Food & Wine Names Mammoth Espresso Louisiana’s Best Coffee Shop
“What began as a pint-sized, perfectly formed coffee bar, the sharpest little operation in a caffeine-mad city cluttered with cafes, most of them hopelessly average, evolved in 2021 to become the most compelling roaster in town as well,” said the magazine. “In the coming months, look for a combined roasting operation and expanded cafe, making Mammoth even more of a destination.”
Mammoth Espresso owner Jonathan Riethmaier said the honor was a welcome surprise — although he isn’t nearly as dismissive as Food & Wine about the rest of the city’s coffee offerings.
“From the get go, our aim was to be the quality-focused coffee shop here in New Orleans, and it’s nice to get a little bit of recognition for that,” he said. “Obviously, it’s something we take a lot of pride in. Anyone with a national reputation who wants to say we’re the best, I’ll take it. But there’s a lot of great coffee to go around.”
Riethmaier, who’s been working in the coffee business for nearly two decades, said he’s intentional about sourcing quality beans from reputable producers with “lots of transparency so we know the prices being paid at origin.” This month marks six years since he opened Mammoth in the retail space of a Warehouse District building that also houses offices for architects and engineers, who all no doubt benefit from the proximity to a source of quality caffeine. The business recently expanded into an adjacent space to add a new roasting facility and more seating.
Along with his family, Reithmaier relocated to New Orleans from Washington, D.C. nine years ago. He said it was a strategic move to get closer to his birthplace in tiny Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
“It was an opportunity to kind of grow our family here in a place that we wanted to be,” he said. “But also operate this business closer to home . What we wanted to do wasn’t necessarily a fit in our hometown, but to bring in kind of back closer to family and closer to home was the goal.”