Coming Home to Roast
In-house roasting propels the indie coffee scene
Life / 29 Feb 2012
Not all that long ago, watery diner swill was the only form of coffee one could get outside the home in the U.S. Though Starbucks has since mainstreamed the concept of bespoke java drinks, there’s a back-to-basics movement brewing in the face of coffee corporatization. Indeed, serious coffee drinkers are seeking out local cafés whose main point of pride is merely roasting their own beans. Here are three that are poised to be the next Stumptown.
Handsome Coffee Roasters:
Despite the omnipresence of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, L.A. is actually home to one of the most ascendant coffee scenes in the country. Buzzing its way to the front of the caffeine rush is Handsome Coffee Roasters, a boutique brand that’s elevating the elegance of a simple quality brew through thoughtfully roasted beans and a purposefully succinct menu. Established just last year by a trio of expert coffee bar veterans (all earned their stripes with Intelligentsia), Handsome just opened a gorgeous new HQ in LA’s downtown Arts District this past Saturday. The airy, predominantly glass-and-wood space serves as a fitting complement to its coffee’s craftsman appeal.
Coava Coffee Roasters:
What sounds like a Portlandia sketch is an actual business in the City of Roses: a small-batch coffee roaster that shares a warehouse with a woodshop. Said java hut, Coava Coffee Roasters, a vanguard of Portland’s indie coffee scene, offers only single-origin coffees. However, using an unadulterated palette of beans isn’t enough for these clean brew sticklers. In their quest to perfect the pour-over, the preferred brewing method of purists, Coava created the KONE, a stainless steel filter designed for use with the Chemex. So well-received has the gizmo been that it’s spawned Able Brewing, an entire line of gear for those who wouldn’t dare use a drip machine.
Brooklyn Roasting Company: Gourmet Guild
, a new Williamsburg market, is challenging stores like Whole Foods by promoting regional food distribution. Thus, in a city with no shortage of coffee upstarts, it’s telling that the curated store selected Brooklyn Roasting Company as its bean provider. Also the in-boat caffeine purveyor on the East River Ferry, the commuting choice of thousands of Brooklynites, the roaster adheres to a “coffeelosophy” by which it uses only high quality fair trade, rainforest alliance, and organic certified and sustainable coffee. A social conscious isn’t its only merit, however. The BRC conducts methodical tastings of all coffees both before purchasing and after roasting to ensure that they’re pouring nothing but the best.
©The Intelligence Group