Small-batch roastery, coffee shop opens on Pioneer Trail in South Lake Tahoe |

Small-batch roastery, coffee shop opens on Pioneer Trail in South Lake Tahoe

Claire Cudahy |
Nicki Williams opened up Black Cabin Coffee with her husband Will this December.
Claire Cudahy / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

A new coffee shop with a focus on small-batch beans, handmade pastries and unique breakfast sandwiches is now open on Pioneer Trail.

This December, Nicki and Will Williams opened up Black Cabin Coffee after nine months of remodeling the business themselves, bringing new life to a building that has — in true Tahoe fashion — previously operated as a thrift shop, dentist office, tattoo parlor and another coffee shop.

Together the couple roasts 2.5-pound batches of coffee in the back room of their eclectic shop, which is decorated with old California road signs, a collection of quirky mugs and a jackalope over the stone fireplace.

“It’s an awesome dynamic, my husband and I,” said Nicki, who has worked in the industry for 15 years, training baristas and managing coffee shops. “I have the coffee background and he’s a mechanical engineer, so he does the technical part of the roasting and I do all of the cuppings and dial it in and really kind of balance out the process.”

Black Cabin Coffee currently has seven different roasts, which are used in signature coffee drinks like the White Witch — a lightly-roasted bean ground into a white espresso and mixed with almond milk, honey and nutmeg — or the Fireside Mocha — espresso with steamed milk, organic cacao, ancho and chipotle chili spice, and whipped cream.

“Our tea game is on point,” said Nicki.

A selection of loose-leaf tea mixed by Zephyr Cove-based BlendBee is available at the coffee shop with punny names like “Tahoe the Mornin’ to ya!” and “Chai [expletive] Harder.” Other teas are sourced directly from Taiwan where Will travels for work.

“Our food menu is small, but everything we do, we do really well,” said Nicki.

Popular items include the “sam” — bacon, egg, cheddar and hash browns on an English muffin — and the “cristo” — ham and Swiss on French toast with a maple Dijon sauce.

Nicki bakes a selection of muffins, cinnamon rolls and biscotti, too.

“We did this because this is our passion,” she said.

Black Cabin Coffee is located at 3894 Pioneer Trail in South Lake Tahoe. The coffee shop is open daily from 6 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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