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Mother Essentials: Buffy Maguire of Lady Falcon Coffee Club

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Portrait by Simone Anne

Buffy Maguire is a tastemaker in more ways than one. Not only has the San Francisco-based creative blazed a trail as one of the few female master coffee roasters in the world, she’s also quite literally a “tastemaker” when it comes to her day-to-day duties of creating delicious blends for her brand, Lady Falcon Coffee Club. And now she’s introducing something brand-new that is sure to make a splash: coffee-cherry tea.

Featuring the dried outer cherry from the coffee plant and paired with organic flowers and spices—Lady Falcon’s new tea blends come in three flavors—Chai, Hibiscus, and Rose Petal—and are produced by an all-women team. Including a female coffee producer high in the Nicaraguan mountains near the Honduran border, where the coffee cherries are sun-dried by hand.

Mother to three boys (teens Conor and Dylan, and her late son Kevin), Buffy shares what’s currently getting her through her busy days in her Mother Essentials list below—lots of tea and coffee, art and daydreaming included!

Clare V. Bag. “I have no typical day. Each day changes from the next, but there are some constants. One is my Clare V. Giant Trop—it’s the monster bag that holds all of the seasons of my life. Different from my purse, the Giant Trop (in black for me) holds the activities of the day.” Giant Trop Tote, $225, Clare V.

Coffee Roasting Go-To’s. “On coffee roasting days, my Giant Trop starts out empty—with my coffee Decomposition Notebook, my laptop, a few Micron 05 black pens, and Bic Velocity pencils. And the day ends with all the coffee samples and notes on the coffee bags for my tastings.” Sakura Pigma Micron Black 05 (8-Pack), $15.86, Amazon. BIC Velocity Original Mechanical Pencil (4-Pack), $5.99, Amazon.   

Beach Time. “As we are rounding into summer, I will get to spend more time in the ocean since my kids are junior lifeguards and I’m one of the carpool moms. So, in my bag goes my O’Neill wetsuit, a hooded towel, and EltaMD sunscreen. I just jump in the water to decompress—it lightens me up and brings a big smile to my face. I am not a surfer, just a water person from a long line of water people who love coastal life.” Women’s Reactor 2-Full Zip Wetsuit, $139.95, O’Neill. EltaMD Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, $32, Dermstore.

Land Clothes + Habits. “Then I rinse off, slip into my favorite Longway pants, my Curator knit sweater that feels like a sweatshirt, sip some Lady Falcon hibiscus-coffee cherry tea out of my pink LFCC Fellow Carter Mug, put on a warm pair of socks (like Frances Austen’s cashmere socks) and unabashedly pair them with my No. 6 Old School clogs, or my well-loved black Freda EDA sneakers. Both make any outfit upscale, with ease. Then, voilà, ready for action.”  

Morning Routine. “Although each day takes me to a different place, each morning begins the same. I most definitely was not born a morning person, but I do rise early to get ready before my sons get up and to begin my pour over ritual, when I am usually cupping/tasting my newest roast or blend experiment and drink sitting quietly. I am a note taker, so I almost always have a Decomposition Notebook next to me. Sometimes, I write, sometimes I don’t. I sit quietly in the same place in my house each morning next to the big bay window where most mornings the hummingbirds come to visit our lemon tree.” Slate Sketch Decomposition Book, $8, Decomposition by Michael Rogers.

Vintner’s Daughter Oil. “My morning get-ready beauty routine is best when I begin with a brief massage of my face with Vintner’s Daughter—a bottle lasts forever and it is so replenishing. The rest of my routine is fast and simple.” Active Botanical Serum, $195, Vintner’s Daughter.   

Daydreaming.I love visually creating the ideas behind Lady Falcon Coffee Club. And this is a lot of visualization. Sometimes this is moodboarding or Polaroids (I love my Polaroid and have been known to hoard film) or endless photos and boomerangs. Sometimes it’s words and ideas. It’s always about feminine energy and different ways we feel most powerful harnessing it. The HP little printer that prints photos off your phone is kind of mind blowing. I also still love magazines and love a visit to Green Apple Books where you can find magazines from all over the world. Sometimes one image can spark a series of ideas.” HP Sprocket Portable 2×3″ Instant Photo Printer, $78.89, Amazon.

Art Inspiration. “Going to art exhibits is also keenly important to my creative process. I love Legion of Honor, deYoung, SFMOMA, and also little galleries such as The Great Highway Gallery and 111 Minna Gallery. I am also lucky enough to know a lot of artists whose studios I get to visit. Emily Fromm, John Musgrove, Brian Barneclo, and Georgia Hodges are just a few of my friends whose work I get to see in their studios and in galleries.” 

Photo Shoots. “Creating and executing epic Lady Falcon photo shoots with my extremely talented BFF photographer/artist Simone Anne is a favorite way to make palpable the creative vision for Lady Falcon’s take on feminine energy. Shoots such as our Skater Ladies bombing the hills of the Outer Sunset sear a visual of the LFCC vision for a femme on the move.” LadyFalconCoffeeClub.com.

Tools Of The Tastemaking Trade.Creating and curating Lady Falcon’s coffee menu is something I work on in some way everyday. Each day I taste my newest roasts by comparing them against my notes or taste new offerings from coffee farms. I roast all the coffee as single origins first. I love exploring origins with all my senses. Then, after I have that down, I experiment with blends. Single origins are the building blocks I create unique blends with. As a Q grader, I employ a meticulous method to taste my coffee so that it can easily be recreated. I appreciate the Fellow Gooseneck Kettle for cuppings. And I am just getting into the new Brewista Gooseneck Kettle, which is also impressive.” Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Gooseneck Kettle, $160, Williams Sonoma. Brewista Artisan Electric Gooseneck Kettle, $159, Amazon.

“I am attached to my Acaia scale, but truly this is the coffee nerd in me—this is totally an over-the-top scale. There are much more reasonably priced scales that exist and work well, such as one by Hario. I am also always dreaming up new blends and ways to share the tasting experience with our community. I am a tastemaker first and foremost.” Acaia Lunar Coffee Scale, $398.89, Amazon. Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale and Timer Pour-Over Scale Black, $39.50, Amazon.

Radio Cherry Bombe.Cherry Bombe editor Kerry Diamond is such an inspiration—she fosters community and lifts women tastemakers up in a selfless and generous way. Her podcast is a wealth of interviews with women who are creating and maneuvering and hustling with grit and creativity. I learn so much! I also just love the stories. Kerry’s super prolific, so the material is fresh—there’s always a new episode that’s a new favorite. I listen in my car on the way to roast coffee or in my office when I am working or on the long drives back from junior lifeguards.” Radio Cherry Bombe.

Lady Falcon Tea.Our new teas are an exciting part of Lady Falcon because it’s a tea that very few people know about and it’s fun to share such a clean energy product with the world. In my coffee-sourcing explorations through varying regions, climates, elevations, and coffee farms, I began learning about a tea made from coffee plants and its benefits. Sometimes called cascara (not to be confused with cascara sagrada), this tea is made from the outer pulp of a coffee cherry and is jam-packed with antioxidants. Brewing it is an ancient tradition deep within Yemen, Ethiopia, and other coffee-producing countries where drinking coffee cherries blended with spices as a tea is more common than drinking coffee. It is jam-packed with antioxidants and polyphenols, which makes it anti-inflammatory and hydrating, with 1/3 the caffeine or roasted coffee, resulting in a clean and mellow buzz. For our new line of teas, I sourced directly from another rarity in the coffee world—a female coffee producer high in the Nicaraguan mountains near the Honduran border—where I have personally seen the  coffee cherries sun-dried by hand. I pair the cherry pulp with organic dried flowers and spices to create an extraordinary and delicious cup of tea. We have three blends in both loose leaf and tea bags—rose, hibiscus, and chai—and I am working on a few new blends for the end of the year.” Mix & Match Teas (2-Pack), $50, Lady Falcon Coffee Club.

3pm Tea Time Ritual.Sometimes I steep our Coffee Cherry Chai loose leaf if I have time or tea bag if time is pressed. This spicy tea warms me up and gives me a mellow boost of energy. There’s no black tea in it, just spices and coffee cherry tea. Super clean. Sometimes I drink it bare or sometimes I pair it with Táche Pistachio Milk depending on my mood. This is when I love to pair my tea with something sweet like Le Dix Sept pastry box (this week it included the most divine strawberry galette! Chef Michelle’s patisserie skills are pure magic!). And on other days, I reach for the addictive Honey Mama’s Chocolate Cake that I literally hide in my refrigerator or it will get devoured by members of my family who shall remain nameless (ahem, my husband). Taking time for tea reminds me of my days of living in Ireland where everyone had time for tea and a wee sweetie. It makes life more fun.” Diva Chai, $50 for 2 tins, Lady Falcon Coffee Club. Táche Pistachio Milk, $7.70, Thrive Market. Pastry Box, prices vary, Le Dix Sept. Honey Mama’s Chocolate Cake (4-Pack), $24, Honey Mama’s.

For more Mother Essentials, peep our recent past columns with Dear Bella Creamery co-founder Alice Cherng, designer Becky Hui Chan, author Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, ByHeart co-founder Mia Funt, Backdrop founder Natalie Ebel, Oui The People founder & CEO Karen Young, author-illustrator Grace Lin, the co-founders of ODDOBODY, Happy Family Organics’ CEO Anne Laraway, YA author J.Elle, kid-lit authors Karen Chan and Suzanne Greenlaw, the founders of EADEM, Minimalista author Shira Gill, and Domino’s Chief Content Officer Kate Berry.

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