Spice Island Blend
Picture this. It’s Metropolis Café’s first week of business in 2003, I (Tony) arrive to open the café and find my dad (Jeff) sitting on the front counter chatting with Boris, the NY Bagel and Bialy delivery guy. It’s around 4:30am and they’re speaking Russian. I start stocking the pastry case, filling the condiment pitchers, turning on lights, etc. Something Boris says makes my dad super excited. He pulls a large, knotty piece of ginger from his messenger bag. My dad switches to English and tells Boris that “In Indonesia a lot of people put chunks of ginger in their coffee.” Boris hurries away quickly mumbling something about more deliveries as he backs out the door.
Undeterred, my dad brews a French press of Sumatra pours it into 2 large mugs, then chunks some not so shapely pieces of ginger into the brew. It’s not yet 5am. Ginger coffee hits our menu the next day. To be authentic, we put it into coffee from Sumatra and we keep the drink special going all winter until Sumatran coffee becomes scarce in the Spring. We can’t kill off the Ginger coffee, just because we can’t find Sumatran beans so we improvise. We blend a bit of this with a little of that. We play with the roast. Some smoke and magic and eventually we construct something close to Sumatra. An earthy, chocolatey coffee, chewy with body. Caramel. Smoooooooooth. We name it Spice Island, after the spice route originating in Indonesia.
Spice Island was a Dom’s taste test favorite! Perfect to pair with a decadent sweet from The Bakery and great as a drip or espresso.