The next stop on the coffee crawl kept me close to home. I found myself at one of my favorite local coffee shops where I was very inspired to blog. Roasting Plant is a great little find in the West Village on the corner of Greenwich Avenue and 7th Avenue. The name says it all. They actually roast their own coffee in each store “so it’s always fresh, full of flavor and never bitter.” And those words do not lie, but I will get to the taste review shortly.
Upon walking into the shop, it’s easy to point out the design theme of Roasting Plant: simple and sleek. Slate tile flooring gives way to limited wall seats made of a shiny plastic material and only 3 small tables (about 18″ square inches total). The shop quickly fills up with laptop users as the store offers a great, free WiFi connection for customers. Despite the seating and small tables, the space is definitely not meant to be a study or work place.
Roasting Plant prides itself on seeing, hearing and smelling the entire process of getting to you that little cup of coffee goodness. They use what they have coined as the “javabot” system: once a coffee bean has been selected, ”javabot” automatically roasts the fresh green beans, sends them to rest (cool) and then precisely grinds and brews your favorite cup of coffee in seconds. The best part is that you can physically watch the entire process as it happens (see picture at right). The only negative remark that I had and from what I heard after interviewing a few of the patrons who were either working or chatting with friends, is the noise that the system creates. From the roasting of the beans to the transportation to the grinder, the beans move along a clear plastic tubing. This tubing is neither insulated nor is it sound proof. The clanging of the beans moving around gets to be quite loud when many cups of coffee are being ordered and roasting is concurrently going on. Another reason for not being able to do work, read or really have quiet conversation.
Sweets, with a more sophisticated taste offering, are sold here as well. Chocolate covered ginger, pecan pie bites, and chocolate butter crisps can be found inside small glass cases at the checkout register. Everything is weighed and paid for by the ounce, making the price a little confusing to discern without actually expressing interest in purchasing something to eat. Once you do however, you won’t be disappointed with the yummy sweet goodness of some of the treats.
Coffee and espresso prices are a little higher than most coffee shops, but that is to compensate for the cost of roasting and grinding everything in store. A small cup of coffee costs $1.84 while a latte costs $3.49. Fresh squeezed orange juice (what I enjoyed today) is also quite costly at $3.75 for a small cup. Roasting Plant also offers coffee for sale by the bag, which is shipped in from various countries. With more than 10 types of coffees available to choose from, they definitely cater to most consumers’ tastes who walk in to the store.
Definitely check out Roasting Plant. The coffee is smooth, no bitter at all and the people who work here are incredibly nice and knowledgable. Even if you don’t come back often for that cup of joe on the go, you can take a bag of their coffee home to brew yourself.