Life With: Esben Piper

Life With: Esben Piper

Aarhus native Esben Piper is the person behind renown Danish coffee company, La Cabra; a project that started randomly on a trip to Canada that now has expanded into being sold around the world. We recently paid a visit to the La Cabra roastery in the Frederiksberg borough of Copenhagen to sit and chat with Esben about life and all the things in between.


Esben wears ANOTHER Shirt 2.1, Black (see more)

ANOTHER ASPECT:

What’s your morning like? Do you have any routines or rituals?

ESBEN PIPER:

My routine is somewhat dependent on what my week is like; if I’m on the road or at home. I travelled a lot before the pandemic hit with no two weeks alike. Something that I’ve come to appreciate a lot is getting a workout in with a good friend whom also happens to have his own company. It allows us to empty our minds and discuss things, naturally ending it with a coffee after.

ANOTHER ASPECT:

Does what your wear bear an importance to your day?

ESBEN PIPER:

I don’t think long about what to wear, as it is a place for me to be more intuitive, simply wearing things that make me feel like myself, often being things that I’ve grown fond of. I can be somewhat absent-minded at times, so having a sort of tranquility in the ritual of getting dressed in the morning is something that I put an effort into prioritizing.

ANOTHER ASPECT:

Do clothing and coffee have anything in common?

ESBEN PIPER:

It’s a tricky question. To me, coffee finds itself at the intersection of culture and nature; of the poetic and the scientific. I always want to express something through our work though I’m aware that this may come off as odd to many. None the less, I want for coffee to impact me in the same way that art and clothing can; an escape from daily life and, when it gets to a point where the processes that have gone ahead of the actual coffee, something so complex that it triggers your curiosity and creativity. I couldn’t spend my time on coffee if I didn’t have that inherent relation to it.

ANOTHER ASPECT:

What does the aspect of sensory mean to you?

ESBEN PIPER:

I fully believe that it is the sensory element that ties everything together in our company, every day spent on seeking to encapsulate a certain flavour or expression and communicating this to people around the world.


Esben wears ANOTHER Shirt 2.1, Black (see more) & ANOTHER Pants 1.0, Artichoke Green (see more)

ANOTHER ASPECT:

How do you keep your quality in check when opening more coffee shops?

ESBEN PIPER:

I find it somewhat simple: It is our most vital task to bring forth the quality of the raw ingredients that we spend so much time discovering. Our work needs to express what happened at the farm. This is achieved through thorough training and a deep understanding of the many processes that go into making a cup of coffee. As long as we can identify passionate and talented people who yearn to be part of that journey, the question of quality will not be an issue. I’m a hopeless perfectionist but concurrently well-aware that we neither can nor should perfect an imperfect product; it is that which makes it human, beautiful and, in some ways, unalterable.

ANOTHER ASPECT:

Is there anything that interests you as much as coffee does?

ESBEN PIPER:

I’ve always been drawn to art and I feel like both wine and coffee can be thrown into that same sphere. To put it shortly, I’m drawn to how things can affect both our sensory apparatus and understanding of the world in which we live.

ANOTHER ASPECT:

What is a good cup of coffee?

ESBEN PIPER:

It has to be pure in its flavour and expression. To me, this means that it has to be as natural as possible, made from a high-quality raw material that shouldn’t be diluted or altered too much during the processes of roasting or brewing. We need to unlock the potential with our roasting. I always know that something is wrong when I start thinking too much about how the coffee has been roasted or brewed or what water was used. It simply needs to be transparent and clear in all aspects before it can become truly good. When those things are in place, what makes a coffee good is that you want to talk about it, due to it having triggered something within you. Honestly, I can get goosebumps from drinking a truly good cup of coffee. 

Esben wears ANOTHER Shirt 2.1, Night Sky Navy (see more) & ANOTHER Pants 1.0, Artichoke Green (see more)

ANOTHER ASPECT:

Does the importance of coffee vary, depending on which social context that it is consumed in?

ESBEN PIPER:

I’m hard to influence in that realm, probably because I’ve worked with coffee for the past ten years. Whether I have a cup of coffee in Aarhus or Tuscany won’t change how I perceive it, but those singular moments can still become more meaningful, if the coffee is also on point.

ANOTHER ASPECT:

What is the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard anyone say about coffee?

ESBEN PIPER:

Coffee is an unexplored world to many people, so I often hear some say kinda funny or meaningless things about it. An example: Saying that you really like Italian coffee—it just doesn’t make much sense though the cultural rituals are alluring to many.

Esben wears ANOTHER Shirt 2.1, Night Sky Navy (see more) & ANOTHER Pants 1.0, Artichoke Green (see more)

PHOTOS BY: 

Niklas Adrian Vindelev

ESBEN PIPER INSTAGRAM:

@esbenpiper