Sunday, June 02, 2013

CC: Turnstile Coffee Roasters

Subject: Turnstile Coffee Roasters
Location: Belmar, NJ
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

Sandy sure did do a number on the Jersey shore. If you haven't had the horror of seeing it first hand, I can tell you that the experience is surreal. Picture perfect places that spawned so many memories are now forever changed.

But fortunately, some aspects of the shore were not totaled and some were barely hit. One encouraging sight for me was a place called Turnstile Coffee Roasters in Belmar. Planted a bit away from the beach itself, Turnstile is located in a gorgeous grey shopping center off Route 71. The interior emanated a classy charm that made one feel fancy and at home simultaneously, with an array of wood tables, a leather couch and superbly pleasant lighting.

The coffee available comes from both their in-house roasting operation as well as some outside roasters like Stumptown and Counter Culture. That day, I had a pourover of Turnstile's Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and an espresso of Stumptown's Hairbender. The pourover doled out notes of vanilla, cocoa, berry, a little black tea and buttered croissant; a sweet and creamy coffee with lots of potently delicious facets. The espresso, pulled short with brown crema, tossed me notes of lemon syrup, cocoa, curry, caramel, whole milk and a tinge of sage, proving to be a great pull of Hairbender.

While NJ coffee has been improving (especially along the Jersey Coast Line; here's even an ongoing feature from the Anchor on some local baristas), Turnstile is definitely a rare sight still in these parts. They hold many torches, exemplifying a roasting operation, superb skill, great coffees from other great roasters and a nice location. If you're in town for vacation or just passing through, stop by Turnstile for some great coffee.

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