WICKER PARK — A Mexican coffee chain focused on specialized grounds and lattes is opening its first Chicago location this fall.
La Borra del Cafe plans to open at 1700 W. Division St. this fall, regional manager Jessica Vasquez said. The company, which is based in Mexico, opened its only other American location last year in suburban Berwyn.
Wicker Park is not lacking in coffee shops but Vasquez said La Borra will offer the neighborhood a Mexican approach to coffee.
La Borra roasts its own coffee beans, which are sourced directly from farmers in Mexico. Milk frothing is much different in America than in Mexico and while a cold brew from Starbucks is dark in color, a Mexican cold brewer is much lighter, she said.
“We’re Mexican. We’re gonna have a lot of Mexican stuff,” she said. “We focus a lot on good coffee. … Our blend is sweet, maple-tasting. It’s so good I love it.”
La Borra was founded in 2012 in Jalisco and has since expanded to 65 locations in Mexico, many of which are in Jalisco, Veracruz or Chiapas. The shop draws inspiration for its name from “La Borra del Cafe,” a book by Uruguayan novelist Mario Benedetti.
Each La Borra has a similar color palette and includes community-focused aspects, such as book sharing. And all the shops are situated on street corners.
Each cafe is designed with a “soul” to match the neighborhood or town in which its located, Vasquez said. The Wicker Park shop will be dog friendly and have a conference room at the front of the building. Customers can also write inspirational messages on a chalkboard wall in the space.
“Our mission is to inspire the world,” Vasquez said. “If you come in here we want to inspire you.”
The chain plans to continue expanding in the Chicago area and is already eying a location in Lincoln Park, Vasquez said.
For now, the Wicker Park location is prepping for an October or early November opening.
Vasquez is hiring a manager, two supervisors and baristas. Those interested in applying should email email@example.com or call or text 707-631-2338. Baristas need not have prior coffee experience, Vasquez said.
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