It can be very easy to make coffee elegantly at home, but the esoteric tools of the trade—or a truly inspiring bag of beans—occasionally run out on you.
Finally filling a niche inexplicably underserved in New York City is the new Joe Pro Shop, a coffee shop that isn't a cafe, on a quiet, art-studenty block in Chelsea. The Pro Shop—which focuses on offering a changing selection of interesting beans (about five coffees at a time) from roasters across the country, as well as all manner of brewing gear—fills not just a functional but an inspirational role in coffee.
Though there are now dozens of interesting roasters sourcing esoteric coffees and roasting them in interesting and progressive ways, the opportunity to try them and be exposed to methods different than the familiar (and within regions, what's in vogue can be unfortunately myopic) are rare and expensive. The Pro Shop, which offers a selection of brew styles in which to sample their coffees (including espresso on a Kees Van Der Westen designed lever espresso machine) but no real seats, food, wifi, or anything else associated with cafe comfort. It seeks only to be a one-stop shop for the coffee explorer, and those who want to up their game.
On the gear side, the shop gets extra-nerdy and has a solid line of espresso and filter brewing equipment (portafilter screens, tampers, scales, drippers) and will provide a rarely seen bricks-and-mortar glimpse into the breadth of what's all the rage right now.
Space in the back will hold tasting events as well, but for now, a well-stocked room of great coffees and a huge variety of the things you need to brew it all in one place—an obviously great idea late to New York City (other than the lovely and long-lost Stumptown Tasting Room)—has at last arrived.