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New Mexico’s largest coffee roaster to launch first ABQ cafe

Courtesy of New Mexico Pinon Coffee Company

Courtesy of New Mexico Pinon Coffee Company

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s largest coffee roaster is getting into the coffee shop business.

New Mexico Piñon Coffee — an Albuquerque-based business that roasted an estimated 900,000 pounds of coffee in 2014 — plans to launch its first-ever coffee shop next month in northeast Albuquerque. The new venture will open at 4545 Alameda NE, just west of Jefferson.

And it probably won’t be the last. Director of Operators Allen Bassett, whose family owns the 20-year-old coffee roasting business, said expansion is part of the plan.

The family has a background in McDonald’s franchising “so we know how to do all the systems and all that kind of stuff,” he said.

The new “Piñon Coffee House” will cater not just to coffee connoisseurs but also those who don’t know their way around the sometimes complicated café offerings. The sizes will be “regular” and “large” and the menu is designed to be user-friendly.

“You can get basically the same drinks you could get at a normal coffee shop, but it’s going to be much easier to try different things and not so intimidating,” said Bassett, noting that even he has found himself confused by modern cafe lingo. “Shoot, my whole business is around coffee, and I’ll go into a coffee shop and I still don’t know all the ins and outs and all the crazy stuff people do and order.”

New Mexico Piñon Coffee’s beans will of course serve as the base of the drinks, including espresso drinks inspired by New Mexico, but the 1,200-square-foot cafe will also sell specialty teas and baked goods.

Randall Teller, the company’s customer service manager, said people often visit the roasting headquarters — located a short distance from the new cafe — seeking a drink, but the roaster is only equipped to dish out samples. The new cafe will have all the right machinery to do “all the fancy drinks,” he said.

There’s “been quite a demand for it,” he said. “And hopefully we’ll fill a demand.”

Piñon Coffee House is expected to open in early February.

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