We founded 71 Irving Place in 1996 and within a couple of years decided to roast our own coffee. We wanted to make the best cup of coffee and to do that we felt we had to start with the beans. That was 1999 when we purchased and renovated a farm in the Hudson Valley to convert to a roasting facility.
"That we roast our own coffee sets us apart from other cafés," says Steve Leven, one of the owners of the café and the roasting company. "We try to learn all we can about coffee and we hope it comes through as part of the culture in the café."
Irving Farm roasting facility is located 90 miles from New York City within the Hudson Valley region of upstate New York. The farm is situated in a bustling farming community at the foothills of both the Berkshire and Catskill Mountain ranges. After restoring this historic property, we created a modern roasting facility in the carriage house that was added to the property in the 1920's and Irving Farm was born. As the business has grown, operations have expanded into a restored barn to accommodate increased production demands. Plans are currently underway to build a state of the art green roasting facility in Millerton a few miles down the road from the current location.
Why roast coffee on a farm? The farm spoke to us in terms of what we wanted our coffee to taste like...farm fresh. We are located in the Coleman Station historic district of Millerton, which includes nine farms established in the mid-18th to early 19th century with the advent of the Harlem Valley Railroad. In the mid-1800's, the dairy farms of Coleman Station became the principal supplier of milk to New York City. The Coleman Station neighborhood is a 200 year-old agricultural community that has survived unchanged in many aspects of its appearance and land use. The community retains historic, architectural and landscape features that document the evolutionary phases of a rural hamlet from the colonial to the present. We believe that it is important to sustain our agriculture not just here in the US but in all parts of the world, which is why we give back to that community and invite you to do the same.
The coffee beans are shipped directly to Irving Farm where they are stored in a climate-controlled environment. Before roasting, each bean undergoes extensive cupping to determine its optimum roast profile. Since every coffee is different, whether through climatic growing conditions or altitude of the growing environment, the roasting times and temperatures are also different. We then hand-blend and roast fresh daily in small batches to achieve maximum consistency and quality in every roast. This attention to detail in every aspect of our roasting process results in flavorful, delicious coffee in every cup.
Irving Farm will continue to search for unique coffees of fine quality and will always focus on the experience when tasting the best cup in town.