“We needed a space away from production roasting in order to be able to do this. So we took advantage of when the spot next to us became available,” co-owner Tom Molieri says (I wrote about how him and his brother Chris started their business here).
“It’s a no-brainer. We’re growing as a company. We literally just had to put a doorway in the wall to connect the spaces.”
Molieri envisions 4-8 hours modules of intensive coffee education—espresso extraction, milk steaming, fundamentals of barista and bar efficiency, light repair—free for certain wholesale customers as well as anyone who would like to pay for them.
He also plans to host events that show how the training methods and approach to coffee can be seen elsewhere. One idea is to have 13th St. Cocktail Catering co-founder Brian Bevilacqua in for a coffee and spirits course.
“It’s a bit for fun but also because there’s a lot of overlap in the [restaurant] industry,” Molieri says.
“We want do some kind of coffee and food course as well—a couple of fun things like that that are outside of the core curriculum for barista education and, you know, although the courses will be educational, it’s not like they’re going to be so stern and serious. It’s open to anyone no matter what their experience with coffee is.”[Read about how they make craft coffee approachable for all.]
And they plan to offer free, beginner level events similar to the “brew school” classes they’ve offered in the past at 11th and Spruce.
With 1,200 square feet, they’ll just have a little more room.
To help meet Molieri’s goal of providing a thorough education on the art and science of roasting—in addition to everything that happens from seed to cup—will be a room decked out on two sides with cabinets and black epoxy countertops ripped from a Kutztown University physics lab. A block and brick industrial feel is to be balanced by cabinets and slabs of white oak—several of which will serve as space for espresso machine repairs.
On the right as you come into a space painted entirely in white will be a sample roaster and a countertop for cupping. They’ll be ridin’ nerdy on every aspect of coffee with two different Mahlkönig grinders, numerous brew methods on hand— V60’s, Chemex, Kalitawave, drip, Aeropress—with several more to be added.
“If we can get our hands on it, we’ll have it there,” Molieri says.
As with their café, they’ll have a kegerator at their coffee science lab for cold brew and nitro cold brew test batches, as well as for wholesale. Hence, they’ll have more room to experiment with new equipment while testing all the variables in coffee—as a regular, I watched them do this at their shop with both a Kyoto drip tower and their nitro cold brew.
In the back, the sprawling countertops afford enough room for multiple espresso machines to be running at the same time.
You can check out the space on October 3rd during Green Street’s fourth annual block party. In addition to housing free beer courtesy of Philadelphia Brewing Company, complimentary food from Mucho Bueno Food Truck, and music from DJ Carl Crossfade, that extra room the space provides will be put to good use as they host a Saturday night version of TNT—the coffee world’s Thursday Night Throwdown that sees baristas and anyone willing to put up $5 compete in a latte art competition.
The block party runs 4-10pm. Sign-ups for the throwdown open at 7pm, with your chance to draw latte Grumpy Cat beginning at 8pm.
The event will once again serve as a fundraiser for a worthy program: Deva Watson’s Palates to Palettes, which she runs in partnership with Fresh Artists. The program brings Philly school students from troubled neighborhoods into the world of some of our city’s best chefs.
So you have no excuse not to go, drink, and possibly expand your coffee knowledge while donating whatever you like.