Near Kapa‘a Quarry, a Hidden Gem Café at Tradition Coffee Roasters

A retired firefighter’s locally roasted coffee beans are now sold around O‘ahu.


jumble of small business Signs

Photo: Lauren Gombas


A short drive from Kailua Town, past Kawainui Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary and the big commercial trucks off Kapa‘a Quarry Road, a right turn brings you to some tan-colored warehouses. You’ll find Tradition Coffee Roasters here, tucked among other small businesses such as Oeno Winery and Ko‘olau Distillery. As Tradition co-owner Lindsey Burik puts it, one could do a day of wine, whiskey and coffee, all made on the Windward side—and they all support each other. “I don’t think you find that in a lot of places,” she says. “So (husband) Brian and I have said, too, if we started anywhere else, I think it would have been a much different business.”


coffee Menu

Photo: Lauren Gombas


The café at Tradition Coffee Roasters recently celebrated its first anniversary. It offers its own line of globally sourced coffees ranging from 100% Kona to a Honduras Peaberry, including an impressive Swiss Water Decaf. You can order traditional latte drinks or taste a Hawai‘i-grown pour-over while perusing a retail selection of about a dozen beans. Some, like the 100% Kona, are single origin. Others are blends, including the Firehouse Blend, which has hints of caramelized sugar, cocoa and a slight smokiness; and Aloha Blend, which combines beans from Ka‘u and Central and South America. Bourbon Barrel is made from green coffee beans aged in a barrel from Ko‘olau Distillery, then roasted. The Buriks look for farms that are Fair Trade Certified, Rainforest Alliance certified or owned by women.


coffee for sale at tradition coffee roasters

Photo: Lauren Gombas


Brian Burik meticulously roasts the coffees and creates the blends. The couple moved to Kailua, where Lindsey’s mother grew up, from New York City, where Brian was a firefighter. At the fire station, he was introduced to coffee as a tool for staying alert. It wasn’t until a trip to Italy, where he sipped an espresso that reminded him of milk chocolate, that he found a coffee that he thought tasted good.


cup of coffee in white cup and saucer

Photo: Lauren Gombas


That moment was transformative. When he returned home, he began studying. He took classes on coffee, became a roaster’s apprentice and experimented with roasts that he gave to friends. “His degree is in fire science,” Lindsey says, “which makes him an expert in thermodynamics and chemistry, which is foundational for coffee roasting.” His friends encouraged him to start a business—so they could make his coffee part of their morning tradition.


SEE ALSO: Sample All of Ko‘olau Distillery’s Local Liquor Offerings on a Tour in Kailua


The Buriks moved to O‘ahu in 2019 and launched Tradition Coffee Roasters as a coffee club and wholesaler. Today, you can find the coffee at Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore, the Sheraton Waikīkī, Daily Whisk Matcha in Kaimukī, Bottleheads in Kailua, PeleKai Coffee in Kaka‘ako and other places. During the pandemic, to fill what they call a gap in coffee education, the couple turned the café into a classroom, offering classes in cupping, pour-overs and home roasting.


They pay forward the opportunity Turtle Bay Resort, their first big account, gave them by donating coffee and volunteer labor to Habilitat, local schools and the Marine Reconnaissance Foundation. What started as a firehouse tradition—gathering around the table over a cup of coffee—has, in this tiny corner of the Windward side, grown into a tradition that’s so much more.


Open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., 905 Kalaniana‘ole Hwy, (808) 207-7022,, @traditioncoffeeroasters