This Month’s Featured Article

Caffeine Capitol

By Published On: June 30th, 2022

In The Warden, novelist Anthony Trollope asks “What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?”

For centuries, coffee has been a daily ritual for people worldwide. Minutes after waking up, many people across the world eagerly anticipate their first sips of coffee. Second only to oil, coffee is the most valuable legally traded commodity in the world, according to PBS.

The US ranks #1 among the “Top 10 Countries that Drink the Most Coffee in the World (by 1000s of 60-lb bags of dry coffee beans consumed)” according to World Population Review – an independent organization without political affiliations.

Both coffee and tea have a long history in American culture. cites that, “During the early 1700s, colonists expressed a fondness for tea, which reflected their colonial heritage and identity. The American War of Independence marked a critical turning point as the colonies turned away from teahouse culture giving way to coffee houses. During this period, coffee became a revolutionary drink as it publicly signaled one’s political inclinations.”

After the war, consumers developed a taste for both coffee and tea. The connection between coffee consumption and presidential history is evident during the administrations of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.

According to the National Coffee Association, historians don’t know exactly how or when coffee was discovered, but there are countless legends about its origin. Some coffee growers trace the drink’s heritage back to the ancient coffee forests of Ethiopia. According to legend, a goat herder named Kaldi discovered coffee’s stimulating effects after noticing that his goats became invigorated after eating coffee berries (coffee beans are the seeds of a cherry-like fruit) off a specific tree.

Lucky for us, there are lots of local brewing houses in the Hudson Valley area. Regardless of your region, you’ll be able to locate an establishment that roasts their own coffee or sources their own teas. Here are several to choose from:

East Coast Coffee Breweries Barrington Coffee, Lee, MA

Since its inception in 1993, Barrington Coffee has always sought to identify interesting coffees from destinations around the planet – grown by farmers who use environmentally sustainable methods for cultivation. An ardent supporter of organic and biodynamic cultivation, its coffee is certified organic. In 2015, it created the Barrington Coffee Origin CertifiedTM Program. Its methods are driven by the pursuit of sourcing and preparing fine roasted-to-order coffees. To make that happen, it fires up its roasters Monday through Thursday of each week. Any order received before 9am will be roasted and shipped out that very same day. Its hard work and diligence earned Barrington Coffee the #2 spot on Coffee Review’s Top 30 Coffees of 2021. More recently, Barrington received a 95-point score for its Supernatural (also from Coffee Review). Born in Ethiopia, Supernatural boasts a pungent blueberry aroma and features flavors of Concord grape, dark chocolate, plum, and tangle berry pie with herbal finish accents of licorice root, lavender, and tea. Coffee subscriptions are available. Its Roastery is in the Berkshires at 165 Quarry Hill Rd., Lee, MA.

Clermont Coffee Roasting Company, Germantown, NY

This micro, specialty coffee roasting company provides quality coffee, grown sustainably, and roasted by hand. The company is helmed by husband-and-wife team, David Bagley and Jill Allison Jennings-Bagley. In the coffee business for 35 years, David worked as a trader/importer, roaster, and risk manager. Jill, who enjoyed a career in the luxury hospitality industry, utilizes her operational skills to help manage the Germantown-based business. Its specialty selections include Tanzania Peaberry, Indonesia Sumatra, and Costa Rica SHB (Don Claudio). All blends are 100% Arabica and sourced from small producers or co-ops. Clermont’s coffee is available at Churchtown Dairy in Hudson, NY; Greig Farm in Red Hook, NY; Migliorelli Farm in Red Hook and Rhinebeck, NY; and Hearty Roots in Germantown, NY, among other destinations.

Bluestone Coffee Roasting Company, Saugerties, NY

Bluestone sources its coffee from places around the world and roasts in small batches locally. After teaming up with a local dairy supplier, Bluestone began offering its own baked goods in house. Visit its warm, inviting café for coffee, fresh juices, smoothies, hot and iced teas, or baked goodies. While there, enjoy the Bluestone Blend – a medium roast full-bodied coffee with hints of chocolate and lemon, and a smooth medium acidity. This flavor marks the “most popular people’s choice.” 138 Partition St, Saugerties, NY.

Hudson Roastery, Hudson, NY 

Hudson Roastery’s coffee is roasted weekly in the Hudson Valley. After being weekenders for several years, its proprietors relocated to Hudson full time in 2020. They recognized a void in the marketplace for a local coffee shop that brewed or sold their own beans, so the entrepreneurs established one. The basis for their brand was to identify four coffees that ranged from dark to medium roasts – that were all different but shared a common thread: freshly roasted weekly; organic – no harmful pesticides; healthier for us and kinder to the land and farmers; and rich complex flavors with low acidity and no bitter or sour notes. Visit its café in Hudson. Out of the area – its wholesale business includes eight retail locations in the region and New York City. Locations include Love Apple Farm in Ghent, NY; Otto’s Market in Germantown, NY; Churchtown Dairy in Hudson, NY; and Adams Fairacre Farm in Kingston, NY. 4 Park Place, Hudson, NY.

Irving Farm New York, Millerton, NY

Established in 1996 on Manhattan’s Irving Place, Irving Farm New York has decades of experience operating neighborhood cafés and roasting. Following their success in New York City, the company’s founders Steve and David began to focus on roasting. They converted a small carriage house in the Hudson Valley into a roastery. They were pioneers – at the time roasting wasn’t even permitted in the city. After honing their skills, Steve and David yearned to bring their local customers the perfect cup. Their café on the Upper West Side eventually became a local staple, just as their Irving Place café had, and they were awarded “Best Coffee” by New York Magazine in 2002. Beyond sourcing and roasting, they brew their coffee to meet New York’s high standards. Their coffee beans hail from small producers and they hand select freshly harvested lots. Their Hudson Valley café is located at 44 Main St., Millerton, NY.

Krafted Brew Lab, Bantam, CT

Krafted Brew Lab traces its history back more than a decade when proprietors Jason and his wife, Kim relocated overseas. Being residents of Germany exposed them to the social experience of unwinding – alone or among friends or colleagues – with a hand-crafted espresso or coffee. At that time, Jason started his art studio practice in which he created and exhibited in galleries. This daily ritual of cultivating ideas in a free, open space continues and became the inspiration for Krafted Brew Lab. When the duo moved back to the US, they opened this enticing coffee roaster and mercantile at 725 Bantam Rd., Litchfield, CT.

Reverie Coffee Company, Dover Plains, NY

Responsibly made, sustainably sourced and packaged. That’s the concept at the core of small batch coffee company, Reverie Coffee. This family-owned business uses high quality 100% Arabica beans. After being roasted in New York’s Harlem Valley region, its delicious coffee is shipped directly to enthusiasts. The lineup of coffee products includes organic, single origin, decaffeinated, flavored, espresso, cold brew, and beyond. As for tea, Reverie offers loose tea and satchels. Subscriptions are available.

Winchell Mountain Coffee Roasters, Pine Plains, NY

Winchell’s philosophy is: “Good coffee doesn’t have to be complicated.”

Its coffee crafters have been practicing the same roasting methods, which were passed down through the family since 1973. Its process is simple: They use heat and the love of their hands. Master roaster, Willis Rivkin, starts by sourcing quality beans from all over the globe. These are then roasted in small batches at Winchell’s roastery in Pine Plains, NY. Ideal for any season, one of its products include Boynton Blends, Love You – a timeless blend. Gift cards are available.

Teatime Harney & Sons Tea, Millerton, NY

Founder and president, John Harney developed a passion for fine teas. He began his journey in mastering the art of tea blending in his basement. The proprietor of an inn at the time, Harney served his distinctive blends to guests. Harney & Sons currently offers more than 250 varieties of high quality teas, sourced from the finest tea regions around the globe. Explore its collection at the lounge in Millerton. Its blends include classics such as Earl Grey, and signature flavors such as Hot Cinnamon Spice and Paris, several varieties of Matcha, more adventurous teas such as Bamboo and everything in between. The Historic Royal Palaces Collection of England invited Harney and Sons to create a distinguished collection of English tea blends. Each pays homage to tea’s imperial history and roots and comes packaged in a brilliant jewel-toned tin containing 30 tea sachets. Loose teas are offered in jasmine, green, matcha, and beyond. 13 Main St., Millerton, NY.

Verdigris Teas & Chocolate, Hudson, NY

Proprietor Kim Bach inherited her interest in tea from her mother who had a tea shop in Utah for more than 20 years. “We drank tea at home – mostly herbal varieties,” she says. After relocating to Hudson from Brooklyn, she opened the doors to her very own shop in 2007. Verdigris offers more than 150 loose teas from around the world. The tea enthusiast has taught about tea, most recently at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Beyond tea and Verdigris’s famous iced hot chocolate, the shop sells coffee and chocolate. Regina Simmons is the talent behind the baked goods sold in-house. She also crafts specialty cakes by special order. 135 Warren St., Hudson, NY. •

Disclaimer: If we missed a coffee or tea purveyor from our region on this list, it was by accident. Feel free to contact us and put them on our radar!