When Darleen Scherer opened Gorilla Coffee back in 2002-era Park Slope, the neighborhood still equated “artisan” beans with Starbucks. And while “direct trade” and “single-origin” have become entrenched additions to Brooklyn’s everyday lexicon since then, Scherer has once again advanced the “third wave” coffee movement with the recent debut of Supercrown—a Bushwick roastery dedicated to scrupulous sourcing.
Anchored by a vintage, 1952 German Probat UG-22 roaster, Supercrown was originally intended to serve solely as a wholesale facility, in order to process weekly, seasonally-changing shipments of quality green beans; obtained from innovative producers throughout the world. Although thankfully, Scherer eventually elected to allocate a portion of the 1,700-square-foot space to a retail outlet and café, allowing commuters to jumpstart their day with single-origin espresso, like the lemon and caramel-scented PT Toarco from Sulawesi, or wile away the afternoon with pour overs culled from a painstakingly precise Poursteady machine, such as the Kanzu Lot #15 from an extreme altitude region of Rwanda, bearing cupping notes of granny smith apple, concord grape and red current, or the award-winning Cabial from a husband and wife-owned farm in Colombia, tasting of burnt sugar, orange and apricot.
But lest the more casual consumer dismiss Supercrown as insufferably elitist, Scherer has added a touch of levity with a series of nuanced coffee drinks as well—including a milkshake made with two shots of espresso, espresso grinds and Ample Hills sweet cream, and an espresso-spiked, Ritual Belize 75 percent cacao hot chocolate. Concoctions like a malty Americano, prepared with Mexican Coke instead of water, are also in the works, as is a Scandinavian-style Kaffelemonade, a hot brewed concentrate of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Kochere, combined with housemade lemonade.
Any of which would have been hardly conceivable 14-some odd years ago, we imagine, to Park Slope’s quality-minded caffeine-seekers sipping Frappucinos at the new, local branch of Starbucks.
8 Wilson Avenue, Bushwick
All photos by Jane Bruce.