A Meaningful Cup of Joe (and Danzel)
On the corner of 11th Ave and 53rd St, Afficionado Coffee offers park views and a short walk to local theaters and Hudson River Park. But the real draw? Their creative team’s commitment to sharing farmers' stories.
Founded in 2008, Afficionado Coffee Roasters (@afficionado_coffee) transports visitors from the streets of Hell’s Kitchen to the remote regions of the coffee-producing world through meaningful partnerships with farmers and a culinary approach to the roasting process. With help from the creative direction of Joe Bailey and Danzel Lawrence, Afficionado has grown into a nationally admired brand (and our featured roaster in the Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Café).
Joe and Danzel, who both started their careers in art and design, are now creators and educators at Afficionado—a position they don’t take lightly. Through repeat visits to their sites of origin, they’ve built deep relationships with farmers, producers and the communities that surround them—and are committed to providing them with the tools they need to thrive. Back in the New Jersey roastery, the roasting process is completed entirely by hand on a vintage 1955 Gothot roaster. The final products evoke their land of origin and the people who call it home.
We met the team behind the beans to get their take on the importance of cultivating global relationships, their goals for the future, and their favorite Hell’s Kitchen standouts.
What’s been your experience working directly with the farms that harvest coffee beans? Why was this an important pillar for the Afficionado brand?
We've become great friends with our producers around the world. When we travel to their countries, we stay with them in their houses, share stories, and sit down to dinner with them. Each time we visit, their smiles grow bigger and bigger. We work with the same farms, year after year, in order to establish trust and guarantee continued revenue streams for the people at origin.
We love to take photos of coffee from the countries of origin, and show them to our clients and coffee shops back home. We most recently returned from a trip to Brazil where we met some amazing farmers and coffee producers. We're in the process of compiling our content to share our trip with customers. We are determined to be the most transparent and sustainable coffee company in the world, and maintaining close friendships with our partners allows us to achieve this goal.
The team’s all smiles at Afficionado on 11th Ave. at 53rd St.
Stop by to pick up a bag of beans for home (or you can find them in the lobby Corner Store)
How did you choose Hell’s Kitchen for the location of your first brick and mortar store? What has your experience been operating within the community?
We chose Hell’s Kitchen for its vibrant arts scene and creative people. We noticed that the area by the park was missing a good coffee shop. We wanted to create a space where people could be transported to the places we’ve visited through our unique coffee experience.
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