Food & Drink

Coffee Mob’s Buck Berk Now Roasting His Own Coffee Beans

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Berk roasting coffee at The Pulley Collective in Red Hook. (Photo via Coffee Mob)
Berk roasting coffee at The Pulley Collective in Red Hook. (Photo via Coffee Mob)

Coffee Mob, the coffee shop on Newkirk Avenue, is now roasting its own coffee beans. Coffee Mob owner, Buck Berk has teamed up with the roasting co-op The Pulley Collective in Red Hook to roast the coffee locally.

Berk will also be competing in the Coffee Masters Coffee Competition this weekend, September 25-27, as part of the New York Coffee Festival.
We asked Berk to tell us a little bit more about what it entails to roast your own coffee beans.
DPC: What made you decide to start roasting your own coffee?
BB: I decided to start roasting my own coffee because I recently became fascinated with the science behind it. During the roasting process, there are so many variables that effect the final product, not to mention different varietals of coffee behave differently too, making it all that more exciting! Also, having traveled to a coffee farm last year, and understanding a lot about the early stages of coffee growing, I’m inspired to tie these two ends of the “coffee-chain” together. Finally, a customer who enjoys a cup of coffee I personally sourced, roasted and brewed is quite rewarding too.
What was the process like for getting started?
The process of getting started was pretty intense, I knew it was a major decision that could effect the direction of Coffee Mob’s future, luckily though I was able to become a member of the Pulley Collective, a roasting co-op in Red Hook. Their guidance and education in those first few visits were key in getting me up to speed pretty fast.
Coffee beans grown by Jaime Ramon of the Jinotega region of Nicaragua. (Photo via Coffee Mob)
Coffee beans grown by Jaime Ramon of the Jinotega region of Nicaragua. (Photo via Coffee Mob)
What flavors/styles of coffee are you roasting?
I do not flavor any coffee I roast. The coffee itself can dictate certain aspects of the roasting process thus giving itself it’s own “profile” or “style” for example, coffee grown at extreme altitudes tends to be more dense and require higher starting temperatures which in turn could effect how the coffee tastes. But basically, it’s the roasters job to find the coffee’s “sweet spot” and bring out the natural flavors of the coffee. Coffee is complex, and when prepared properly, it’s naturally yummy.
Tell us a little bit more about Coffee Masters. 
Coffee Masters is a competition that challenges specialty coffee professionals (many who are baristas) to showcase their talents through five different categories of challenges. these challenges include tasting coffee blindly and being able to identify them, pour-over brewing, latte art, drink order speed, and a signature drink.

If you’d like to to try some of Berk’s freshly roasted coffee, you can grab some at Coffee Mob at 1514 Newkirk Avenue or at Kettle & Thread at 1219 Church Avenue. You can also buy the beans at Coffee Mob or Cortelyou Market by Key Food and brew it at home.
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