This occurred earlier this spring. While I was reading the paper and simultaneously chatting with my barista, those two guys, Abin and Dominic, overheard me and soon engaged me. We talked on the diaspora of coffee, roasting, media and my thoughts on companies then getting attention like Irving Farm, Handsome Coffee Roasters and Grumpy. We were in the latter, enjoying its finely crafted cups of coffee. Great times I tell you, at that bar, that day.
I’m still amused at how much I am able to speak about coffee, when it comes to coffee, but humbled by how much I still have to learn. Both feelings were present in the company of these men. Three months later, they invited me to see the very “coffee baby” they spoke to me about while at that bar; I was so flattered to be one of the firsts to see their dream realized.
I stopped in on their garage opening day, snapped a few pics on a hot sunny afternoon and proffered these questions. Let me introduce you to my friends, Kings Coffee Roasters.
Can you share why Cobble Hill is the location for your garage front?
When Dominic and John’s Great Grandfather immigrated to the United States from Italy, he set up his art studio on Columbia Street and moved his family into the apartment above it. Working as longshoremen, many of their relatives called the surrounding neighborhoods home. The Palastro Brother’s Great Uncle, a kind and generous man who worked on the docks, would find homes for lost coffee sacks. When Dominic and John were born, it was that very coffee, prepared as an espresso that their Great Uncle shared with them. Opening their workshop in Columbia Heights, as it’s now called, was coming home for the boys.
You’ve mentioned to me that the roasting technique is from a master who roasted for over 50 years. Share with me for our readers a little about him and his roasting process, please. Mister Joe, as he is affectionately called, learned the art of roasting from a man that had a torrefazione, Italian for roastery, set up in Bensonhurst before him. The two blends that are named after Mister Joe (Espresso and Americano) were developed by him through a rigorous process of tasting, noting flavors and characteristics, and blending them to create something special that the Brothers felt had to be preserved and shared with coffee lovers for years to come.
What can coffee lovers expect in the coming months i.e. retail locations, a pop up bar? When Mister Joe was getting his roastery started, he went back to Italy and found an old Vittoria roaster to bring back with him to Bensonhurst. He took it apart and sent it to the United States by ship. Upon her arrival, he set to work reassembling and modifying her from a wood and coal burning roaster to a gas roaster. After many decades of roasting thousands of pounds of coffee, the Vittoria is in need of restoration and the Palastro Brothers hope to return her to working order. For those passionate about coffee, they should keep an eye out for a first of its kind coffee experience, Cafe Macinato Grosso.