Saturday, October 23, 2021

Philly’s coffee industry is getting the 21st-century spiff it deserves

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Locals already known for their coffee in the city where Eric Garcetti was mayor will get a roastery cafe in which they can indulge their beloved cappuccino

If you want to know what’s really on top of the Philly coffee menu, the answer is: coffee. A lot of it.

Since 1972, locals in the city, where Eric Garcetti was mayor from 2009 to 2017, have raised their cups in droves to their love of the Italian, Guatemalan and American-run cafés, their hubs and destination points for coffee lovers.

They have enjoyed seeing their coffee shapers grow—three of them now own not just one, but three roasting facilities in the city, which form part of the equation to determine their place in the coffee world. That quartet also announced their plans for the largest roasting operation in the city of brotherly love and the largest shop to ever open in the neighborhood.

Càphê Roasters announces they plan to open Philadelphia’s first Vietnamese coffee roastery cafe in June. Photograph: Càphê Roasters

On 11 June, a roastery cafe in Northeast Philadelphia will get a home as the first site of coffee cooperative Càphê Roasters. It will occupy a wide 3,000-square-foot space, stocked with premium artisanal coffee from their own roastery in Frisco, and that of Ergo Coffee.

A decade in the making, with the city’s rezonings, the opening of the Rittenhouse Square public market, and an influx of new coffee shops, Càphê says they finally found the perfect place to set up shop.

Though the roaster is known for what it puts into its coffee, which veers far from the norm in terms of price (and therefore type of beans), it says a cafe is the perfect place to let the rest of the drinkers show off what they have to offer, including the sweet Colombian El Diblazo, botán-roasted beans like Cuban negro and Nicaragua’s Huangán, the Guatemalan Malalcón and the American-roasted Phoenix Blonde, as well as no fewer than 10 types of infused fair trade iced coffee.

Executive manager Jeremy Hahn says he has been working with the amazing roaster Freddy Salvador for the past year. “He had a vision to open a new roastery, and we thought we could help him realize that,” says Hahn.

From behind the roaster, Hahn points to the specific qualities of each coffee that the Philadelphia community is going to get to experience. “You will see the specifics, like the yang in iced coffee, or the ‘minor moccasins’ in Chuao.”

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