Gorilla Coffee Company28/04/2007
After saying my farewells and the kids from Grumpy´s wishing me luck on my trip Jen and I exited feeling very cafinated but loving it! What a great way to start the week in New York, though the cafe would not let us use there toilet a theme that was actually going to be more common then I thought. We would head to Starbucks, New York’s and the states renowned public toilet facilities, thanks, Starbucks you are good for something! Ooh, was that harsh?
After doing some touristy stuff like ground zero, the statue of Liberty and little italy for some food and a beer, Jen and I head back to the Hostel so she can study and I contemplate a power nap. Though I have not made contact with Janice from Gorilla coffee as yet so I try to call her again before laying down. I ring and this time she answers and tells me to get my arse down to Brooklyn town now!
I kinda don’t wanna as I’m tired from that midday beer but I suck it up and take the trip from Harlem to Brooklyn leaving Jen to her studies. When walking down the streets of Brooklyn it kind of reminded me of Melbourne, it had a more of a grungy feel to it and some funky shops and bars along the way. After a bit over an hour I finally see across the road, the Gorilla coffee sign hanging over the sidewalk and I make a b line.
Gorilla Coffee Company 23rd March 5.10pm
Apon entry there is some heavy metal music playing reasonably loud and it is in stark contrast to Grumpy’s squeaky clean and quiet environment. The place has a homely grungy feal to it, with customers sitting down making use of the ample space, lap tops out busily surfing away. Straight away I feel a smile start to come on and I knew this was going to be fun! I recognise Jenice from her photo that’s on the cover of Barista Magizine as she is making an espresso through a triple naked portifilter on a 3 group Synesso. I decide to wait until she has finished making the shot before I make an introduction. I think she can sense the fact that I have walked straight past the ques and am staring with a smile straight at her.
She looks up with a smirk and head tilted to one side and in an inquisitive manor she says “can I help you”? I lean over the bar with a hand outstretched and introduced myself, which she quickly took then through it away to come around the bar to replace it with a warm friendly hug, American style she would exclaim!
Working with Janice today is Lynn and it turns out that he used to work at Zoka in Seattle where Janice worked as well, though they were in different stores. Lynn is responsible for the training of wholesale accounts and he tells me he is just starting to learn how to roast. You can see they both have a passion and a desire to better themselves within the industry, which must be a god send for the owners, Carol Mclaughlin and Darleen Scherer.
Gorilla have just had the bar redesigned and are still coming to terms with their new Synesso that is only a mere three days old. Janice and Lynn are hovering over the shot they are pouring me with great attention to detail. The shot was good, nice body and a long after taste with some smokey notes at the end. I plonk myself at the end of the bar and we talk in between customers that they are serving.
I notice that a big portion of their customers are regulars as Jenice and Lynn are engaging in conversation, jokes and something I need to brush up on, they know all their customers names! I had a cappuccino that was made in a 12 oz cup as they did not have anything smaller. In an admission Janice tells me that they need to re-size and work on their milk techniques. I would have to agree as the cappuccino that I got was huge, course and too hot, at least they recognise whats needed, though it might be out of there hands on the sizing issue at least.
I end up hanging out at the cafe for a good hour and a half just soaking it all up and getting highly caffinated, again. I would have no hesitation to recommend this place to anyone as its just got a great feel to it, they also have a filter option as well. So if you are going to head there spoil yourself with a well made espresso and just soke up the unpretentious atmosphere.
Janice and I make plans to meet for a cafe tour tomorrow morning, but for one reason or another she has to pull out, which suited me as I had a huge hangover that morning and need the sleep in desperately!