Joe Fires Up the Roasters


Joe brings Guatemala to your press pot.

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Walk around San Francisco’s South Bay for a while, through Silicon Valley towns like Mountain View and Palo Alto, and you’re likely to discover that many one-off local coffee shops have their own roasters right on the premises. Lack of space has made this phenomenon nearly impossible in the city, though many imported chains like Blue Bottle and Stumptown have set up roasting operations here. Now Joe: The Art of Coffee has started roasting its own beans, not exactly on the premises, but at Dallis Bros. — New York’s venerable coffee roaster in Queens, founded 1913 — by celebrity roaster Ed Kaufmann, Joe’s Director of Roasting.

The sleek new bag . . .

First batch out of the bin is a San Juan Microlot from Guatemala. According to the sleek black pouch the beans come in, the coffee was “grown near the township of La Libertad in the Northwestern coffee growing region of Huehuetenango. The micro-climate of La Libertad lends to this coffee’s delicate acidity and fully integrated sweetness. The coffee was grown at 1,525 meters above sea level, washed and dried on the sun on patios. This lot is comprised of coffee varietals caturra and catuai.” Gesundheit!

Nice to have so much information about the origins, Fork in the Road thought as we ground the light-colored beans, each with a little white in its ass crack, and prepared the press pot for brewing.

The coffee produced by this method was of medium color and density, with a clean, toasty flavor that had a nice brusqueness to it. Very little acidity was detected, and no fruity flavors in the pleasing flatness. Clearly, this is not a blended coffee, but one that reflects a specific perspective provided by terroir, and a narrow one at that. Add the finish conferred by roasting methods, and you have a cup of coffee unlike any you’ve tasted before.

Does it make you feel like you’re in Guatemala? Maybe.

But at a price. This coffee with a pedigree will set you back $10 for a half-pound. We think it’s worth it.

…and the beans inside

Joe: The Art of Coffee
141 Waverly Place

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