Local Sisters Open Cora’s Girls Coffee, Newest Coffee Roasters in NOLA

Photo Credit: Cora’s Girls Coffee

Cora’s Girls Coffee is the new roaster on the New Orleans coffee scene. Owners and sisters Mia Patterson and Kiara Smith started the roaster in August, and it’s named in honor of their late mother.

Since she was sixteen, Kiara Smith has been in the coffee industry, working as a barista and managing coffee shops throughout New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Smith was forced to step back from work when she was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. A registered nurse by trade, Mia Patterson, thought that starting a business with her sister would be an excellent way to bond and spend time together.

The ladies wanted to do something in the coffee realm, but Smith, who received a kidney transplant in December, didn’t want to open a coffee shop. So, the next idea came in the form of coffee roasting.

“When I suggested coffee roasting, Kiara asked me if I knew anything about roasting coffee,” Patterson said. “I said, ‘No, but you do!’- I knew that we could figure it out.”

The ladies get their beans for Cora’s Girls Coffee from a broker in Mississippi who gets them from Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. Their most recent blend was created especially for the Carnival season. Throw me Somethin’ Sister is an Indonesian blend with bold flavors and brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon notes. 

Photo Credit: Cora’s Girls Coffee

Cora’s Girls Coffee sells whole beans through their website and has sold bags of coffee at Old Road Coffee on Bayou Road and Piece of Meat on Bienville. The ladies have also found success by sharing information about their coffee on their Instagram page. 

“We have had a lot off success just from word-of-mouth.” Patterson said.

They prefer to sell whole beans to keep the integrity of the product- grounds tend to go stale faster than whole beans.

“We decided on whole beans, because not every brew requires the same kind of grind,” Patterson explained. “Whole beans stay fresher longer and it allows the customers to grind the beans to their liking.”

While the ladies have no plans on opening a coffee shop, their goal is to one day open a brick-and-mortar where they can roast their coffee in the back and sell bags of coffee in the front.

Patterson said she and Smith are excited about Cora’s Girls Coffee and happy with their success so far and they hope to keep that momentum throughout the new year. She believes that she and her sister are the only African-American female coffee roasters in Louisiana.

She said, “This has been a labor of love for us. I’ve drunk more coffee in the past eight months that I have in my entire life!”

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