Lower East Side
81 Orchard St.
between Broome/Grand Sts.
75 Greenwich Ave.
at 7th Avenue South
The operating principle of these shops is that coffee flavor begins to deteriorate as soon as the beans are roasted. Roasting Plant uses an engineered and computerized (and patented) system that brings coffee beans from roaster to grinder to cup with the least amount of delay. The beans are roasted in the window of the store and customers can choose from about eight different organic and Rain Forest Alliance beans, ranging from mild to robust.
If you buy a cup of coffee brewed in the Lower East Side store, you'll get to watch their computerized system pull the exact amount of freshly roasted beans through a rail yard of clear vacuum tubes into a grinder, and then using the espresso method (as opposed to a French press or drip way of making coffee), filling a glass with crema, from which the dark brown liquid emerges. Coffee bean choices include both green and roasted, from Sumatra, Kenya and other coffee countries, a robust Roasting House Blend, regular and decaffinated.
What to know:
The Lower East Side store has four very comfortable seats that welcome lingering with a free wireless internet connection; the Greenwich Village shop has a larger café. They also sell an edited selection of coffee accessories, including Bodun grinders and French presses.
They also have shops in a handful of locations across the country, including the Denver, San Francisco, and Minneapolis airports.