New York City has become coffee-mad in recent years, led by a new generation of fanatics who want NYC mentioned in the same breath as brew-geek capitals such as Portland and Seattle. Trendy roasters like San Francisco’s Blue Bottle, Portland’s Stumptown, and Toby’s Estate from Australia have all set up roasting facilities in Brooklyn, while nouveau coffee shops use the latest techniques—from siphon to Aeropress, pour-over to cold-brew—to craft the perfect cup of joe.
But if you’re more interested in heritage than trends, there’s one name that stands out from the crowd: Dallis Bros., a Queens-based company that holds the distinction of being New York’s first and longest-running artisan coffee roastery. Long before Peet’s or Starbucks took the specialty coffee market by storm, brothers Abe and Morris Dallis were delivering their roasts door-to-door by horse-drawn carriage.
The company has had a storied history since its founding in 1913, witnessing coffee rationing in WWI, pioneering flavored coffees, and riding the first wave of “foodie” culture while supplying foundational NYC restaurants like Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe.
Today, the roastery and its knowledgeable staff stay true to this legacy. In addition to creating its signature roasts, Dallis opens its doors the public for tours, tastings, and classes. Here, First We Feast photographer Liz Barclay walks us through her favorite shots from a recent visit.
Click through the gallery above for a sneak peak inside the facility, and a look at the various stages of the coffee-roasting process.