Adobe Stock | Artem Varnit
Why settle for subpar java when the Hudson Valley is home to roasters who know how to make the best of every bean? These 10 shops are worth a stop whenever you need a pick-me-up.
Java Love Roasters
Suffern and White Lake
What they’re pouring: More than 20 varieties of coffee sourced from farms that focus on sustainable and fair-trade farming practices. Owners Jodie Dawson and Kristine-Ellis Petrik roast 22 pounds of coffee at a time by hand in their Suffern location, which Dawson says, “ensures accuracy and the best roasting flavor profile.”
Brew this: Be sure to try their line of “Women Producer” beans, which are grown on farms owned or managed by women in Honduras, El Salvador, and Peru.
Multiple locations, café, WiFi, online shop, pastries, sold at Hudson Valley retailers
Coffee Labs Roasters
What they’re pouring: Some of the tastiest beans in the world, which owners Alicia and Mike Love personally source from origin countries (coffee-growing nations) and sustainable farmers. At any given time, you’ll find at least 15 varieties available on-site, which the couple roasts in their Tarrytown location. (An Eastchester/Bronxville location is set to open soon.)
Brew this: Pick up a bag from their line of “Relationship Coffees” a category they denote to farmers who have become friends since their founding in 2003.
Café, WiFi, online shop, rewards program, sold at Hudson Valley locations
What they’re pouring: Eight different blends made from single-origin beans that are roasted weekly and are available both in their shop and online. Hudson Roastery is also a wine bar, so if you stay long enough, you can start with a cup and a croissant (they offer eight varieties including almond and pain au chocolate) and then segue into locally sourced wine and cheese.
Brew this: Catchy, Hudson Valley-inspired blends, such as “Catskill Campfire” and “The Rip Van Winkle Blend.”
Cafe, WiFi, online shop, pastries, sold at Hudson Valley locations
Bear Mountain Coffee Roasters
What they’re pouring: They don’t have a physical location, but fans of Bear Mountain Coffee Roasters can order their 50 different blends online or pick up a bag at farmers markets and retail locations throughout the Hudson Valley. As soon as the beans are roasted, they’re delivered the next day, which preserves each blend’s freshness and flavor profile. (Longtime subscribers to their monthly program sometimes receive a surprise blend in their box, too.)
Brew this: Salted caramel, White Christmas, and amaretto are perfect blends to sip and savor in the wintertime.
Online shop, café, WiFi
Big Mouth Coffee Roasters
What they’re pouring: “Elevated house blends, as well as four rotating, single-origin offerings where we like to nerd out and get more specialized with different varietals,” says owner and roaster Alex Finkelstein. In other words: something for everyone. All the blends are made from a process called “seed to cup,” meaning that the coffee is planted, grown, harvested, and stored sustainably. A brand new Newburgh space inside an old auto body shop is coming soon.
Brew this: The “Nicolas and Angela.” This Nicaraguan blend is a partnership with Gold Mountain Coffee Brewers and has notes of cherries, concord grapes, and vanilla bean.
Café, WiFi, pastries, sold at Hudson Valley locations
Monkey Joe Roasting Company
What they’re pouring: Owners Melissa Brown and Brittany Morton focus on single-origin roasts rather than blends and their process involves a fully manual Dietrich roaster, meaning that there is “nothing digital to guide our roasts, simply the skill, talent, and years of practice by our head roaster, Tom,” says Brown.
Brew this: Customers often choose Mocha Java, Espresso Blend, or fan favorite Morning Howler Blend (which was created for the Radio Woodstock show “Acoustic Breakfast”).
Café, online shop, rewards program, pastries, sold at Hudson Valley retailers
What they’re pouring: Their coffee—there are usually six blends and five single-origin coffees available at once—is prepared in a roasting/cold brewing facility near their Millerton location. Irving Farm dates to 1996, when its first location opened on Irving Place in New York City, and it has been a leader in the small-batch, sustainable coffee movement.
Brew this: We’re fans of the dark roast named after the majestic Hudson River. It’s packed with flavors of black cherry, licorice, and clove.
Multiple locations, café, WiFi, online shop, subscriptions, rewards program, pastries, sold at Hudson Valley retailers
Wappingers Falls, Newburgh, and LaGrange
What they’re pouring: Small batches are hand-roasted in their Wappingers Falls location. While their current locations are more of an upscale grab and go setup (with a drive-thru), the new LaGrange spot includes a café and food sourced from Valley retailers. Ready Coffee is for people who want a fast, great cup on the go.
Brew this: Their signature blend, Headliner, has a deep, rich, and round flavor—without the bitterness.
Multiple locations, rewards program, pastries, sold at Hudson Valley retailers
North River Roasters
What they’re pouring: North River uses a process called fluid bed roasting, which they say is more environmentally friendly then traditional drum roasting. The roasters are powered by 100-percent renewable energy sources through the CCA in the City of Poughkeepsie. While they don’t have a café or retail space, North River pioneered the Community Supported Coffee Roasting (CSCR): customers can buy a share, like with a CSA, and pick up coffee at locations throughout Poughkeepsie.
Brew this: North River only uses beans that have one or more of these certifications: organic, fair trade, rain forest alliance, and bird friendly. Check out the “Summit Blends” series, with beans named after peaks like Storm King, Mount Beacon, and Bear Mountain.
Online shop, subscriptions, sold at Hudson Valley locations
Valkyrie Coffee Roasters
What they’re pouring: Valkyrie buys beans directly from eight farms, which allows them not only to pay the farmer the best price, but also to foster a relationship with them including regular check ins during growing season. The result is the best of each crop, which translates to unique flavor. Owner Dakota Rudolph says they “spend weeks sampling the same coffee over multiple batches until we find what we like best.”
Brew this: Are you a bourbon fan? The Kenyan Bourbon Barrel-Aged blend is considered a cult favorite. Its tasting notes, including green apple, cookie dough, French vanilla, and maple syrup, are perfect for the season.
WiFi, online shop, pastries, sold at Hudson Valley locations
On an unassuming stretch of River Street in Troy, a coffeeshop displays a trophy that’s quite a big deal.
Alejandro Griffin-Diaz, co-owner of Jacob Alejandro, was crowned U.S. Cold Brew 2022 Champion at the Coffee Fest Show in Chicago. His winning drink? A cold brew made from Passenger Coffee beans with house-made sassafras milk, orange peel, and chai spices. Check it out if you’re in the neighborhood, or if you prefer a sweet winter warm up order the cranberry white mocha or ginger cookie latte. – Jahaira Cruz