Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Look Inside COFFEED's Coffee Operation

Bryant Park welcomed COFFEED, a Long Island City cafe, to a permanent home in the park earlier this summer. As you might imagine from its name, an important part of the kiosk's offerings is coffee. In August, COFFEED invited the Bryant Park Operations Department to their LIC flagship location to check out their roasting facility. We left with an appreciation of their production process. 

The head COFFEED roaster, John, explained that all the cafe's coffee beans are single-origin and sourced via fair or direct trade from farms around the world. John and his team roast the beans in small batches so that nuances like bean type, humidity, and desired roast darkness can be taken into account. Typical roast time at COFFEED is about 20 minutes.

The Roastery at COFFEED is within full view of the public. You can learn a lot from the friendly staff!

The machine that roasts the beans is called a hopper. The beans are poured into the top of the hopper, which heats up and spins like a drum to ensure the beans are roasted evenly. John said that each bean type smells different when it roasts--there is one type that even smells like popcorn! A window into the drum and a testing spoon (which look like the two "eyes" on the hopper) allow the roaster to keep an eye on the beans. When the beans are finished roasting, a lever opens the hopper's "mouth" and the beans pour into another drum that rotates around a vertical access, so they cool evenly. Beans are bagged whole or ground. 
We were charmed by the hopper, which looks like a friendly cartoon character. 

Because we visited in the summer, COFFEED's cold-brew operation was in full swing. John said that the difference between an iced coffee made with cold brew, and an iced coffee made with refrigerated drip coffee, is that cold brew has a smoother taste with less bitterness and more caffeine.

Cold brew is made by filling the large glass beakers on top with filtered water. The spigot on the bottom of the beaker is set to allow one drip of water every two to three seconds. The water drops fall into a second beaker underneath, which is filled with ground coffee. The drip slowly filters through the coffee column, saturating the beans and releases more of their caffeine. The drip then falls through the bottom of the coffee column into the cold brew jar below. John told us it takes about 22 hours for each beaker of water to turn into a full jar of cold brew. 

From the top to the bottom: filtered water beaker, coffee column, and cold brew jar.
The cold brew is served diluted with water--John said that otherwise the cold brew would be too strong for most java sippers. John then poured us each our own cold brew iced coffee, which of course did not disappoint! And after all that learning, we were ready for a bit of caffeine.

We are impressed with the care and passion that goes into COFFEED's namesake, and hope that you will enjoy their product as much as we enjoyed our visit!

40th Street kiosk
Daily, 7am - 10pm

1 comment:

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