Coffee is a fruit, and the seed of that fruit is dried, roasted, and used to make the tasty drinks you love. So what happens to the rest of the fruit? Well, sometimes it’s thrown away, and sometimes it’s used for fertilizer, but recently more and more people are trying to take advantage of the complex flavors in that dried fruit and skin and using it to make drinks. Enter our cascara fizz:
Quick lesson: Cascara, means “husk,” “peel” or “skin” in Spanish.
We’ve taken advantage of the complex sweetness offered by that dried coffee cherry (think rich dried fruit like date or, well, cherry) by making it into a syrup, which we’re topping with sparkling spring water and serving on ice. It’s refreshing, it’s different, and it’s yet another example of the wonderful world of flavor that coffee has to offer.
Sure to be a hit in the summer. Tell you what you think, tag us on Instagram @gregoryscoffeee or tweet us Twitter.
We’re loving the line-up of new single-origins now available in all our shops.
Single-origin: (adj.) used to describe a coffee that comes from one lot, farm, region, or country.
Every few months we switch around our single origin board to present three distinct coffees from different coffee growing regions all around the world. Each cycle Maciej, our Director of Coffee, puts in immense effort sourcing new coffees that WOW.
These three new single origin coffees do just that:
AMACA (Asociación de Mujeres Productoras Agropecuarias del Cauca) is the name of an association founded in 1999 by 80 women coffee farmers, and has grown to 140 members from 3 villages in the El Tambo area of Colombia. This coffee comes to us through Cafe Imports and their Women Producers Program, which they are developing to “[empower] women along the global coffee supply chain by creating equity, empowerment, and access to a wider market”.
This is a really nice, classic Colombian coffee, with a deep chocolate taste, clean acidity, and a little warm spice.
Karurusi from Burundi is a coffee from the wonderful Mpanga mill, owned by Jean-Clement Birabereye, who built it in 2008. Its tasting notes are green apple, plum, butterscotch. This coffee is supremely balanced and should be especially delicious as espresso at our Special Project location. It has both chocolate/caramel/butterscotch sweetness and outstandingly complex acidity (apple, citrus, all of that).
SOPACDI (Solidarité Paysanne pour la Promotion des Actions Café et Développement Intégral) is a cooperative of 5600 farmers in Kivu, with a recently-completed washing station (the first in the region) in the town of Minova.
It’s a super-clean, super complex coffee. It tastes like candy, but not in the overly sweet way some natural coffees do. Worthy of mention: SOPACDI coffee is Fair Trade!
It's been less than five months since the doors to our new cafe opened at 649 Broadway and all this excitement won’t be wearing off anytime soon. Our new shop located on Broadway and Bleecker, is the ultimate ‘cool + smart’ cousin you always wanted to hang out with. Equal parts personality and charm, this shop breathes in a new look in comparison to others, but still with great coffee. The counter tops are lined with crisp, white marble and lush flora hangs all along the ceiling. It's definitely a happy place!
This new space gives us the opportunity for fluidity and inventiveness. Our very own Gregory Zamfotis was recently featured on Sprudge.com, 'Gregory’s Coffee: Behind The Glasses With Founder Gregory Zamfotis'. In the article he says "our newest shop features a blends menu, single-origin espressos, single-origin espresso-based drinks, and signature drinks based on our rotating list of coffees. We want it to be a bit more fluid and not as fixed."
Here, experimentation is key.
Great lattes are built upon great espresso, but you can't have a great latte (or great latte art) without great milk. During our trainings at Gregorys, we evaluate milk through two of its qualities - flavor, and texture.
In order for the milk to taste great, on top of being really tasty milk to begin with, it needs to be heated to the proper temperature - somewhere around 150 degrees. This will ensure that the lactose (the sugar that's found in dairy products) breaks down - meaning we'll be able to taste it more! In order for milk's texture to be great, we make sure to aerate the milk only when it's cold, precisely making tiny bubbles in the milk - or microfoam.
Once we have properly aerated and heated milk, we incorporate it into the espresso. The pouring technique will dictate the latte art that is created in the drink, and latte art can only be executed properly with well-steamed milk. So it really is a beautiful cycle of proper preparation begetting lovely presentation, priming your tastebuds for a wonderful sensory experience.
- by Director or Education, Bailey Arnold
Our Special Project location now boasts two new items on the menu. We’re excited to introduce the ‘One & One’ and ‘First Class Flight’. Whether you’re excited by the idea of learning about coffee through comparing different brew methods or just want to try something slightly different and delicious, we think you’ll have a good time with these.
Similar to a beer or wine flight, a coffee flight consists of two or more drinks served together as a set. Our ‘One & One’ is served as a single espresso alongside a single cappuccino - this highlights the way in which the flavors of this particular espresso shine in milk. In the First Class Flight, the same single origin coffee is brewed as espresso as well as filter coffee, highlighting the different ways the flavors of that coffee reveal themselves across two different brew methods. And since our Special Project shop rotates single origin coffees, you’ll be able to experience these flights with a different coffee every few weeks.
One & One
First Class Flight
Both flights offer two drinks, served on a small serving wooden board that holds the glassware alongside a glass of sparkling water for palate cleansing. You can studiously compare them or just enjoy; it’s as academic a tasting exercise as you want it to be.
We are happy to announce a new line of vegan and gluten free options. These new pastries prove that healthy treats can still taste delicious!
Many of us have grown up thinking that flour and butter are absolutely necessary to make any sweet treat tasty and rich, but our new Vegan and gluten Free pastries show that is not true. The four new treats are a great alternative for those with dietary restrictions and for the health conscious.
Introducing, a new Dark chocolate cookie, Crunchy power bite, PB banana energy bite and a new Raspberry coconut scone, filled with complex flavors and were created in mind to pair with any espresso drink or coffee.
Thanksgiving is an amazing time of year, but the guarantee of a Thanksgiving meal should never be taken for granted. This year we teamed up with The Bowery Mission, one of New York City’s most effective results-oriented organizations which recognizes that for some, finding the next meal is a daily challenge.
On one of the busiest days of the year, we had the privilege of supplying 50 lbs of coffee to over 7,800 men, women and children from all five boroughs of New York. Over 1700 meals were served every hour on the hour from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at The Missions’ 227 Bowery flagship location.
For The Mission, Thanksgiving is a crazy day where a traditional turkey dinner is prepared and served in a century-old chapel filled with music and festive decorations for the holiday. This year was no exception, with over 650 volunteers and a total 7,859 meals.
Our team serving breakfast at The Bowery Mission back in June
There are two things you’ll need on day like this, a hot cup of coffee for warmth and most importantly that caffeinated rush for energy. We are proud to have been able to provide both to so many people. Here’s a video to see the big day. To donate or get involved with The Bowery Mission check out their website https://www.bowery.org/.
We are thrilled to announce three delicious new single origin coffees, arriving at your local Gregorys in the next few days. Changing up our single origin board is always exciting, but this go-round is especially special, as we introduce the first single origin coffees roasted at our very own roastery in Long Island City, Queens by our head roaster Gregg Roberson and our assistant roaster Justin Brooks.
The single origin program was the final step in the move away from our friends at Irving Farm Coffee Roasters to full roasting independence. So for the first time in our history, starting this week, we are now roasting 100% of our coffee. We’ve spent a pretty intense few weeks at the roastery getting these Single Origins ready for consumption, and we can’t wait for you to taste them.
Luzmilda comes from one of the farms owned by the Camacho Arrieta family in Naranjo de Alajuela on the slopes of the Poas Volcano in the West Valley of Costa Rica. It has a clear tropical acidity that comes through immediately, but it settles nicely into walnut, vanilla, and chocolate sweetness.
La Muralla is a super dynamic coffee: it changes and changes as it cools. The taste of a tart, perfectly-picked green apple is there and complex vanilla aromatics complement it beautifully.
Celinga Foge comes from the Celinga mill in the Foge village of Ethiopia. There’s a reason so many coffee professionals cite Natural Ethiopians as the first big “wow!” moment they had with coffee, and you can taste that in this coffee for sure. It has loud berry flavors, a big body, and even some chocolate sweetness to round things out.
The last few months have marked a huge and exciting change for Gregorys Coffee, as we’ve finally been able to begin turning one of our main long term goals into reality. We’ve started roasting our own coffee.
Our last big move in terms of roasting came in the spring of 2014, as we left our friends at Dillanos in Washington and started working with the amazing folks at Irving Farm Coffee Roasters. This was a match made in heaven for several reasons. First, Irving Farm is an excellent coffee roaster. Just as importantly, though, Irving Farm roasts in Millerton, NY, just a few hours upstate in the Hudson Valley. Even better: their offices were a scant 11 blocks away from our training center. So not only could we go up to their roastery relatively easily, but we could meet at our office or theirs (I once received an email from Teresa at Irving Farm about having a walk and talk and we just said “let’s leave now and walk down 6th Ave and meet halfway”) basically whenever. So we cupped together, had meetings, and we immediately felt like our coffee was not only better, but we were quite literally closer to it.
As we moved forward, with the help of IF’s Green Coffee Buyer Dan Streetman, we learned more and more about not only how coffee gets roasted, but how it gets bought, and we eventually moved into an arrangement commonly referred to as “toll roasting”, in which we contracted our own green (unroasted) coffee through importers, it got sent to Irving Farm, where it was roasted by the great Clyde Miller, and we provided feedback until we got a roast we were all happy with.
Towards the end of last year, we decided it was time to start moving towards the next step and took possession of the space in Long Island City that would eventually turn into both our bakery and, more importantly for the purpose of this story, our very own roastery. Once you’ve managed to find a space in New York City, there’s the matter of roasting equipment. Coffee roasters are rather large things that are exposed to frighteningly hot temperatures and have to, at the same time, provide incredibly consistent results. Once you manage to locate some good ones, they have to be put together by very in-demand professionals with the right custom parts to make them work for your space. And that can’t get done until hours and hours of electrical work happens to transform your space from an empty warehouse to something that can power a machine that spins like 150 pounds of coffee around for 13 minutes at high temperatures, all while not burning the place down.
Gregorys prides itself on promoting from within and we were sure that, even though none of our baristas were experienced roasters, we could find some that were up to the task of learning. Gregg Roberson, at the time of our search the manager of our Park Avenue store, was one such barista and, after a lengthy interview process, became our head roaster. Since then, Gregg has been soaking up knowledge from classes at the Roaster’s Guild Retreat, the experienced roasters helping install our machines, books, and anything else he can get his hands on while helping with the buildout of the roastery.
In February, after months of work, our 22kg Probat roaster was ready, I ordered a few tons of green coffee, and we started to roast. To say that seeing actual, brewable coffee beans coming out of our roaster for the first time was exciting would be a gigantic understatement. While we were somewhat impressed by our ability to produce coffee that could effectively be turned into a drink and didn’t taste awful, we realized that there was still quite a bit to learn and quite a bit to experiment with before we could sell this coffee to our guests. That involved more or less a month’s worth of roasting and cupping (critically tasting) those roasts the following morning, 4 or 5 days a week, then critically evaluating every part of the roast curve and figuring out what to tweak next.
After that month, we felt confident that we could bring you coffee that was up to our standards, and we started replacing the Irving Farm-roasted cold brew in our shops with coffee roasted in LIC. Slowly but surely we expanded our capacity and made more tweaks and a few weeks later we started rolling over the Greg’s House blend we serve as drip coffee. We’ve also introduced a brand new decaf blend, Slow Jam, which you might have heard we’re super proud of. We’re a few months in, and over 6,500 pounds of roasted coffee (roasted by Gregg and our assistant roaster Justin Brooks) left our roastery last week. That’s a lot of beans.
As of this blog post, we’ve just finished putting together our larger roaster: 4 times the size of the one we’ve been using up to this point. But even getting up to full capacity is just a part of the beginning. Very close on the horizon we have the launch of our in-house roasted espresso, single origin coffees, and a future that we aim to fill with a constant stream of experimentation and improvement. Having our own facility has long been a dream, but it’s not an end in and of itself, but rather a means towards bringing you increasingly delicious coffee.
Director of Coffee
You can load up on coffee, equipment, and Gregorys merch in our new online store. Go get it!