Magnolia Coffee is brewing up an expansion

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Magnolia Coffee is upgrading its operations for future growth in Charlotte and beyond.

Changes include the addition of a third small-batch roaster that doubles the Matthews-based roastery’s production capacity, a renovated tasting room, an expanded hands-on barista training lab and a new e-commerce site with direct-to-consumer coffee subscriptions and free nationwide delivery.

Owner Jay Gestwicki says the enhancements are part of the brand’s focus on reaching more regional and national wholesale customers.

“We know the Charlotte market very well and what types of coffees and roast profiles this city prefers,” he said. “And we think this quality will work in other markets now.”

Jay Gestwicki, Magnolia Coffee owner

Late last year, Magnolia Coffee received top marks from Coffee Review — earning a score of 93 points and a three-way tie for the title of best single-origin espresso in the country.

Gestwicki hopes the national spotlight helps draw attention to supporting the city’s local roasters.

“By far the most coffee consumed in Charlotte is not coming from local roasters,” Gestwicki says. “We have these exceptional coffees, but the transition of coffeehouses from buying from national roasters to local roasters has been very slow.”

Magnolia now has six coffees rated 91 points or higher by Coffee Review.

The last little bit of Magnolia’s top-rated single-origin espresso

Magnolia Coffee is currently served at a number of restaurants and cafes around Charlotte, including Fahrenheit, Lumiere, Halcyon and Terrace Cafe, among others.

But if you’ve had Magnolia Coffee in Charlotte (and odds are you have — Common Market’s full in-house coffee line-up is roasted by Magnolia), you might not know where to buy your own beans to brew at home.

Gestwicki says that’s because it can be tricky to get consumer-facing product on local retail shelves. Only a select few wholesale partners carry Magnolia’s retail line, including Common Market, Julia’s Cafe, Mugs Coffee and Rhino Market.

“We’re going to make it more accessible by shipping for free right to your door and by opening our own doors to the public if you want to come purchase direct and see the inner workings of a micro-roastery,” he said.

Ben Alleman, Magnolia Coffee roaster

Also part of Gestwicki’s plan is a coffee tasting room at the roastery that mimics the approachability of a brewery taproom.

It will be a place for customers to sample coffees, take a mini tour of the facility, learn about the process and buy direct from Magnolia. Gestwicki says they’ll do limited releases of special coffees, similar to the limited bottle releases we see now at breweries.

In addition to the tasting room, Gestwicki is upgrading Magnolia’s espresso training lab to educate clients as well as home coffee enthusiasts.

“We’ve found there is a population craving more information and how to create café quality coffee at home,” he said.

Follow Magnolia Coffee online for updates on its completed renovations and new tasting room hours.

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Katie Levans Loveluck
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Co-Founder and Creative Director