This isn’t the place to merely go for a cup of joe. You go to Porto Rico Importing Company for top quality beans to grind and brew at home. Even before you’re within sight of the antique sign hanging out front at 201 Bleeker St. in Greenwich Village, you’ll be well aware that you’re drawing close by the rich smell of roasting coffee wafting through the air. Once you step through their doors, you’ll swear you’ve just stepped into a coffee warehouse right out of the 19th century on the docks of the East River. Countless burlap sacks brimming with different shades of coffee beans spill out onto the floor. Look more closely and you’ll see that each bag has a label affixed to it informing you of the blend. Way beyond Columbian and Arabica, choices range from the bold yet smooth Aggies Blend, buttery caramel-like French Italian espresso roast, to the sweet and smoky Brazilian Santos.
Even if you are not a coffee lover, you will become one after a whiff of this store. And it isn’t just about drinking it. Ask and you’ll get vivid descriptions of where the beans come from such as Indian Monsoon which is dried under tents during the monsoon season. Flavors of the various Sumatran beans depend on if they’re grown on the wet or dry side of the mountain. Flavored coffees like pumpkin spice and mint chocolate are made by roasted these actual ingredients with the beans rather than spraying them with chemicals. And yes, all coffee is fair trade, bird-safe, and certified organic.
Photo courtesy of egkiii on flickr.com