Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Aug 29, 2001 05:35 PM

indie coffee roaster

  • t

What's the best indie coffee raoster in town?
I vote for Oren's over Porto Rico, even though the latter has better prices. What are some others? i haven't found anything in NY as good as Philly's great La Columbe.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. c
    Chris Armstrong

    I hate Porto Rico coffee. It may be expertly roasted, and the aroma is intoxicating, but I think the reason for the low prices is the low quality of the beans. It never tastes "full". Something is lacking.

    Empire Coffee roasters on 41st Street and 9th Avenue has some nice varietals and blends. The folks who work there love coffee and are very helpful, especially the tall musician-looking guy.

    Not quite indie, but I'm sipping my first batch of Whole Foods coffee which is roasted on the premises. It's not close to Seattle-quality, but it's extremely fresh. I'm drinking Mocha Java, and I'm digging it. Their NY branch is on 24th and 7th in Chelsea.

    Oren's is acceptable, but, well, it tastes like Oren's. They all have this "orange" twang to them. It's hard to describe, but I'm not always in the mood for that flavor. Once, though, they were brewing their Mexico beans, and I liked it more than the others I've tried there.


    3 Replies
    1. re: Chris Armstrong

      I agree about Porto Rico. Oren's is a bit up and down, but I love their Beowulf Blend as an espresso bean.
      If Whole Foods is roasting the best coffee in NY, we have problems. I will try it, howver. thanks.

      1. re: tom

        definitely d'amicos on court street in brooklyn. the house dark--and it's only 5.95 a pound.

        family run.

        1. re: lkogo

          i'll agree that the price for D'amico's is great. but they roast very infrequently -- so the beans are never as fresh as I'd like.

    2. I agree that porto rico's coffe lacks a certain depth.. one good coffee they sell is the ethiopian. i usually mix the french roast with the reguar..
      otherwise order from peetes in berkeley calif....

      1. I've tried them all, and to be honest, none are that good. This is one area where you simply do best by home roasting. I buy my green beans in bulk for half of what the roasted beans cost retail, make only what I need, and have been drinking the best coffee of my life for months. Buy yourselves a $125 home roaster and skip store-bought beans entirely!


        2 Replies
        1. re: AaronS

          can you tell us where you buy the beans, what roaster you use, and where you bought it?

          i've never roasted beans at home, but it sounds great...



          1. re: old gold

            Whether or not you find a local source, you need to visit I bought all my equipment there (I also now have a wall-mounted manual coffee mill) and buy my beans there. It's give you an idea of what's what.

            There's lots of reading on this site, too.


        2. McNulty's on Christopher at Bedford. The sign outside says "since 18" something, but the current owners couldn't possibly be from the original McNulty clan. They have, however, preserved the roasting techniques to some of the finest beans I've ever had. The French Roast recently won accolades at a morning fete that I threw in honor of the NYC Marathon. I had to give out the address to nearly all of my 12 guests. (Those who didn't take it came as a couple.)

          They also have a wonderful assortment of loose leaf teas on sale too. The guys who now run it are big sports fans. You can really win their hearts if you walk in wearing your favorite Belmont Park cap.