The Houston Street DKNY mural wasn't the only thing painted brown in the last few days: a solitary worker has rolled a couple of coats on the squat Red Hook building where the Delightful Coffee Shop will soon open. The old “Eating and Art Conditioning” sign is gone, signaling that the Stumptown cafe (to be operated in tandem with the Frankies) is getting closer to completion. Stumptown plans to roast beans for their local clients in a cast iron Probat located in the same space.
The coffee company is a recent transplant to New York. Ninth Street Espresso and Brooklyn Label were among the first spots to serve its Hairbender blend last fall, and Stumptown press has since polarized the coffee drinking community twice. First, when an obsequious New York profile called company founder Duane Sorenson “the messiah,” an avalanche of negative comments ensued. Last week, a NY Press story unhinged a half-formed argument about fair trade coffee into a deranged rant against some particular “ready-made, generic bohemianism” Stumptown somehow apparently adds to its beans. Again, comment section avalanche.
New York's credibility was further dampened by an accompanying taste test pitting Stumptown’s Ethiopian Wondo against nine other locally roasted coffees; Stumptown seemingly triumphed. Problem is that the other roasters weren’t given specifics of the cupping, prompting Donald Shoenholt, operator of the 169-year-old Brooklyn-based Gillies Coffee Company to write in “If I had been told that my coffee was to be tasted in a match up with an unblended Ethiopia Sidamo (Sidama region) coffee, I would have sent along a comparable item.” Feeling cheated, other roasters followed with the same complaint.
If you haven’t tried yet Stumptown for yourself at one of the scores of places now serving it, the flagship coffee shop (seen here) should be opening soon at 219 Van Brunt Street.