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Favorite locally roasted NYC coffee?

Hey, all--

I am on the hunt for an NYC/Brooklyn roasted coffee that I can truly love. I have an admittedly picky coffee palette, so I thought I'd turn to some discerning NYC foodies for help. I'm looking for a strong, smooth, rich blend on the slightly sweet side, with as little acidic bite in the finish as possible.

So far, I've tried the infamous Stumptown, Gorilla, and Oslo labels, which I've brewed at home, and I had a cup of Gimme from my neighborhood coffee shop. Oslo has probably been my favorite, though is a bit too far on the over-roasted, burnt flavor side for me. I remember liking Gorilla as well, but I've since had trouble figuring out which blend I tried. (I've learned from experience that any brew with notes of citrus or fruit will be too light and tart in the finish for me, and all the Gorillas I found at Whole Foods the other day mentioned words like "light, fruity, cherries, orange" etc.)
I know Stumptown is the favorite of many, and I can recognize that it's really good quality, but for me it also falls into the too-light over-fruity category. The cup of Gimme that I tried was suuuuper weak--not sure if that was the coffee shop or the coffee.

I know I sound a little (OK, maybe a lot) crazy here, but I've gotten spoiled by having local roasts in Chicago, Maine and Kentucky that I grew to love and rely on. I'm sure my perfect NYC match exists, I'm just tired of taste-testing. Any recommendations/thoughts are very welcome!

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Stumptown
18 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001

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  1. Cafe Grumpy roasts in Brooklyn.
    http://www.cafegrumpy.com/

    Does Gimme! Coffee, the Ithaca-based roaster, count as "local" enough for you?
    http://www.gimmecoffee.com/static/com...

    Have you tried Blue Bottle yet?
    http://www.bluebottlecoffee.net/locat...

    Which Stumptown blend did you try, BTW?

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    Cafe Grumpy
    224 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011

    Gimme! Coffee
    228 Mott St, New York, NY 10012

    Stumptown
    18 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001

    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thank you, Kathryn!

      I haven't yet tried Grumpy or Blue Bottle, but both look promising so I'll definitely give them a shot. I did try Gimme! as brewed by my local coffee shop, but found it too weak (not sure if that was b/c of the way it was brewed or the coffee). I've tried all of Stumptown's blends, only one of which I kind of liked... overall, the finish is just too tart for me.

      Thanks for the recommendations of the others--I'll definitely investigate! : )

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      Stumptown
      18 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001

      1. re: Brittmarie

        I actually find Blue Bottle too strong for me sometimes, so that might be the ticket for you.

        Definitely try Gimme! again at one of the Gimme! shops, then?

        Good luck!

        1. re: kathryn

          Thanks, Kathryn--I'll stop by Blue Bottle soon! Their roasts look really high-end and elegant... can't wait to try! And yes, I should give Gimme! a second chance. I've considered trying to home brew it & might do that, too.
          I'll let you know how it goes. : )

        2. re: Brittmarie

          What was the coffee shop where you tried it?

      2. Have you gone to Porto Rico on Bleecker?

        4 Replies
        1. re: penthouse pup

          2nd Porto Rico. They have PLENTY of different blends and roasts that they roast freshly every day. I'm sure their knowledeable staff can make some good recommendations based on the description of what you're looking for. And you buy the quantity you want, so you're not committed to an entire pound as you're looking for the right blend for you. Definitely give them a shot.

          1. re: edwardspk

            I think we're looking for the same thing in coffee, Brittmarie, and am glad you started this thread.

            For years, we've bring drinking the Organic French Peruvian at Porto Rico. I've tried many of their coffees through the years, and most have been either too acidic or too weak for my taste. Our last few purchases there have been disappointing, and consequently, every morning's coffee has been too. I think we're on the market for a new bean. I don't know if my coffee palate has expanded, if they're going down hill, or of the last few batches we bought were atypical duds. Our recent beans have been too weak, too burnt tasting, and too flat, with little complexity of flavor.

            1. re: rose water

              Yes, Rose! I've been really surprised by my level of pickiness lately with coffee and am not sure if my tastes have changed, or if New York coffee just isn't as good as the roasters I've experienced elsewhere. That doesn't quite seem possible--NYC is sort of universally known as THE place for good coffee, so I'm guessing I just need to keep trying. There are some great suggestions on here so far, so I feel encouraged in the hunt. ; )
              Let me know how your search goes & I'll keep you posted on mine!

            2. re: edwardspk

              Cool, thank you both for this suggestion! Looks like they just opened a Wburg location, too, which would be very convenient for me... I'll have to give it a go. And I love that you don't have to buy a whole bag--that's what makes taste testing so $$!

          2. La Colombe Torrefaction. Based in Philly, which is "local" as far as I'm concerned.

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            La Colombe Torrefaction
            319 Church St, New York, NY 10013

            1. I would give Roasting Plant a shot. They roast it once you pick your coffee. They have a good selection to choose from.

              http://www.roastingplant.com/

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              Roasting Plant
              81 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

              5 Replies
              1. re: Miss Needle

                They roast on the premises but the beans are rested 24 hrs before usage. That's what they told me when they first opened.

                When you order, though, they grind the whole beans in a vacuum tube system, and make your cup on the spot.

                1. re: kathryn

                  Oh, I did not know that. Thanks for the info!

                  OP, I think you may like Kona coffee. Very low acidity with what I can best describe it as a chocolately flavor. I don't really drink coffee very often, but DH does. He used to get Kona at Roasting Plant until they stopped selling it. I think Porto Rico also carries it, but DH ends up mail ordering it from Hawaii. It's pretty strong and it sounds like it would suit your taste from what you describe.

                  http://onakaranch.com/hapacowboy.html

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    Yes! My sister tried Kona for a while when she had sensitive stomach issues & she really liked it. Might have to hunt that down at Porto Rico when I go... thank you!

                2. re: Miss Needle

                  Wow, Roasting Plant looks amazing! They have a location very close to work--might be stopping by tonight... : ) Thank you!

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                  Roasting Plant
                  81 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

                  1. re: Brittmarie

                    Roasting Plant was going to be my recommendation too. You should also visit McNulty's Tea & Coffee on Christopher Street. I bet they'll have something you like.

                    (Stumptown is still my personal favorite though. :) )

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                    Roasting Plant
                    81 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

                    McNulty's Tea & Coffee
                    109 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

                3. Check out the Coffee Foundry on west 4th, they roast their beans in their back yard. You can also check out Bluebottle. Stumptown has a constantly changing lineup of beans, I would talk to one of their staff and ask for recommendations based on your likes and dislikes and sometimes they will brew you up a cup to sample. When you make coffee at home how are you preparing it?

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                  Stumptown
                  18 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ricky

                    I make it two ways--drip during the week (boo, I know, but time-saver), and I just got a Chemex for Xmas that I use on the wknds. : ) It's glorious.
                    I've tried several of the Stumptown roasts, and just consistently find their taste too far on the bright side. I might try it again, but am a little S-town gunshy at the moment. ; )
                    Someone else also recommended Bluebottle & Coffee Foundry, both of which I will try after Roasting Plant & Porto Rico. I will work my way through this city and find something I love, I know it.
                    I'll post back when I do--thank you for all your recommendations!

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                    Roasting Plant
                    81 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

                    Stumptown
                    18 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001