COFFEEtalk with Lyman Ambrose
“Custom coffee roaster” was all the chef/restaurant owner, Colin, had to hear from Niki Kobrick and he was hooked. In line with his customary approach to not only cooking but also serving and hosting, he finally found his coffee match.
Prioritizing the foundational principles when opening Estia, Amagansett, LaTouraine coffee was the first coffee provider that Colin worked with. Poured by the restaurant’s previous owner, the equipment was in place being one less thing the new owner had to implement.
Ready to step up his coffee game after 2 or so years, Colin partnered with Illycafe. The higher end brew seemed like the best choice but unfortunately the expense and importer’s style of service was less than perfect for him.
On an afternoon in the mid 1990s Colin searched for a new coffee partner at the Javits Center Restaurant show. Seeking a provider based in the New York market that Estia’s could deal with directly, the coffee stars aligned when he came across Niki.
A 4th generation Kobrick, she was there representing Kobrick’s coffee from New Jersey, her family’s establishment. Pioneered on Manhattan’s lower waterfront in the roaring 20’s Samuel Kobrick joined the ranks of hopeful entrepreneurs with his philosophy to roast the finest coffee available, deliver it fresh, and provide top-of-the-line customer service. An electric time in American history, he capitalized on the thriving metropolis’ opportunity and lent his own charm to the coffee industry.
That philosophy stands today. Carried on by his sons, Frank and Sonny, and theirs, Steve and Lee Kobrick, today Niki and Scott hold the reigns nearly 90 years later. Importing and roasting the finest single origin coffees that are sourced through direct relations with farmers, and of course Certified Organic and FairTrade, they are keeping the tradition of craft style coffee roasting alive.
That afternoon Niki explained the unique approach to wholesale, as a custom coffee roaster, to Colin. First identifying the best coffee for his business specifically, they then would roast and grind to order on a weekly basis. Calling directly to check in, they would place orders based off of Estia’s inventory levels and projected needs. Additionally, Kobrick would deal directly with the operator so no middleman (wholesaler) would slow down and dilute his ordering process.
Needless to say, a partnership was made and Estia’s has served Kobrick coffee ever since. Recently cobranding, Niki commented, “It’s really nice to be featured on the mugs and as a partner in the Estia. We appreciate the dedication that Estia’s has continuously shown in taking care to brew and serve the coffee with attention to detail. Estia’s was ahead of its time in the attention to careful brewing processes and continues to change with the times, adding the French press program a few years ago, as well as the cold brew program last summer.”
A “seamless” experience notes Colin, “Kobrick never lets us down.” Commenting almost daily, the customers just love it!