By MIKE SEMBOS
3:10 PM EST, December 2, 2013
New Haven loves its coffee. In order to make an impact in a city saturated with unique (and not-so-unique) coffee shops, newcomers need to stand out. At the Coffee Pedaler, that distinction is high-caliber, rich, hand-dripped coffee in a cozy and warm 750-square-foot nook on upper State Street in East Rock where quality reigns over quantity.
Owner Ryan Taylor, a bike enthusiast and vegan, discovered his love of black coffee thanks to his hatred of non-dairy creamer. Sugar was next to go.
"At that point you can really start tasting the flavor notes," he says.
His pour-over coffee is prepared in a custom six-bay stand, allowing for multiple cups to be brewed simultaneously. At least four different flavors of beans with different origins are available at any given time. But be warned: There are no filled urns for those looking to grab a quick cup. Every cup is made to order.
"It takes a little bit longer, but people don't seem to mind because they enjoy the environment and they're so intrigued by what's going on," says Taylor.
The ideal water temperature is between 195 and 205 degrees, and the Coffee Pedaler aims for about 200 degrees. Beans are carefully weighed for the perfect ratio and consistency.
"We think coffee is a craft, and we're creating a higher level of coffee product. I felt that there was a need and a want for it, and I wanted to fill that void. Even down to selecting my baristas. They all have passion for coffee and... they're trained baristas. Everyone loves working here, and it creates a fun, interactive environment."
Taylor's original plan was to sell his caffeinated beveraves from a coffee cart affixed to his bike. At some point the idea evolved into the current shop, which opened Oct. 1, but Taylor is still planning on a mobile cart.
The New Haven cycling community has been supportive, and the shop is decorated with vintage bikes. The Devil's Gear bike shop donated artwork, bicycle locks and a bike pump for communal use.
"Cyclists do rides based upon the Coffee Pedaler," says Taylor. "They'll all meet down here for an espresso on Sunday morning."
All baked goods are vegan, prepared by Bread and Chocolate in Hamden. Traditional espresso drinks are served only in their proper sizes: 12 ounces for a latte, 8 ounces for a cappuccino and 4 ounces for a macchiato. It may sound a bit strict and intimidating, but questions are always welcome.
"Instead of pushing them away and being pretentious about it, we're more inviting," says
The Details: 605 East St., New Haven; 203-777-2466.
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