Where to Drink: New York

Coffee Chronicles: WTF is Brewing In Fort Greene

"This is your morning cocktail. Every day."

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Let's be honest: who hasn't wanted a deliciously crafted cup of coffee while stopping for a pair of designer sneakers on their way to the dog run? Dynamic Fort Greene entrepreneur Asio Highsmith (who owned posh speakeasy the Hideout on Adelphi, and who currently owns fancy footwear store Pedigree next door) has deployed such a high-concept, minimal coffeebar on Fort Greene that passersby might wonder: WTF?

coffee102710-2.jpg And indeed...that's the coffee shop's name. And it's not just the name that has amazing balls behind it: this spot is absolutely pimped. Espresso on a shiny new La Marzocco GB5, and manually brewed coffee available on Chemex, French press, syphon, ceramic pourover, and woodneck, or "sock filter" coffee. Oh, and the elaborate wood-and-glass chemistry sets mounted on the walls are not outré artwork: they're brewing super-slow, hyper intense "Kyoto" style drip cold coffee. A sip of roaster Coffee Labs' Amaro Gayo Ethiopian coffee brewed on this is so punchy and far out it's almost boozy. It won't be for everyone, but that's why there are six other brewing methods available.

Highsmith emphasizes his interest in coffee as coming from a tradition in bars and mixology, thrilling to the idea of surfing the flavors of the same coffees through wildly different brewing modes. "We're going to have a lot of fun with coffee," he says. "We're going to flex the coffee spectrum".

coffee102710-4.jpgTo Highsmith, treating coffee like an adult beverage means offering it proper respect. Cold-brewed coffee is served with Kold-Draft bar ice; the shop's presentation is high elegance; your checkout is done on an iPad. Too fancy? Not for Highsmith, and not for the people of Brooklyn, says the enthusiastic owner.

"Drinks are important. Cocktails are important. This is your morning cocktail. Every day."

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