More than just another Aussie coffee company, Abbotsford Road takes Australia’s passionate, inclusive coffee culture and presents it through a distinctly New York City lens. The concept was developed by Phillip Di Bella, founder of Di Bella Coffee, Australia’s top specialty coffee roaster and 2016 Golden Bean champion. His goals here are simple: to provide the finest coffee without pretention, to help cafés and restaurants become profitable coffee destinations, and to harbor in Gowanus the strong sense of community and hospitality that Australians are known for. This is not a snobby coffee laboratory, but rather a welcoming enclave of enthusiasts eager to share their expertise.
Phil started Di Bella Coffee in 2002, and as a result of its meteoric growth he is widely regarded as Australia’s #1 coffee entrepreneur, a high honor in a country that is seen as a leader in the industry. And though his success thus far has been substantial, it has all been a warm-up for what he intends to achieve in NYC. Heading up the New York operation is Director of Sales and Business Development/Partner Logan Kedwell. Logan developed intricate knowledge of the coffee industry running all four locations Buzz Bistro, a successful chain of cafés in Australia. Eager to learn more about the roasting/wholesaling end of the business, he went to work for Di Bella Coffee, where he was involved in managing corporate accounts, café performance analysis, bean sales and brewing methods. In Brooklyn, he will use his expertise to help café owners achieve their goals, and to ensure a uniquely hospitable environment for guests.
Abbotsford Road is a roasting plant, educational space and café, but its primary function as a specialty wholesaler is to provide café owners and restaurateurs with both the highest quality product and the comprehensive educational resources necessary for success. This of course begins with the absolute finest coffee. As part owner of ICT (International Coffee Traders)—a pioneering trading company known for its strong relationships with farmers—Phil Di Bella has access to an unparalleled network of green bean producers all over the world. ICT supplies Di Bella Coffee—where the proprietary Crop to Cup philosophy ensures fair prices for farmers and sustainability of crops—and then Di Bella Coffee supplies Abbotsford Road. It’s a simple chain ensuring that what ends up in the Gowanus headquarters is none other than the highest quality bean, used to produce the finest, most consistent cup of coffee, akin to a superior glass of wine.
The space is a large industrial loft with quintessential Brooklyn style. Floor to ceiling glass windows give way to an airy, high-ceilinged warehouse that is equal parts café, showroom and roasting plant. The slick white tile coffee bar contains a brew station for drip coffee, two espresso machines, a glass display showcasing baked goods and sandwiches from local purveyors, and a bean dispensary, where green bean varieties are stored at optimal temperature, humidity and light conditions. Also on display will be exclusive Australian chai, matcha and cocoa powder, and an extensive tea program. Opposite the bar, an exposed brick wall accented by lush hanging plants leads to the far corner, where hills of coffee-filled burlap sacks cover the cement floor. Farther back, the roasting machine hums, filling the space with the distinct aroma of freshly roasted coffee.
The coffee itself is informed by the company’s prevailing ethos that coffee culture need not be esoteric, snobby or complex. While it’s true that certain beans taste best with specific brewing methods, the three signature blends available at launch maintain flavor regardless of the brewing style and machine used. They are also exceptionally consistent, a result of Phil Di Bella’s meticulous control over the sourcing process. They are roasted and blended in such a way that the flavor profiles cut through milk enough to be distinguishable, and adding sugar is not necessary. The initial blends will be Forza; full bodied and strong with hints of dark chocolate, hazelnut and caramel, Crema; balanced and smooth with hints of butterscotch, malt and nuts, and Vivo; fruity and sweet with hints of cherry, honey and toffee. Also offered will be distinct single origin roasted beans such as a rare Panama Don Pepe Estate Geisha, a single origin estate green bean program where customers can choose their own roasts, and a bean subscription service.
Restaurants/Cafés that make Abbotsford Road their chosen coffee may also turn to them for everything from operations and store design consulting to menu layout, buying lists, machines, and barista training. The training will occur in-house at the specially outfitted Gowanus headquarters during regular Industry Nights, headed by Phillip Di Bella. These master classes also benefit from Di Bella’s distinction as Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Marketing at the prestigious University of Queensland, Australia.
As community engagement is also a primary concern of Abbotsford Road’s, it will hold training nights for the public, covering topics such as barista skills, latte art and alternative brewing methods. These sessions are perfect for the coffee enthusiast looking to expand their knowledge.
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