You may not have expected artisanal coffee up in Headless Horseman country, but lo! Tarrytown's Coffee Labs has been roasting coffee and providing a cozy cafe space for humans and their dogs for nearly a decade. (Though inside dogs got the cafe kibosh by the Department of Health recently, the owners are looking to overturn this—the "Labs" in their name is not short for "Laboratories".)
And indeed, it's only half-nerdy in here. The low-key Hudson Valley tourists-and-locals set is happy with gigantic lattes or with siphon brewed single origin coffees, and Coffee Labs provides both. Step around the 12-kilo Diedrich coffee roaster and sacks of green coffee in the middle of the room and you can admire the array of coffee-geek toys—V60 pourover bar, state-of-the art environmentally friendly Marco Eco Boiler, La Marzocco GB5 espresso machine, and an elaborate spiraling Kyoto iced coffee dripper adorned with color-shifting LEDs (!)—but you would get no snobbery here if you slunk out with only a mocha and a dog biscuit.
Available throughout the Hudson Valley, the fruits of their roasting have spread downstate, appearing recently in new cafes like Birch Coffee and WTF Coffee Lab in Brooklyn. The coffees skew towards darker roasts and somewhat more traditional flavor profiles—we sampled a safe, chocolatey macchiato with a little bit of siltiness along with its silkiness. The whole bean coffee menu changes with stock and season, and is bagged on the spot and available for takeaway purchase in any quantity. We liked the Rwandan COOPAC (a sustainable cooperative organization) beans we took home, with their dark sour cherry notes and a smooth finish.
Stop by Coffee Labs next time you're headed north from the city to see what roastery-cafes have been up to since long before they became new-fangled in Brooklyn.