What’s the deal with the NYC coffee scene?
There’s an assumption that every Seinfeld episode used the synonymous phrase “What’s the deal with..”, when in actual fact it was barely used throughout the show’s entire run. In many ways, people in Melbourne have a similar assumption when it comes to coffee from the States and particularly NYC; that coffee is always dark roasted and served from a carafe that’s been stewing all day on a hotplate into kitsch diner mugs.
Last night we had five brilliant examples to the contrary, blowing that perception away.
With a little help from ex-colleagues, New York Times writers and internet friends, we gathered these exciting and progressive roasters and showcased them to an inquisitive audience. Many of these roasters are part of roasting collectives just like Bureaux, and are shining examples of the emerging share economy around coffee roasting.
The ‘Taste of’ event series is designed to be fun, informal and inclusive. We had that in spades last night, with a mix of coffee pros and non-coffee enthusiasts.
So what did we taste? And what did we think?
Here are the 5 roasters, their coffees and an interesting comparison of the roasters’ tasting notes vs. the attendees’.
. . .
Gaturiri / Washed / Nyeri / Kenya / SL28 & 34
Parlor Coffee started as a pocket square-sized espresso bar in the back of a barbershop and used co-roasting space Pulley Collective as a jump start for their roasting business.
They say: Plum, citrus, nectarines, honeydew melon, butterscotch and caramelised sugar.
We said: Raisin, lemon tea, red apple, blackcurrant stem, brown sugar and dark caramel.
Joe Coffee Company
Manantiales Del Frontino / Washed / Cauca / Colombia / Geisha
Joe started as a singular specialty coffee house in Manhattan’s west village, and has grown to over 18 stores — they’re also Pulley Collective’s biggest member.
They say: Melon, jasmine, complex, delicate.
We say: Peach, dried apricot, honey, cola, super juicy, aromatic.
Maputo / Washed / Pichincha / Ecuador / Hibrido #10
The epitome of a nano-roaster, proving the small guys can produce outstanding quality too.
They said: Floral, stone fruit, toffee and chocolate finish.
We say: Green apple, grapey, lemongrass, lavender, sugar cane.
La Yumbada / Washed / Pichincha / Ecuador / Caturra
Paolo Maliski, a classical musician and former account manager for George Howell Coffee, started Regalia with the help of Scott Rao. They’re now also offering their 15kg Mill City roaster for other businesses to roast their own coffee.
They say: This velvety, sweet, red-fruit coffee has a lingering marshmallow-like aftertaste that is unforgettable.
We said: Raspberry, grass jelly, orange peel, molasses, great mouthfeel.
La Papaya / Washed / San Lorenzo / Ecuador / Typica
Founders Tobin Polk and Lance Schnorenberg met while having a crush on the same girl, but no love is lost here, their coffee is outstanding.
They say: Dried mango, Geranium, Earl Grey
We said: Pineapple, grapefruit, green tea, crisp acidity, orange Skittles.
With Taste of Oslo and NYC events under our belt, we’re thrilled the format’s reception has been so positive with both nights selling out. They’ve been a blast, and we’re so glad to see non-coffee people attending these events.
We’d like to thank all the roasters who generously sent us their beautiful coffees. We’d also like to extend our thanks to all that attended, your $5 contribution will be added to our FareShare pot, which is currently sitting at $550.
See you on 21st June for Taste of: Tokyo!