Consistently Good OHORI’S MAKES MICRO-ROASTING A FAMILY AFFAIR By Laura Jean Schneider • Photos by Stephanie Cameron
The heart of Ohori's: 1965 vintage German-made Probat UG-15 coffee roaster.
Ohori’s Coffee Roasters seems like the ideal escape from the chilly October Santa Fe morning. I follow a low-lighted hall to emerge into a space with large windows and high ceilings, sliding doors that open onto a brick patio, and shelves displaying tea and coffee goods for purchase. The music is at a just-audible level. Two tattooed twentysomething baristas move fluidly at the counter, making lattes and hand-scooping bulk coffee from bins of fresh-roasted beans. I’m delighted to find my favorite Montana-made Bequet caramels on the counter among the sweets. There’s original art on the walls, and I’ll find out later that’s unique to this Ohori’s location—and there’s no commission to hang a show. In her late thirties, General Manager Tai Ayers looks years younger. Her short dark hair is lively, like her demeanor. As she leads the way to her upstairs office, we gather her mother, Pema Ayers, who’s visiting 48
edible Santa Fe | EARLY WINTER 2015
from Hawaii. Sam Brinegar, Tai’s husband and Ohori’s primary bean roaster, glances up briefly from the computer where he’s working on payroll. Larry Ayers, Tai’s father, is in and out, at one point examining the icon on a glazed Ohori’s mug—handmade in Colorado—audibly wondering if they should alter the design. Looking through Ayers’ office windows, I can see the whole floor plan of the coffee shop. Indoor seating provides a half dozen or so tables with chairs, and the patio is always open. Tai explains the challenge of providing seating, knowing a café plan is difficult to pull off in Santa Fe, where most social gatherings happen in private homes. The original Ohori’s was basic: they sold pounds of fresh-roasted beans to take home, with a complimentary black coffee to go. But some customers expressed the need for a space to sit and enjoy a latte or cappuccino and connect to Wi-Fi. In the twelve years that she’s
Published on Dec 2, 2015
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