Toby's Estate is a relatively new edition to the Brooklyn coffee scene, but it sets itself apart by being one of the few places in Brooklyn to roast its own beans. Although Toby's is part of a mini-empire in Australia that includes barista training and several cafes and roasting facilities, its Brooklyn location maintains the feel of a singular location, a place specific to the neighborhood and its clientele. Perhaps this is the reason why Toby's has been so successful in a sea of similar businesses—it has taken a successful model and made it shine. We visited Toby's on a gray Wednesday morning to watch the roasting—which takes place in-house—and to talk to Deaton Pigot, head roaster at Toby's, about what makes Brooklyn coffee culture unique and how an Australian company managed to adapt to this scene so well.
Toby's popularity was evident in the bustling tables and chattering customers, who inhabited the space without overwhelming it. Integrating seamlessly into the neighborhood, Toby's has managed both to bring elements of Australian coffee culture to Brooklyn with drinks like the flat white, while also excelling at doing what Brooklynites already expect—making a perfect cup of pour over coffee. Pigot told me that Australians have a very espresso-centered mentality when it comes to their cafes, and that the American coffee mentality is only just starting to seep into the Australian consciousness. Here, however, people know what they want and Toby's is good at giving it to them. Toby's has relationships with several coffee plantations around the world and is meticulous in sourcing and tasting its beans. The process in determining whether or not a bean is good enough to use is incredibly thorough and all of the coffee that customers drink has gone through extensive tasting.
What does this all mean for the customer then? It means that we get to enjoy frequenting a place that might source globally, but does just about everything else locally, and provides us with the perfect cup of coffee.
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