It’s not often I get to write about my immediate neighborhood of Bath Beach, especially since there’s not a whole lot to say on the local/artisanal food front. (Big news was a Dunkin’ Donuts opening up next to the laundromat, and the fact that one of the few restaurants making an effort, the since shuttered Jamie Lynn’s Kitchen, recently got replaced by the Cisco Systems-dependent Paco’s Tacos). Hooray!
That’s why it was a truly happy surprise to discover that a nearby neighbor, local artist Don Porcella, had built himself a tiny oasis of sorts in the middle of the foodie desert; sourcing his own fair trade, single origin coffee beans from Crop to Cup and self-roasting them in a cast iron pan, all from his little kitchen in the boonies of South Brooklyn.
“They say the people that have the most success with the basic skillet method are ones that can let color determine when the roast is done,” said Don. “And as an artist, color is my thing. So I actually think that makes me pretty exceptional at this.”
So far, his Facebook friends (and his caffeine-deprived neighbors) seem to agree, placing mail orders for $15 bags of his light (referred to as Synaptic Transmitter) medium (7 Seas Blend) or dark (Black River) roasts, each made from a variety of Burundi, Buginyanya and Kapchorwa beans sourced from individual farmer groups in Uganda.
Even better (for those within biking distance), is an impromptu tasting session, conducted in the privacy of your own home. For anyone jonesing for a hit of the good stuff, it smacks deliciously of a drug-deal, with Porcella surreptitiously removing a number of bags from his duffel, lining them up for inspection on the table, and expounding on the nuances and merits of each. You’ll take a sniff, get a taste, money will undoubtedly exchange hands, and he’ll ride off into the sunset, leaving a new customer determined to never skulk home from the grocery with a half-concealed tin of Chock Full O’ Nuts again.
For more info on Porcella Coffee Roasters, visit www.porcellacoffee.com