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This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Brooklyn's Fine Grind

Williamsburg’s new Botica del Café, from Devoción, a Colombian export, is attempting to become the United States’ highest-end coffee shop.

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We’re living in a golden age for high-end coffee. Stumptowns and Blue Bottles have taken root across the country. Airports flash masterly tuned La Marzocco machines. Even Starbucks is going the artisanal route with plans to open 100 Reserve Roasteries worldwide. But what if, for all our evolved palates and expanded bean budgets, we have yet to taste the real, premium thing? That’s what Steven Sutton, the 35-year-old owner of Bogotá’s Devoción coffee company, is suggesting. Since 2006 Sutton has been establishing a network of farmers in Colombia to get his brew into customers’ cups within, ideally, 10 days of harvest. In the sometimes 12 months that it can take other companies to roast their products, beans oxidize and lose complexity. “Our coffee tastes like it does on the farm,” he says. Recently Sutton opened his first American retail outlet in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He flies varieties of beans straight from the jungle 
to JFK. Then he roasts them on-site, crafting eight different coffees—think Sweet Borbon, which tastes of banana flambé, and Geisha Special Reserve, of citrus. Each seems to pleasurably stretch the idea of how coffee should taste. And Sutton isn’t stopping at coffee. He also wants a Michelin star. “We want to show how gastronomical coffee really is,” he says. “We’re going 
to hire a famous chef and develop tasting menus to complement it.”

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