock”?
This is one of the most common questions we get! Our hope is that our coffee, like the proverbial lost sock, is something you’re looking for every morning.
Q: What distinguishes your coffee?
I think we take extraordinary steps, top to bottom, to ensure what you get is sustainable, fresh, and delicious. We work with a handful of importers and direct trade collectives that share our values in economic, environmental, and social sustainability to source some of the best green coffee coming from around the world. Once sourced, we take 1-2 weeks profiling our roast to make sure we are bringing out the full potential of the bean. We put time into each of the coffees we roll out, and I think in the end you can taste it.
Q: What type of beans do you roast?
We tend to lean on washed coffees, although if a honey or natural jumps off the table we will buy it. We look for bright, floral, and fruity coffees. We take a nordic approach to roasting – often roasting on the lighter side to highlight the coffee’s acidity and sweetness.
Q: Where do you receive your beans from?
We haven’t tied ourselves to a particular region, so you will find us roasting a bit of everything. We switch it up frequently, but we always try to equally represent each of the coffee growing regions.
Q: Do you have a physical shop location?
Our roastery, located in Brightwood Park, Washington DC, is wholesale oriented and not open to the public. However, we hold pop-up coffee bars at different locations around DC throughout the year (follow our social media to stay in loop on those).
Q: What do you like best about your line of work?
I think Nico and I were both drawn to the coffee industry due to its internationality and craft. Coffee comes into contact with so many people, through farming, processing, roasting, and brewing. In each of these steps, value is added (hopefully), and craft and expertise are needed. When you take all of this into account, you begin to understand the significance of great tasting cup. Being a part of this long line of dedicated workers is something we draw motivation from and cherish.
Q: Something people might be surprised to learn about you or your business?
Nico and I have been roommates for 6 years now! Starting a business with your friend is no easy feat, but living with them too… that’s a whole other story.
Q: What’s next for Lost Sock?
Our main goal is to establish ourselves as a highly regarded specialty coffee roaster and increase our presence throughout the DMV area. We plan to go brick & mortar hopefully in the next two years.