Coffee — a resource essential to survival in New York City under the even best conditions — is still being roasted in the boroughs during COVID-19, despite major changes to operations for all. Some coffee shops remain open for limited carry-out service, like Sweetleaf in Long Island City and Greenpoint, Abraço in the East Village, Sey in Bushwick, and Variety Coffee in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
But there’s no coffee business that isn’t seeing sales drops right now, and for those who’ve refocused their daily coffee routines to be stay-in affairs, it’s still easy to obtain fresh-roasted beans from top local roasters. Remember, even yet-to-be-roasted coffee is a fresh commodity that goes stale over time — so it’s in roasters’ best interest to keep inventory flowing, even beyond the substantial losses they’re seeing financially. Many are offering discounts at this time, and some have even sweetened the deal to include freebies. Here’s a guide to some local roasters offering their beans for home consumption.
Cafe Grumpy: While its locations are closed, this Brooklyn-based roaster is offering local pickup and delivery beans, as well as brewing gear and stylish totes to Williamsburg and Greenpoint when pre-ordering online. Or, order by regular mail — the company will even grind the coffee to your preferred setting. See the website and Instagram for coupon codes.
Sey Coffee: Considered one of the city’s most progressive roasters, with an emphasis on lighter, terroir-focused roast profiles, Sey is still operating for to-go service only at its chic Bushwick roastery and cafe — or by mail order. Coffees range in price from $22 to 26, or subscribe for $20 a month for a 250g box. See its Instagram for a recent buy-three-get-one-for-a-friend deal.
Joe Coffee Company: Closed throughout the city, Joe continues to offer its usual online store & subscription offerings, from whole bean to instant coffee. Joe has also teamed up with Bien Cuit to launch Borough Provisions for contactless delivery of coffee, baked goods, sourdough starter, fruit, ham, breakfast items, and more. Pickup is also available at Bien Cuit locations. There’s a $60 minimum for Borough Provisions, but no minimum for just buying Joe coffee beans through the mail.
Café Integral: There’s no substitute for an in-person trip to Café Integral’s beautiful Nolita boîte of a store — though the café remains open for takeaway only during this time. But for those further-flung or sticking closer to home, the all-Nicaraguan-origin roaster is offering free shipping on orders over $50. Blends and seasonal coffee are available along with some brewing gear, and tote bags.
Ninth Street Espresso: Though closed at all locations, this gruff Alphabet City fave is still roasting and shipping — and currently offering free shipping to customers in NY, NJ, and CT. Most coffees are $16 for a 12-ounce bag.
Sweetleaf: The first to bring specialty to the now-booming coffee neighborhood of Long Island City, Sweetleaf’s two LIC shops and its Greenpoint roastery cafe, remain open for to-go orders during the pandemic. Online shoppers can get a deal: 25 percent off whole bean coffees, free shipping in NYC for any size order, and free shipping outside of NYC for orders $40 and above.
Nguyen Coffee Supply: Vietnamese specialty-focused wholesale roaster Nguyen is still up and running, roasting in Brooklyn and donating 5 percent of all sales to the staff of its restaurant partners. Options include Arabica coffee, Robusta coffee, as well as gear and merchandise like cheeky, custom Sharpie markers.
Devocion: Devocion’s claim to fame, besides stunning and verdant café spaces, is its model of express-shipping coffee direct from Colombia to its Williamsburg roastery. Though its shops are temporarily closed, the cafe is still selling fresh and seasonal coffees by the bag or via online subscription.
Coffee Project NY: Only the Downtown Brooklyn location of Coffee Project NY’s three cafes is open for service right now, but the roastery from partners Chi Sum Ngai and her partner Kaleena Teoh is still up and running in Long Island City and offering mail-order. Any purchase over $55 will get free domestic shipping, and can include coffee beans, brewing gear, and even a pay-what-you-wish artist-designed mug whose proceeds go directly towards furloughed baristas.
Variety Coffee: A roasting favorite in the city for its earthy but nuanced coffees, Variety remains open for takeaway coffee service at its Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick, and Chelsea cafes. The company also offers its full line of coffees — including a 5lb bag option for those stocking up — for sale online. Prices are $14 to $17 per 300g box, with the five-pounder coming in at an even hundo.
Gregorys Coffee: This popular, mostly Manhattan-based chain is still cranking out coffee. Coffees range from blends at $12.95 to single origins at $17.95, and subscriptions are available.
Spectrum Coffees: This Brooklyn boutique roaster focused on ethical sourcing doesn’t have a retail store, but some favorite spots that serve them — like Dweebs and Babydudes — are closed right now. Order coffee direct from the roastery for $18 to $24 per 12oz package, or subscribe to regular deliveries. Discount codes get posted to Instagram.
Brooklyn Roasting Company: This Brooklyn Navy Yard-based roaster known for its iconic, colorful coffee tins has suspended service at its cafes for now. But in the background, the company is roasting coffee, donating to health care organizations, and even sewing face masks. Pick up a few cans — or a 5lb bag — in the meanwhile, and see its Instagram for coupon codes.
Mighty Oak Roasters: The Astoria cafe for this roaster has closed, but the company is still roasting and selling bags online. Blends and single origin bags of beans start at $16, and discounts such as free shipping can be found by checking its Instagram.
City of Saints: This roaster with outposts in Bushwick, the East Village, and Hoboken is still selling its beans online, with both smaller bags and 5lb options. Lots of options are available, and the site makes note of different flavor profiles for each.
Irving Farm New York: Though Irving Farm roasts upstate, this longtime local chain recently rebranded with a gritty NYC focus. The roastery has closed its cafes for the time being but continues to roast and ship from Dutchess County. And for those seeking subscriptions, the roastery is currently offering 10 percent off.
Abraço Espresso: Abraço is so beloved in its East Village community for its family atmosphere, and the vibe that co-owners Jamie McCormick and Liz Quijada created has only flourished during the city’s response to COVID-19. The 7th Street cafe remains open for to-go service, and there’s pick-up for a myriad items like soup, the shop’s famed olive oil cake, snack packs, free range eggs, even full meals. Cookbooks, and of course whole-bean coffee, are also available for pickup. No minimum order; allow 30 minutes for order prep.
Kos Kaffe: The Park Slope staple has shut down the cafe but is still taking orders for fresh-roasted beans on the shop’s website. Blends start at $17.95, and there’s a six-month subscription option available as well.
This story was originally published on Friday, April 4. It has been updated with more options.
Liz Clayton is a coffee writer living in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. She is the co-author of Where To Drink Coffee (Phaidon, 2017) and is Associate Editor at coffee news website Sprudge.com.