Coffee in Brooklyn

After living abroad and outside of Brooklyn for the past couple of years, it has been great to come back to my old neighborhood and see an explosion of small independent coffee shops. There are probably at least three shops on every block. I am working my way through them all sampling their coffee and trying to find out who roasts it and where it comes from.

At first, I was impressed. Most of the time when I asked the person at the counter where their coffee as from – they knew the coffee origin and roaster. But lately, I have hit a string of people who have no idea. Maybe it is a newer thing – that people are interested in knowing where their food and drink comes from and the coffee industry is catching up. More and more people are seeking out quality coffee, so called third wave coffee – although there are still lots of coffee drinkers are content with their corner store coffee.

“Third wave coffee” is the current movement of high-quality artisan coffee. Appreciating coffee and its journey from seed to cup as something along the lines of craft beer or wine. I have heard it explained like this – the first wave was like Folgers in a can, then came Starbucks peaking people’s interests in higher quality coffee, and now we are in the third wave movement of coffee with small independent coffee roasters mindfully sourcing their coffee and roasting it in small batches.

So being true to my scientific nature, I am keeping a running list of neighborhood coffee shop data that I am planning on sharing in various forms. Interestingly though- one trend that I have noticed from the ones that I have surveyed so far is that most of these independent shops in Greenpoint buy coffee from one of three roasters: Toby’s Estate (22%), Parlour Coffee (13%), or Stumptown (13%).

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