Rachel Wharton of Edible Manhattan magazine traveled to Ozone Park, Queens to check out Dallis Bros. Coffee, one of the oldest and best roasters in the city.
"Abe and Morris Dallis come here in 1905. In 1913, they start their own coffee company,” explains John Moore of Dallis Bros. Coffee. “And back in those days, that meant literally loading up a horse drawn-carriage with various wares and going off into the countryside, known as Brooklyn or Queens, and then doing a route, a circular route, and then coming back to your source periodically.”
Now Manhattan is their biggest borough, and Dallis delivers beans still roasted in the same brick building to the city's best restaurants. Some are even grown on their own Brazilian farm.
“Our New York espresso is an espresso blend that sort of defines Dallis Bros Coffee right now in the market. It's a combination of a few different coffees from a few different places,” says Moore. “We've been tinkering with it a fair amount as of late, and one of the fun things about coffee is that it’s not static, coffee's always giving you something, throwing you a curve ball, and you've got to embrace what's coming at you as an agricultural crop and really roll with it.”
If you want to taste it, too, you're in luck. Dallis has a showroom that's often open to the public.
“We have La Marzocco espresso machines, various makes and models. We happen to have a GB-5 and a Linea machine on the bar right now,” Moore says. “We have a Rancilio espresso machine behind me. We have Fetco coffee equipment. We have the 2052 extractor. We also have the Bunn brewing equipment.”
And what would Abe and Morris Dallis think of all those gizmos?
“Oh I think they'd be shocked,” says Moore. “It's really amazing how things have changed in coffee in just the past five, 10 years.”
And you thought it all started in Seattle.