Tableside with…CAVU Coffee’s Emily Schanie

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Remembering the coffee she served as a former flight attendant, Emily Schanie turns sheepish. But since opening CAVU Coffee in West Chester, all that’s behind her. CAVU is pilot-speak for “ceiling and visibility unlimited,” and these days her homemade-vanilla-infused La Terza blend more than lives up to such ideal conditions.

Why coffee? I’m intrigued by how the flavor of the same roast can change depending on how it’s brewed.

How do the different brews change the flavor? You can get good flavor with the French press, but it tends to sour from heat loss while you’re waiting. The pour over is really good with lighter roast coffees, while the siphon brings out deeper, richer flavors.

Where did you learn? I’ve learned a lot from coffee consultant Roberts Mbabazi. He’s from Uganda and competed at the World Barista Championship in 2012.

The interior of your shop is beautiful. I wanted something bright. This was previously a Caribou Coffee, very masculine and dark. I knew I was going to be in the space so much, and I wanted it to be somewhere that was an extension of my home and a place where I felt comfortable.

What’s the biggest mistake people make when brewing their own coffee? People think it’s just about really good beans, but good water is an essential part. At the shop, our filtration system creates spring water.

CAVU Coffee, 7755 Cox Ln., West Chester, (513) 755-2288

Originally published in the June 2014 Issue

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