The first time I encountered coffee from PT’s Coffee Roasting Company was last year at Caffé Mocias, an industrious little coffee bar on the Upper West Side. PT’s had just been named Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine, the respected trade journal, and it earned a following among the coffee-crazed for buying some of the best beans available, but it was nearly impossible to find here in New York. It was like wandering into the corner liquor store and coming across a rare Burgundy.
Since then, PT’s has surfaced around town. A few months ago, Culture Espresso Bar, the overachieving coffee spot in Midtown, started pulling the roaster’s single-origin espressos. (PT’s splits the bill with Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea.) Luna Espresso, on the Upper East Side, uses PT’s for by-the-cup brewing in its Clovers. Now PT’s is in Brooklyn too, at Baco Café in Dumbo and Ecopolis in Cobble Hill. As of this week, Southside Coffee, in the South Slope, started offering PT’s in a French press.
It seems PT’s is making a run at New York. The artisanal roaster, based in Topeka, Kan., is adding to what is already one of the most diverse coffee scenes anywhere.
This is one of the few places where you can drink a shot of Counter Culture Coffee (from Durham, N.C.), then Intelligentsia (Chicago and Los Angeles), then Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Portland, Ore.; Seattle; and New York) — three of the first roasters to be named Roaster of the Year — all in one morning. These national powerhouses share the stage with local roasters like Dallis Coffee in Ozone Park and Kitten Coffee in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and regional companies like Plowshares Coffee Roasters in Columbia County and Strongtree Organic Coffee Roasters in the Hudson Valley. Some New York cafes now roast coffee, like Café Grumpy, Irving Farm Coffee Company and Oslo Coffee Roasters. And some nearby roasters now have New York cafes, like Gimme! Coffee, from Ithaca, N.Y., and La Colombe Torefaction from Philadelphia. Blue Bottle Coffee, from the San Francisco Bay Area, started roasting in Williamsburg earlier this year, and now Caffetteria in SoHo uses its beans. Ecco Caffé, a roaster in Santa Rosa, Calif., now owned by Intelligentsia, supplies Joe. This extraordinary range of coffees is available every day. All you need is to know where to go.
Impressive as this list might be, it’s incomplete when you count notable roasters that might be found at one or two spots. San Francisco’s Four Barrel Coffee is at Maialino. Terroir Select Coffee is at Colson Patisserie. If you have other favorites, you know the drill: list them in the comments below.
One of the pleasures of going out to eat in this city is the sheer variety of restaurants. Now the same is true for coffee, and it gets better every month. As Roast Magazine reports in every issue, this country has a deep pool of talent. And New York has plenty of room.