Good morrow, my lovely humans!! I am well over due for a COFFEE MUSING!!
And boy o boy, do I have the perfect person to join me on this coffee musing. Today I had with me my dear friend Brooke Dixon! Brooke was my barista in Cedar Rapids while I was there a few years ago doing Man of La Mancha. At the time, she worked at a delightful coffee shop across the street from our rehearsal space called Brewed Awakenings (charming, huh?). Oh man, she took great care of me during that time. What I remember most from our time there, asides from her lovely hospitality was the Ethiopian blend she made for me in a French press. Yeah, we still talk about it, her and I. So how wonderful that she was here in the city and we got a chance to get together!
On this particular adventure, I got to take Brooke to one of my favorite coffee shops, Roasting Plant Coffee in the West Village on Greenwich Avenue. This was the first coffee shop I visited in NYC from way back when I visited for the first time in 2008. I have since been here a multitude of times, often bring friends and family. I describe Roasting Plant as the freshest cup of coffee you will have. Roasting Plant, as the name would suggest, is an independent roaster. They keep their beans, both roasted and non roasted in vacuum sealed tubes. Once you order, they shoot the beans directly through their tubes into the brewing machine where they are ground upon impact and immediately brewed. Now, their brewing process is similar to an aeropress. This allows the coffee to be brewed without losing the oils through a filter, allowing it to keep its full flavor and body. As a result, it restricts the grittiness that can be found in a French press or percolator. Seriously, freshest cup of coffee!!
Roasting Plant, though having espresso drinks, is obviously best known for their brewed coffee and roasts so that is what we focused on. We decided to sample three different coffees: their house blend aptly named Roasting Plant Blend which is a blend of Central American, African and Indonesian coffees, the Jamaica Blue Mountain Clifton Mount Peaberry (thats a mouthful) and the Ethiopia Ardi Sidamo Guji. We started the paring by testing the nose of each coffee, meaning the aroma. With the Roasting Plant Blend, we found it very easy and pleasant on the nose, with aromas of vanilla, peanut butter, and warm nutty hints (I would think pecan). Then we tested the Jamaica Blue which was oaky and herbaceous with a little touch of lilac. Finally the Ethiopian. Now, coffee connoisseurs know that Ethiopian coffees can have a very fruity essence to them, primarily blueberry. And this was absolutely up to par on that expectation!! Wow, I mean, that was like smelling a blueberry pie straight out of the oven!! And then came the tasting! Back with the Roasting Plant Blend, this was a very full bodied coffee. Heavy and stout in flavor with a nutty bitterness (don’t let the word ‘bitterness’ throw you; that is not a bad thing). The bitterness definitely coated the palate with its complexity of flavors, which were prevalent in the nose. And it left an after taste of rich coffee. After a quick palate cleanse of water and milk, we moved on the the Jamaica Blue. This was dry, much like you would experience with a dry wine. Medium bodied with a woody and earthy flavor, kind of peaty. Unlike the Roasting Plant Blend, I found this one to be simpler in its complexities and it didn’t leave an after taste. Then came the Ethiopian, and I’ll just say up front, this was our favorite! Blueberry, blueberry and blueberry!! So much blueberry!! Light bodied yet so flavorful! Sweet, refreshing, juicy. A perfect after dinner coffee (or lunch, in our case).
Brooke and I spent the rest of our time catching up, splitting the coffees (saving the Ethiopian for last) then took off for an errand I needed to run, which was for coffee beans. Surprise, right! So we walked over to McNulty’s Tea and Coffee on Christopher Street. McNulty’s offers a wide variety of coffee blends which they mix for you on the spot. I ordered the Old Times which is a blend of Colombian Excelso, Venezuelan Maracaibo, and Brazil Bourbon Santos as well as the Turkish which is a blend of the Mocha Java and French Colombian. And then we stopped in a Goorin Bros. hat shop to try on hats. We had fun.
I had so much fun with Brooke and love seeing her when she comes to visit! And what a perfect way for us to spend our time together. If you are in NYC West Village, go grab yourself a cup of coffee from Roasting Plant Coffee at 75 Greenwich Avenue. You can also check out their Lower East Side location as well. If you are a frequent flyer, keep an eye for them in the Denver, Minneapolis, and San Francisco airports!
Until next time my friends, stay wired!!