Java man! New Hook roaster offers the best beans ever

This week’s tasty — but less filling! — food gossip
The Brooklyn Paper / Julie Rosenberg

No, you actually have never had a good cup of coffee — yet.

That’s all going to change once Stumptown Coffee Roasters — the brew that made Portland famous — opens its new roasting facility in Red Hook next month.

Already, caffeine connoisseurs are enjoying the best coffee in the country at Roots Cafe and Frankie’s 457, but the new plant will allow dozens of restaurants and coffee bars to join the roast revolution with even fresher beans, said owner Duane Sorenson, who moved to Carroll Gardens a year ago to oversee his company’s eastward expansion.

GO Brooklyn got a taste from Sorenson the other day — and we can report firstmouth that it’s a savory cup of joe with a thick, chocolate-y richness.

Sorenson said the taste is a result of buying coffee at fair trade prices from growers in Africa and Central and South America, roasting their beans properly and training baristas in the art of making the perfect cup — a skill he’ll teach when the Red Hook plant opens.

There will also be coffee tastings, as well as a Frankie’s cafe, serving a smiliar menu to the popular Court Street eatery.

“I always stopped by Brooklyn on my way to or from our farmers in Africa and knew it would be the place for us,” Sorenson said. “But the timing was never right. Now it is.”

The timing was also perfect for Jamey Hamm, owner of Roots Cafe, which sells Stumptown blends exclusively.

Hamm relocated to Park Slope from his native Alabama about a year ago “without a job or an apartment,” he said.

After working at a cafe for a year, he broke out on his own, taking over an existing coffee shop on Fifth Avenue in the South Slope and rechristening it “Roots Cafe.”

“A good friend of mine is from Portland and he said that I had to sell the Stumptown coffee,” said Hamm, who received his training from Sorenson himself. “It’s amazing stuff; the best I’ve ever had. I also liked the fact that Stumptown’s coffee is Fair Trade.”

Hamm said he did lose some of the prior coffee shop’s regulars, but dismissed them as “people who don’t care where their coffee comes from or how the farmers are treated.”

“I’m getting so many people who come in because they know about Stumptown’s policies,” he added. “Plus, they can taste the difference.”

Roots Cafe [639A Fifth Ave., between 18th and 19th streets in Park Slope, (205) 246-2149]. Frankie’s 457 [457 Court St., between Fourth Place and Luquer Street in Carroll Gardens, (718) 403-0033]. Stumptown Coffee Roasters [168 Van Brunt St., in Red Hook, no phone].