Joyride Coffee has made a name for itself delivering high-quality coffee beans and roasting equipment to dozens of New York City-based startups, like Twitter, Foursquare, Buzzfeed, and Gilt Groupe, just to name a few.
The company was founded as an NYC food truck by brothers David, Adam, and Noah Belanich in 2011. They eventually sold the truck and instead focused on bringing high-end coffee beans directly to corporate offices, eventually making partnerships with more than 200 companies and scheduling deliveries of fresh beans every two weeks.
Now Joyride is taking its talents to the West Coast, with an expansion to San Francisco.
After just a month in the new market, they have set up partnership deals with nearly 20 companies, many of them tech-related, including Twitter, Disqus, Frog Design, and Lumosity.
Already they have noticed a few differences in the way residents of the two cities consume their coffee.
“San Francisco has a very developed coffee culture — in many ways they’re ahead of New York City — and it’s common to be more open and more willing to experiment with local and artisanal coffees,” Chief Operating Officer Paul Toscano said to Business Insider. “We’ve definitely seen more people trending towards single-origin coffees.”
Single-origin coffees are sourced from one particular location. They’re best enjoyed two to three weeks after roasting, and just like any other food product, they go in and out of season.
According to Toscano, Four Barrel’s Karatina Peaberry is an especially good one. Made in the oldest coffee mill in Kenya’s Central Province, there are only 990 pounds of it in the entire world, but San Francisco companies could have it delivered right to their offices with Joyride.
“I think that since coffee is such a big part of San Francisco culture, people are looking for new and interesting coffees to try, and you’ll find that awesome diversity in single origins,” Toscano said. “In New York, I think the majority of people are just starting to understand third-wave coffee, so it’s more split between single origins and blends. Blends are still great, but most of the time they’re intended to have a consistent flavour with a taste profile that is catered toward a more general audience.”
In New York, coffee brands like Stumptown Coffee and Intelligentsia are big hits among Joyride’s customers, while in San Francisco, early partners include local roasters Four Barrel and Sightglass. Techie favourite Blue Bottle Coffee is currently available in both of Joyride’s markets.
Toscano added that he’s also seeing big differences in the equipment people are using to brew their coffee.
“In New York, people are often very happy with brewing machines and automatic systems. We have great equipment that accomplishes this and consistently makes cafe-quality coffee, and that’s really the preference on the east coast,” he said. “We still install the same equipment in San Francisco, but there’s a real desire from people to take the time and make their coffee by hand using brewers like a Chemex, V60, Hario, or Aeropress. We even had a few people in one office swear that they’d never use an automatic machine because they loved their pour-over so much.”
San Franciscans’ love of coffee could really be seen as a testament to the city’s early-adopter mentality.
“There’s a young, vibrant startup culture here, and they’re drinking coffee that’s more than just a K-Cup,” Toscano said. It’s really about the technology and being forward-thinking.”
The blurring of the lines between work and a social life plays a role as well.
“There’s that Google mentality of having micro-kitchens where you run into people and spark ideas,” he said. “They really care about your creative time.”
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