For the past two years, Bay Area CoRoasters (CoRo) in Berkeley, California, has been helping ignite coffee brands in the Bay Area by providing a shared production roasting space with knowledgeable staff alongside a dazzling range of commercial roasting equipment.
Now CoRo is bringing those brands even further from production and into the fore with the opening of its CoRo Coffee Room, a full-fledged retail cafe featuring a well-appointed bar and a rotating menu of roasts from CoRo member companies.
In addition to the self-described “hyper local” coffees from the approximately 20 roaster members, the sunlit cafe adjacent to the co-roasting space in West Berkeley will feature goods from other local purveyors, including breads and pastries from The Midwife and The Baker, jams and syrups by June Taylor Jams, chocolate from Tcho, and teas from Blue Willow Tea.
CoRo Co-Founder and CEO Floy Andrews told Daily Coffee News that design, buildout and permitting for the CoRo Coffee Room lasted about 18 months. Following a grand opening celebration this Saturday, July 28, the cafe will eventually also be used for consumer-focused coffee classes on things like brewing fundamentals and tasting, as well as for events highlighting farmers, importers and roasters.
“We needed to see how the roastery evolved before committing to opening a cafe,” Andrews told Daily Coffee News. “Once we saw how excited the coffee community was about a shared space roastery and how great the coffees were that our CoRo member roasters were producing on site, we realized that a cafe would be the perfect way to bring coffee consumers into the fold along with the professionals who had already embraced the roastery community.”
The CoRo retail bar includes a Kees van der Westen Mirage Triplette espresso machine supported by VST baskets, Acaia Lunar and Pearl scales, and Mahlkonig K30 Twin and K30 Air grinders; a pair of Baratza Forte grinders with an under-counter Marco Eco boiler for Chemex pourovers; and Fetco batch brews with a Mahlkonig EK43.
The grand opening is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, and will include live music, roastery tours and complimentary coffee drinks.