As newlyweds in 1980, Cathy and I moved into a third floor railroad flat in the Carroll Gardens section of downtown Brooklyn. Every morning we could almost make our breakfast from the blended aromas of baking bread and smoky, burnished coffee beans gently roasting in the window of nearby D’Amico Foods.
Luckily, in Westchester we have a number of local aficionados who keep the flame of fresh-roasted coffee alive. Coffee Labs Roasters in Tarrytown has been roasting and serving coffee since 2003. Mike and Alicia Love are the team that makes the place hum. Mike is the roaster, a former chef who has turned his love of the bean into a professional passion. He is a winner of multiple international barista competitions and has trekked to places including Rwanda and Honduras to visit the birthplaces of his beans. Alicia makes sure the store remains true to its commitment to being totally green.
Upstream, Michael Grant is the guru behind the Black Cow Coffee Company. He has been roasting in Croton-on-Hudson since 1995 and opened an outpost in Pleasantville in 2011. He sources his beans from across the worldwide coffee-producing belt—20 degrees north and south of the equator—where the powerful pick-me-up thrives. His custom blends are unique in both flavor and name. Mingus Java, Umami Blend (mixed for the Croton restaurant), Galvin’s Fault (Chef Brian Galvin from Croton’s Ocean House is apparently to blame) are just a few. Grant also supports local artists by displaying their work in his stores.
Here in the county, a cup of Mike—Love or Grant—trumps a cup of Joe every time.
Coffee Labs Roasters
Black Cow Coffee Company
Croton-on-Hudson & Pleasantville