Thursday, March 01, 2007

CC: Coffee Labs Roasters

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Subject: Coffee Labs Roasters
Location visited:
Tarrytown, NY
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

Updated 7/31/08

Few places are fun to navigate in the rain, but I would have to say that the area between Mahwah, NJ and White Plains, NY are currently my least favorite (purely for navigational reasons; I like the area for many other aspects).

One such rainy night, on the way to a romantic dinner with the girlfriend (later that night to become fiancee'), we passed through Tarrytown. Ironically, we missed our reservation and went to hunt out other fare in town (with no luck), but we found Coffee Labs Roasters open amidst a fairly dead Main St.

Still being ravenous and not wanting to dawdle too long before we headed out to find food elsewhere, I quickly stopped in to grab some java (we also had a long drive home afterwards) and being second nature, took some mental notes on the place.

As I walked up, I could hear the sounds of local talent, and realized it was an Open Mic. Undeterred, I waded through the crowd to the front counter. The shop was very small (at least it seemed so with all the teenagers crammed in) and very, very loud (one should not have to scream to order). The place had no real unique aesthetics and seemed kind of bland as far as the environment went. The icing on the proverbial cake proved to be the drum roaster that literally sat in the middle of the shop (granted it might have been the only place you can put it, but at the sacrifice of openness and flow?)

As given in the name, they roast their own coffee and seem to focus on single origin coffees (i.e. less blends). The coffee itself tasted a little bland in my opinion but since I was in a hurry, I can't really vouch for it either way.

The espresso tasted fair though the barista who pulled the shot definitely had little experience under her belt. No matter, the shots came out pretty tasty.

Taking two drinks to go, the girlfriend and I got back on our way to finding food (we ended up settling for Wendy's b/c it was getting late) and heading south. Coffee Labs provided a good beverage but I can't really say I was floored, as I had read such praise of them in many a past forum. Maybe the next time I cross the Tappan Zee, I'll give it a second try.

Updated 7/31/08

This update is actually one that was to be posted some time ago but due to an error on mine or Blogger's part, never showed up on this post. My bad for not checking my work...

I managed to make my second visit to Tarrytown on a beautiful warm afternoon and had a significantly better experience. The store was not packed out, the baristas were uber friendly, and the coffee faired much better. While I didn't take specific notes on this particular occasion (a rare occasion where I was without the implements), I noted later that the coffee was significantly better this time around and the espresso still displayed fairly amazing.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, we all know grumpys is good and all the rest of the big city coffee houses. But dissing Coffee Labs? Grow a taste bud! Does the phrase "#2 Microroaster in the nation for 2007" (according to Roast Magazine) buy you a clue? Maybe you were just a little distracted by your impending marital bliss. Hope your taste in women is better than your taste in coffee. Ellen

Bill said...


Despite your grumpy comments, you caused me to realize that an update to the post was lacking and thanks to you, I managed to put it all together. Kudos!

And actually, I would say my taste in women is better than my taste in coffee... :)

Bill said...

While visiting our son in NY in
May 2010, my wife, my son and I went to Coffee Labs and really enjoyed it. The baristas were friendly and the coffee was very good.

Their Ethiopian Amaro Gayo is one of the best coffees we have had. The roaster really knows his craft. They have a large Kyoto cold drip brewer. It was a first for us to try that coffee.

I enjoy your blog. I glanced over you list and have been in most every state you have, but I have been to different coffee shops. It gives me something to look for on return trips.

You are right, life is better shared. My wife and I enjoy dates to coffee shops. We also enjoy sharing our coffee with friends. Keep up the good work.