The Interrogator with Canyon Coffee

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Casey Wojtalewicz and Ally Walsh used to ship each other beans they discovered while on the road. Caffeinated love letters, if you will. The Los Angeles-based couple—a musician and a model, respectively—at the time were indulging their shared passion of the ritual of coffee. For them, it’s just just the buzz, it’s the sound of the grinder, the scent of the grounds, the feel of a warm mug in hand. For awhile, the passion remained simply that. It was only until Wojtalewicz found himself working in the coffee world himself that they had an epiphany: Why don’t they just roast the beans themselves? Canyon Coffee was born.

At its most basic, Canyon Coffee exists to provide people with the beans they personally love. Their team scours the world for the best of the best. As it turns out, the best bean must also be cultivated using best practices. Their beans are 100% organic and are preferably sourced from small farms—cooperatives, ideally. Canyon Coffee only works with importers who have transparency with their farmers, who are paid higher-than-fair trade prices for their product. The result is a brew that you can sip in good conscience.

Canyon Coffee’s drinkable (and non-drinkable) merch is available directly through their website, which offers friendly tasting notes that make actually knowing something about coffee seem like an accessible—and not snobbish—pursuit. Wojtalewicz and Walsh also do plenty of IRL bean pushing, appearing in pop-ups across Los Angeles, from Malibu’s annual Mercado Sagrado fair to the Melrose outpost of Outdoor Voices. Below, we talk to the admittedly pretty pair about secondhand Spanish, Stones at the Echo, and what they’re probably drinking when they’re not drinking coffee.

man sitting on a stool, barefoot and woman with arm draped over him

Place of residence:

Casey Wojtalewicz: Echo Park, CA.

Ally Walsh: Echo Park, CA.

Current occupation:

Casey: Co-Owner, Canyon Coffee

Ally: Model and Co-Owner of Canyon Coffee

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Casey: A philosopher-novelist.

Ally: A wine farmer.

two bags of Canyon Coffee next to jar with leaves on table in sunny room

Quote to live by:

Casey: Assume nothing, expect anything.

Ally: Right here, right now, you are free.

First job you ever had:

Casey: Lifeguard at the city pool in Appleton, MN.

Ally: Working at my dad’s plant nursery.

Least favorite part of your day:

Casey: 1:00 p.m.

Ally: When the coffee’s gone!

couple sitting on stairs while man holds a cup

Windows down, the song you’re playing is:

Casey: “Take On Me” by a-ha.

Ally: “Can You Get To That” by Funkadelic.

Three guilty pleasures:

Casey: Espresso after dinner, Kenny G Christmas albums, popcorn!

Ally: Movies in bed, dark chocolate, and mezcal.

If you had to watch one movie on repeat for eternity, what would it be?

Casey: Heavy Weights.

Ally: Midnight in Paris.

end table with flower vase, ash trays and book titled San Francisco

You have a million dollars to spend on art, you buy…

Casey: Supplies and a cabin in the woods. Also would commission my friend John Zabawa for a painting.

Ally: Matisse.

Plane, train or automobile for a trip?

Casey: Automobile to get anywhere between the Rockies and Pacific. Otherwise, plane. Except train, once in Japan or Europe.

Ally: Train!

What IS your favorite trip?

Casey: When Ally and I went on a road trip around Portugal in 2016.

Ally: Our trip to Europe this summer. We road tripped through the south of France, spent my birthday in Florence, then Sicily and then Paris! It was a trip we’ve been dreaming of for years.

couple sitting, smiling, next to table in sunny room

Personal travel ethos:

Casey: Plot the main points (hotel, coffee shop, hike) and let everything else happen in the moment. Travel light.

Ally: Never pack more than a carry-on.

Drink of choice:

Casey: Morning, black cup of coffee. Evening, some light-bodied natural red wine.

Ally: After coffee… ginger lemon tea!

Beach house or tree house:

Casey: Tree house!

Ally: Tree house.

Where was the best meal you ever had and what was it?

Casey: I think it was in Monsaraz, a tiny ancient hilltop village in Portugal, and it was whatever the three older women in this restaurant were cooking up. They didn’t speak English, nor we Portuguese, so we got by off secondhand Spanish—enough to say “We trust you” at least. And we were rewarded with incredible Portuguese red wine, charcuterie, pasta, fire-roasted vegetables, meat. It was unforgettable.

Ally: Pasta on my birthday in Florence at Trattoria 13 Gobbi!

Casey Wojtalewicz and Ally Walsh sitting side ny side in room

What is the best news you ever received?

Casey: When Cayucas (my old band) found out we were playing Primavera Sound and going to run a festival circuit around Europe! It was a dream come true.

Ally: When Canyon Coffee was featured in Bon Appetit magazine!

Briefly describe the best concert you have ever gone to.

Casey: Playing the Santa Monica Pier with Cayucas was my highlight as a performer. As a spectator, though, seeing my friends Young the Giant play a sold-out Greek Theatre in L.A. There was a moment when they busted out this simple choreographed dance—not what you expect from an indie band—and the whole amphitheater just lost it. It was epic because they had three great records to pull from at that time, it was epic because they’re such masterful musicians, and it was epic because they’re my friends. I felt amazed and proud and also like a total fangirl all at once.

Ally: Getting to see the Rolling Stones at the Echo in L.A! There were only 200 people, and I was in the front row. It was pretty incredible.

Where do you go for inspiration, peace of mind?

Casey: Nature. Preferably the woods. But also home to the prairie in western Minnesota. It’s my refuge.

Ally: I meditate or I go on walks. In L.A., I like going to the Self Realization Fellowship on Mount Washington.

Photos by Tyler William Parker for SIXTY Hotels

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