Roasting Plant is an amazing little coffee shop with 2 locations in NYC, one on the lower east side and the other on Greenwich Ave near 7th Ave, in the heart of Greenwich Village. You have to try this place.
The shop was founded by Mike Caswell, a former Starbucks executive. He decided to bring all aspects of coffeemaking under one roof, so beans are roasted, grinded, blended and brewed in each shop. The shops use a very entertaining system of vaccum tubes to whisk beans to the roaster, to holding bins, and ultimately to the espresso machines. The beans shoot overhead through the tubes in a rush that sounds like marbles being thrown on a glass table.
But how’s the ultimate product? Great. The coffee is flavorful, well brewed, and delicious.
And what about the service? It works. The order, the fulfillment of the order, and the monetary transaction are all handled by one person. This solves my biggest gripe with Starbucks, which is that it has all the charm of a fast food joint, yet lacks the operational precision. At least 20% of the time, Starbucks screws up my order. They refuse to automate the ordering process (presumably fearing video monitors adjacent to baristas will only exacerbate their fast food image), yet shouting orders is not cutting it.
At the Starbucks I occasionally frequent (yes, I can’t stop completely), the workers even snip at each other. “You’re not speaking clearly enough!” says the Barista. “Well, you blinked when I called it, so I thought you had the order”, snipes the cashier. This is supposed to be a relaxing start to my day?
But I digress. Bottom line: Roasting Plant has great coffee, great service, and is greatly entertaining in its preparation and production methods. And BTW, the Greenwich Ave location is open 24/7. Give it a try.