Clad in suspenders and topped with fedoras, the baristas at recently opened Stumptown Coffee Roasters glide behind the counter armed with espresso. The shop constantly bustles with a caffeine-demanding crowd. I was handed a little brown book, the “Tasting Guide” for Autumn 2009, filled with descriptions of over 30 different types of coffees and teas. But this isn’t just any coffee, Stumptown does what is called “direct trade.” They go to countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, and Costa Rica to get the beans, making sure farmers benefit directly from the purchase. I want to try the “Brumas Del Zurqui” from Costa Rica, which has honey and graham cracker aromas, as well the “Herbazu,” smelling of semi-sweet chocolate and lavender.
Stumptown Roasters hides on West 29th Street, inside the Ace Hotel, which is just a few blocks away from the Besen Retail office (lucky us!). With over 250 rooms, including corner studios, deluxe rooms, and loft suites, the hotel not only has the coffee shop, but it also has a restaurant by Ken and April of the Spotted Pig. With vintage chairs, and flea market art, the hotel creates a classy yet “indie” vibe. Besen Retail got the inside scoop from an employee, who noted that tennis star Anna Kournikova visited the hotel. Take a look at the pictures from our experience below!