A True Labor of Love

Hestia HouseMoore Coffee & Tea was started by Gayla Moore in 1990. She began her adventure and great passion with coffee as a novice, gaining her knowledge from a prominent roaster in the business. As she learned more about coffee and began roasting herself, her skill, knowledge, and experience grew. In our efforts to give back to the coffee community we’re proud to be a Certified Organic coffee roasting company. We are certified organic by the CCOF: California Certified Organic Farmers. We buy organic and roast in accordance with the USDA and CCOF regulations. We take great care to roast each bean to its full potential through sight, sound and smell.

Her business is founded on her strong principles and beliefs about coffee and is guided and nurtured by her passions. Very few people get to do the things that they love, but Gayla has achieved this. Constantly growing and learning, her passion for coffee has led her to exotic places in the search for quality coffees. As a natural extension, she now carries quality teas, using her same guidelines for taste and quality.

Gayla’s business is her primary passion and interest and she had takes a very “hands-on” approach to its operation: cupping and selecting beans and teas;  meeting with her wholesale clients.  In 2001 she moved the business to Ventura, Caifornia.  As her business has grown she has found valued assistance in her efforts for quality, consistency, and freshness to deliver a product she believes in. And her passion for coffee means that it is always a labor of love.

The Moore Coffee & Tea Roasting “Team”

Hestia HouseHelga, as “she” is affectionately known is the most important piece of equipment at Moore Coffee & Tea. Helga is a Probat L12 roaster. She is capable of roasting up to 25 pounds of coffee per batch and can do up to four batches an hour. Because of the small batch size and the high quality construction, Probats offer an extremely consistent roast. They are also extremely durable, requiring very little maintenance.

“Maintenance on the machine is very easy. I know practically every part of the machine and my relationship with it is very reciprocal. We take care of the machine and it takes care of us”

But it is the actual roasting that displays the ability of both the machine and the human. Roasting is an art form requiring in equal parts skill, talent, perception, and a keen sense of timing. The roaster must know exactly when to drop the beans: a second too early and they are under-roasted; a second too late and they are over-roasted.

“Those moments before the final drop are very Zen-like. All of your attention is focused on that moment and what is happening right then. There is no before, there is no after. There is just the quiet listening to the beans, perceiving their subtle aromas, and waiting for them to be ready.”

And anyone who has ever tasted her coffee can tell you that Gayla and her team both listen and smell very well.

Hestia: Goddess of Home & Hearth

HestiaGayla owned and operated a coffeehouse on State Street in Santa Barbara from 1990 until 1995, when she was forced to close its doors due to a family illness. The coffeehouse was named “Hestia House” and is still missed by its former patrons.

Hestia was the Greek goddess of the home and hearth. Her Roman counterpart was Vesta. Hestia was the daughter of Cronos and Rhea and was one of the original twelve gods of Olympus. She was the symbol of the home and every newborn child had to be carried before her altar at the hearth before it could be received into the home. Every meal would begin and end with a prayer to her. Even the cities themselves had public hearths that were shrines to Hestia. When a new city was founded, coals from the original city were carried to the new one to light its hearth. Hestia rules from late December to early January: the home is where all things end and where they begin.

It was especially fitting that the coffeehouse be named after the goddess; on the back wall was an enormous fireplace, often the center of conversation and live music. Gayla always strived to have her coffeehouse be a “home” for her patrons. It was even more appropriate given that her business was centered around the “hearth” that was the backbone of her business: the roaster!


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