Coffee Labs Roasters, Tarrytown NY
My initial assumption was that the "Lab" in Coffee Labs Roasters referred to some sort of roasting laboratory. And apparently it does. But there's a double meaning: the owners love dogs, particularly chocolate labs. So they run the first dog friendly cafe I've ever seen. Since I frequently travel with my dog, Paris, I was psyched to visit this place.
So I walked in, dog in tow. There were a couple of ceramic Labs guarding the place (that's one in the picture above). After greeting them and a few friendly customers, Paris did what he does best, falling asleep right on the floor:
Going up to the counter, I ordered an espresso from a barista whom I eventually find out is named Maddy. The baristas on duty were Jess, Will, and Maddy:
I suppose that at any committed coffee shop, a customer ordering straight espresso gets the attention of a serious barista. It says, "I appreciate COFFEE," not just flavored milk shakes!" Maddy appeared to prepare my double espresso with extra care, and served it in a ceramic cup. She even offered me a small spoon to stir with. These people WERE committed!
The espresso was GOOD, and not only that, it had the distinctive soulful funk of high-quality Sumatran beans. Maddy confirmed that, and I could tell she appreciated the comment. I'm only speculating, but it must be satisfying to have customers really taste what you're serving.
I struck up a conversation with Jess, and she sensed my enthusiasm about the coffee. She asked me if I wanted to try their decaf espresso. Now decaf is normally something I never order, but I said sure, I'd love to taste it. It was good, too, although characteristically lacking the flavor punch of a regular coffee. So Jess said, "let me pull you our regular espresso blend the way I like it," and she proceeded to tweek her technique on the big (semiauto!) GB5 to get a slooooooow, drip...drip...drip ristretto from the bottomless pf.
This one was terrific. It had all the Sumatra flavor I love, but with bigger body and juicier mouthfeel. It was a joy to drink such quality coffee on the road.
Well done, Coffee Labs!