STORIES


How To Brew: French Press

Things you need:
French Press
Digital scale
 (We recommend this for best results)
Gooseneck Kettle
Stirring Instrument
Burr Grinder (Also for best results)
Filtered water
Timer
Cups to serve
Pot to keep your coffee warm

Recipe:
60 Grams of coffee or 12 level tablespoons
850 grams of water or 30 fl oz
4-5 minutes

1. Preheat your French Press

2. Look for a medium grind, the size of sand



3. 60 grams (12 level tablespoons) of coffee


4. Fill press to the top with filtered water.

5. After filling the press with water, stir to ensure that all coffee is fully saturated.



6. Carefully skim the floating grounds off the top for a cleaner cup.



7. Let steep for approximately 4-5 minutes and then depress the plunger slowly, being sure to minimize the agitation of the grounds.

8. Serve directly into cup before decanting the coffee in another vessel for freshness of leftovers

9. Enjoy!

How To Brew: Espresso & Cappuccino

 

Things you need:

1. Traditional Espresso Machine
2. Digital scale
3. Burr Grinder with precise adjustments designed for espresso
4. Tamper
5. Knock Box/Trash can
6. Digital Timer
7. For Cappuccino: 8 oz cup
8. For Cappuccino: 12 oz milk pitcher
9. For Cappuccino: High quality milk

Espresso Recipe:

17-18 grams of ground coffee
35-40 grams beverage weight/pulled espresso (1.5oz~)
27-30 seconds
200 degree water
9 bars of pressure (machine)

For Cappuccino

~4oz high quality milk of YOUR CHOICE

1. Tare the Portafilter on the scale.

 
2. Make sure you’re using the amount of coffee recommended for your basket size. 
At Irving Farm we use 17-18 grams of ground coffee in the portafilter basket.



3. Using your finger or tapping the portafilter with your palm, create a level surface before tamping.


4. Keep your wrist straight and apply firm even pressure across the coffee bed as you tamp to ensure an even extraction.


5. Rinse the grouphead of your espresso machine, then carefully insert your portafilter into the Grouphead and start your espresso pull immediately.


6. Signs to look for in quality espresso:

a. The streams should drop down at approximately 5 seconds.
b. Both streams should flow evenly.
c. Espresso should be have a deep caramel color that lightens as the extraction nears finish.
d. You should see 35-40 grams of beverage weight in approximately 30 seconds. 

 


7. If you're continuing on to make a Cappuccino, aerate your milk of choice carefully for a few seconds.

Position the steam pitcher so the milk can move in a whirlpool like motion. Hold the position and continue until the milk reaches your ideal temperature. At Irving Farm we steam milk to approximately 145 degrees for cappuccinos.


8. Finish with a beautiful pour. 

Be sure to hold your cup by the handle and keep it tilted at a steep angle. Start off approximately 6 inches away from the surface of the espresso, filling the first halve of the cup and then slowly lowering your pitcher.
For best results when pouring, the tip of the pitcher should nearly touch the surface of the espresso.

Blue Hill + Irving Farm | Coffee Partnership

We are proud to work with both Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns as their exclusive coffee partner. This season they're serving coffee from Nora Pillimue. Her coffee from the Huila region of Colombia is available only at Blue Hill's restaurants and Grain Bar.

Tasting Notes: 
Red Currant/ Sugar Cane/ Clove

Blue Hill at Stone Barns' world class restaurant is located on the grounds of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. In addition to the restaurant, they operate the Grain Bar where center visitors can pick up whole grain baked goods, flip through a copy of Chef Dan Barber's The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food, and have our coffee. 

Our partnership with Blue Hill offers us the unique privilege of sharing our producer's stories with their staff. Mayita, from our coffee team, led a training session to pass along Nora Pillimue's story.

Nora has been a member of the Monserrate cooperative in Colombia since December 2015. She loves working with coffee, and picks and washes all of her farm's coffee with her husband and two children. When Mayita tasted Nora’s coffee during the cooperative’s seasonal competition, its delicacy and elegance paid tribute to the hard work the family puts into it and secured top honors. ⠀

We have been buying Nora’s coffee since 2016. ⠀

Local Roots | Local Farm Share Pick-Up

Live in New York City and sad about the lack of accessible farm stands? Cry no more, because you can get fresh, hyper-local, seasonal produce and meats in your own neighborhood.

Local Roots offers the option of subscribing to a season's worth of the goods along with information about the farmers you'll be buying from. A home delivery option is also available for the anti-social or over-scheduled.

Hosting a farm share pickup in our cafes offers us one more way to bring our philosophy into practice of committed partnerships with farmers producing the best products.

Local Roots hosts a happy hour every first Tuesday in our Upper East Side cafe. Chef Alejandro creates a recipe utilizing seasonal items available that day for everyone picking up to try and take a recipe card home.

Come to Happy Hour every first Tuesday
1424 3rd Ave

(Irving Farm recipe collaboration for happy hour using Local Roots produce)

Schedule your pickups here:

UES

Irving Farm Coffee Roasters
1424 3rd Ave
Tuesday 5-7pm

Gramercy
Irving Farm Coffee Roasters
71 Irving Place
Wednesday 5-7pm

Greenwich Village
Irving Farm Coffee Roasters
78 W. 3rd St
Wednesday 5:30-7:30pm

 

Natamaya, El Salvador | Partner Spotlight

Committed, long-term partnerships are important to us, and our partnership with Natamaya is a great example of one.

In 2012, Nena Mendez, a 5th generation El Salvadoran coffee producer, walked into our 79th st cafe and noticed a mural from the farm next to her family farm, Finca Talnamica. She invited our green buyer, Dan Streetman, to visit the farm she owns with her husband Hermann, Natamaya, on his next trip to El Salvador.

In addition to the farm, Dan also got to see the Mendez family’s passion; a place in Juayua called Canton Ojo de Agua, where they have worked with the non-profit SQ Foundation to establish a school, living accomodations, soccer fields and a medical clinic.

Natamaya is named for Nena and Hermann’s daughters, Mayita and Natalia. In the 1950s their grandparents, Alfredo and Bessita Ortiz Mancia, purchased Natamaya’s sister farm, Finca Talnamica. Mayita started with Irving Farm as a barista at the shop that Nena originally visited and now is our Strategic Partnership manager and an integral part of our coffee team. All photos in this post are from her archives.

We donate $1 from each bag of Natamaya sold to support the SQ Foundation and their work in Canton Ojo de Agua. Donate here.

 

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Platanares, Honduras | Partner Spotlight

Platanares, named for the plantain trees that shade the coffee plants, is a farm in Copan, Honduras. It is owned by Jose Francisco Villeda Torres--known affectionately as Panchito--who is one of the founding members of Cooperativa Cafetalera Capucas Limitada (COCAFCAL), one of the most tightly organized co-ops in Central America.

Panchito lives on the Platanares farm, which he bought over 25 years ago, with his wife, his 4 daughters, and 3 grandchildren. He has slowly increased the size of his land from .5 manzanas to 3 manzanas (A manzana is roughly 1.7 acres). 

The autonomy of the farm and its journey from being a co-op member to trading directly is a cooperative success story. In 2011, Panchito entered a bag of coffee in the co-op’s competition and won first place. His coffee had improved 1 place per year in the competition until that year.

Since then he has grown to producing up to 30 bags a year and slowly built his micro-mill, improving it incrementally. We have bought his coffee every year since. In 2012, his trees were hit hard by leaf rust, but our green buyer committed to paying him a premium so that he could fight the rust and save his farm. The farm has made a full recovery and the quality is even better than before.

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Recommended Reading: A Conversation On Gender Inequality in the Coffee Industry

Liz Dean, the Director of Retail here at Irving Farm, recently participated in a meaningful conversation about gender inequality and sexism in the coffee industry along with fellow coffee professionals Becky Reeves, Ashley Rodriguez, and Jesse Raub. The full transcript of their discussion can be found here, but some highlights include:

Why fewer women hold leadership & ownership positions than men

"Open applications for every position [would ensure more diversity in leadership roles]. I see so many men be 'promoted' for jobs that have never been advertised." -Ashley

"People select for specific leadership skills. Often, stereotypically masculine leadership skills." -Liz

"It’s easier for men to get the backing, the investors, and the loans to become an owner. I’ve seen my female and male friends try to open business and it seems easier for men to be approached to start a business, when women have to work hard to prove that they can own a business." -Becky

The idea that passion is a privilege

"I just hired an amazing woman who initially turned down a job with us because she had a kid to support and couldn’t leave a stable, salaried job to work an hourly one, even though she REALLY wanted to work for a serious coffee company. Whereas I’ve had like, two young, white dudes give up their lives to move to NYC and work for us. Because they could." -Liz

How men are often taken more seriously than women

"There’s an article [about how] women talking about diversity are taken less seriously because it’s 'expected' that’s what they’ll care about." -Ashley

"My advice isn’t valid until my male coworker is like 'Yup! She’s right.'” -Becky

"Yes, when I was a manager that would happen all the time. Customers would ask me a question, then go to my white male employee and ask him the same one, and THEN be satisfied when he agreed with me." -Liz

 

20 Years of Irving Farm

Please join us on Tuesday, April 19, 2016—our 20th anniversary!—at all of our cafes for a 52-cent cup of drip coffee and a look at how far we've come!

Twenty short years ago, college friends Stephen Leven and David Elwell took a leap of faith in opening a neighborhood cafe on Irving Place in Gramercy Park. The 52 Irving Place (which you now know as 71) cafe became a community centerpoint, and as their popularity grew, so did their coffee dreams.

 

Soon the duo had tracked down a historic farmhouse in upstate Dutchess County, New York, in the Coleman Station district that was once the preeminent supplier of milk from the Hudson Valley to New York City. The two began roasting in the farm's carriage house, and suddenly twenty years had gone by in a New York minute. 

To celebrate our twenty-year anniversary on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, we're offering a cup of today's Irving Farm coffee—arguably even better and more delicious than that we brewed up two decades ago—at the throwback price of 52 cents per cup.  

Today, Irving Farm has grown into one of New York's most beloved hometown roasters with six (and soon to be seven) cafés, a bustling wholesale business, a state-of-the-art SCAA Certified Training & Education Loft, a brand new Roastery & Tasting Room upstate, and a green coffee buying program that focuses on direct relationships with farmers, sustainable practices and a philosophy of quality over quantity.

Please join us on Tuesday, April 19, 2016our 20th anniversary!—at all of our cafes for a 52-cent cup of drip coffee and a look at how far we've come!