Lucas Kegley, Yola

In this edition I caught up with Lucas Kegley of Yola.

We first met over at Yola, but I quickly got the impression you had a background in coffee. What has you previous experience been?

I’ve not been a barista very long – just under a year, actually. I began working at Buzz with MadCap coffee under Cait Lowry. While there we had a four-day boot camp where Trevor Corlett and Ryan Knapp of MadCap helped all of the baristas perfect their skills.

That’s actually a little surprising. What made you want to get into this line of work? 

I like working around coffee because I enjoy helping people get their day started. I also like the organic aspect of it, working with coffee makes me feel like I’m in touch with an age-old process.

I’m working on a 60’s Soul mix in Spotify that’s quickly becoming my coffee playlist. What do you like to put on at the shop? 

To some it may be too early in the morning, but I love listening to dubstep. But I’ve been known to get nostalgic and throw on a 90’s play list.

It’s been estimated that I personally consume roughly 20 percent of the coffee in this city. That doesn’t leave much anyone else. How much do you drink? And how do you prefer it?

Believe it or not, I don’t drink much coffee in a given day. I do enjoy it, but I try to limit myself. When I’m making coffee just for myself, I use a French press.

So it’s quality over quantity, then? What’s been your favorite coffee recently?

My favorite coffee has been MadCap’s dual use Los Lobos, it’s a very rich, full-bodied dark roast that would wake you out of a coma from drip or when used as an espresso. It is a Costa Rican bean sundried on raised patios. It tastes like something that is supposed to wake you up in the morning should.

What about an espresso drink? When it warms up a bit I really enjoy an iced soy latte.

Easy – it’s an iced vanilla latte. The vanilla calms the espresso to the point that it takes on a whole other flavor, neither vanilla or coffee. I could drink at least a dozen of these every day if I had no self control!

So who is Lucas Kegley when not slinging espresso?

When I’m not working at Yola, I am a cook and a full time father of three. I enjoy spending time with my family and going on road trips. I’ve been cooking since I was around 8 years old, so I’m pretty good in the kitchen.

You can see Lucas with one of the kiddos in the picture above. Thanks to Lucas for taking some time to answer a few questions. If you have a suggestion for a future Barista Series interview, just send a note to or hit me up on Twitter or Facebook

Yola Coffee Tasting this Sunday with District Bean

Yola is turning one! To celebrate, yours truly will be serving up some coffee goodness this Sunday from 1-3 p.m. It’s totally free and you don’t have to RSVP, so put a note in your calendar and head on over to sample some amazing coffee.

Here’s the scoop:

Yola Coffee Tasting
1323 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Sunday, December 18
1-3 p.m.

Some of you are saying you had me at “free.” But others may need a little convincing. So what’s going to happen when you get there at 1 p.m.? You’ll be warmly greeted by these great guys, one of whom will be making fresh coffee in a Chemex while the other introduces your stomach to an array of freshly baked goodies from Hot!!Hot bakery.

I’ll be using the Chemex to brew an Ethiopian Idido from Counter Culture Coffee. If you’re not familiar with this particular coffee, it’s bursting with fruit flavors like strawberry and blueberry, which are accentuated by the brewing method. If you like it, there’ll be a few bags that you can purchase through Yola. I’ll also have some samples of the Yola house brew, the Farmhouse coffee also from Counter Culture.

Chris Deutsch, baker extraordinaire, is pairing these coffees with a selection of baked goods – also free to sample. Chris is the co-owner of Hot!!Hot bakery, an upstart that developed as Chris and his wife Amy spent time working in and eating from the classic French bakeries in Paris. After working abroad they’re bringing what they learned back to the District.

Still need convincing? Shoot me a quick line and I’ll come over to your apartment with a fresh pot of the Idido and a croissant au beurre. Kidding, but hit me up on Twitter if you want to know more.

See you Sunday.

You like bikes, son?

Of course you do! You’re on a coffee website, and by virtue of that fact there’s a 78 percent chance you really like bikes. (There’s also a 92 percent chance you’ve worn skinny jeans in the past 24 hours and an 18 percent chance you or your boyfriend have an ironic mustache. No need to check, I did the research.) So, get your bike-loving self ready for a coffee bike tour happening Saturday, October 1, and stopping at three awesome specialty coffee shops – Peregrine, Yola and Big Bear.

We’ll be targeting THREE coffee houses in three exciting neighborhoods of DC. You will be able to get the feel for each place, (because coffee houses are meant to be hung out in) learn more about their distinct but fabulous coffee programs, meet the cheery owners and staff, taste some delicious drinks and learn a ton about coffee! – Laura Smith, owner of Yola

The fun begins at Peregrine on 14th Street at 9 a.m. The tour is being coordinated with the folks at Cultural Tourism DC, so you can sign up right here or just show up. Bikes are pretty necessary, unless you’re super fast, in which case you’ll be aided by a few good shots of espresso. The complete route and tour deets are below.

Coffee Bike Tour
October 1 / 9-10:30 a.m.
Peregrine at 1718 14th Street, NW

View Coffee Bike Tour / Oct. 1 in a larger map

Dupont / Logan Circle

Explore the coffee shops of the Dupont and Logan Circle neighborhoods. If you’ve got a favorite coffee place that isn’t listed here, send an e-mail to You can find these shops and others – along with walking, biking and driving directions – on the District Bean Coffee Locator.


1323 Connecticut Ave, NW
(202) 223-0000
Serves Counter Culture Coffee
Find Yola on FacebookTwitter and Web

Dolcezza Gelato

1704 Connecticut Ave, NW
(202) 299-9116
Serves Counter Culture Coffee, Ritual Roasters, MadCap Coffee, Verve Coffee, Handsome Roasters and Four Barrel Coffee
Find Dolcezza on Facebook, Twitter and Web

Filter Coffeehouse & Espresso Bar

1726 20th Street, NW
(202) 234-5543
Serves Ceremony Coffee
Find Filter on Facebook, Twitter and Web

Pitango Gelato

1451 P Street, NW
(202) 885-9607
Serves Counter Culture Coffee
Find Pitango on Facebook, Twitter and Web

Vigilante pop-up @ Mr. Yogato

1515 17th Street, NW
Serves Vigilante Coffee
Find Vigilante on Facebook, Twitter and Web