Abbotsford Road Coffee Specialists Opens in Brooklyn
Now open in Gowanus, New York, Abbotsford Road Coffee Specialists is the latest venture by Phil Di Bella of Australia’s Di Bella Coffee.
More than just another Aussie coffee company, Abbotsford Road, which opened in Brooklyn in November, takes Australia’s passionate, inclusive coffee culture and presents it through a distinctly NYC lens. The concept was developed by Phillip Di Bella, founder of Di Bella Coffee and 2016 Golden Bean champion. His goals with Abbotsford Road are simple: to provide the finest coffee without pretention, to help cafés and restaurants become profitable coffee destinations, and to harbor in Gowanus the strong sense of community and hospitality that Australians are known for. This is not a snobby coffee laboratory, but rather a welcoming enclave of enthusiasts eager to share their expertise.
Located at 573 Sackett Street in Gowanus, Abbotsford Road is a roasting plant, educational space and café, but its primary function as a specialty wholesaler is to provide café owners and restaurateurs with both the highest quality product and the comprehensive educational resources necessary for success. This of course begins with the finest coffee. As part owner of ICT (International Coffee Traders) – a trading company known for its strong relationships with farmers – Di Bella has access to an unparalleled network of green bean producers all over the world. ICT supplies Di Bella Coffee – where the proprietary Crop to Cup philosophy ensures fair prices for farmers and sustainability of crops – and then Di Bella Coffee supplies Abbotsford Road. It’s a simple chain ensuring that what ends up in the Gowanus headquarters is none other than the highest quality bean, used to produce the finest, most consistent cup of coffee, akin to a superior glass of wine.
The space is a large industrial loft with quintessential Brooklyn style. Floor to ceiling glass windows give way to an airy, high-ceilinged warehouse that is equal parts café, showroom and roasting plant. The slick white tile coffee bar contains a brew station for drip coffee, two espresso machines, a glass display showcasing baked goods and sandwiches from local purveyors, and a bean dispensary, where green bean varieties are stored at optimal temperature, humidity and light conditions.
Abbotsford Road will also off exclusive Australian chai, matcha and cocoa powder, and an extensive tea program. Opposite the bar, an exposed brick wall accented by lush hanging plants leads to the far corner, where hills of coffee-filled burlap sacks cover the cement floor. Farther back, the roasting machine fills the space with the distinct aroma of freshly roasted coffee. Turf grass out front will allow for outdoor seating and a dedicated area for dogs, in addition to wooden tables and café seating for thirty inside.
The coffee itself is informed by the company’s prevailing ethos that coffee culture need not be esoteric, snobby or complex. While it’s true that certain beans taste best with specific brewing methods, the three signature blends available at launch maintain flavour and consistency regardless of the brewing style and machine used. They are roasted and blended in such a way that the flavour profiles cut through milk enough to be distinguishable, and adding sugar is not necessary. The initial coffee blends will be Forza; full bodied and strong with hints of dark chocolate, hazelnut and caramel, Crema; balanced and smooth with hints of butterscotch, malt and nuts, and Vivo; fruity and sweet with hints of cherry, honey and toffee. Also offered will be distinct single origin roasted beans such as a rare Panama Don Pepe Estate Geisha, a single origin estate green bean program where customers can choose their own roasts, and a bean subscription service. Abbotsford Road recently won three awards at the 2017 Golden Bean North America Roaster’s Competition.
Heading up the New York operation is Di Bella’s business development/partner and director of sales, Logan Kedwell, who developed intricate knowledge of the coffee industry running all four locations Buzz Bistro, a chain of cafés in Australia. Eager to learn more about the roasting/wholesaling end of the business, he went to work for Di Bella Coffee, where he was involved in managing corporate accounts, café performance analysis, bean sales and brewing methods. In Brooklyn, he will use his expertise to help café owners achieve their goals, and to ensure a uniquely hospitable environment for guests at the headquarters.
Restaurants/Cafés that make Abbotsford Road their chosen coffee may also turn to them for everything from operations and store design consulting to menu layout, buying lists, machines, and barista training. The training will occur in-house at the specially outfitted Gowanus headquarters during regular Industry Nights, headed by Phillip Di Bella. These master classes also benefit from Di Bella’s distinction as Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Marketing at the prestigious University of Queensland, Australia.
As community engagement is also a primary concern of Abbotsford Road’s, it will hold training nights for the public, covering topics such as barista skills, latte art and alternative brewing methods. These sessions are perfect for the coffee enthusiast looking to expand their knowledge.
For more information on Abbotsford Road, visit: www.abbotsfordroad.com.