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Since American Bulldog Coffee Roasters are relatively new to the coffee world (you may know them as Bowery Coffee), their approach is exciting and experimental. Maleigha Liburdi and Gadi Gilan share a mutual curiosity and joy for roasting and preparing coffee.
They develop recipes based on what green coffees are fresh and interesting and roast them to taste. They do not have plans to take NY by storm and become a
juggernaut of craft roasting, as Stumptown or Counter Culture have, but instead plan to keep it small and only roast for their cafe. This gives ABCR tremendous freedom to roast only what interests them and to purchase only the highest quality specialty grade beans from their sourcing partners at Royal Coffee. Everything is roasted in small batches on their Probat L12 in Rockland County in the Hudson Valley (less than a mile away from their home and organic garden, complete with free-range chickens).
As any great chef will tell you, the most important thing is freshness. American Bulldog serves its coffee out of their Houston Street location, Bowery Coffee, where no bean in the store is older than ten days. All brew coffees are prepared on a Fetco (no pour overs here!) including their iced coffee which is prepared in the Japanese method of brewing directly onto ice. Espresso is pulled through a La Marzocco Strada by very capable and friendly baristas.
The pair have been working in the food industry for over 20 years either as chefs, bakers or cafe owners.
American Bulldogs approach to coffee is a culinary one, looking at the process the way a chef would look at the process of cooking a meal. “Its simple, if you understand how heat works and changes food than you understand roasting coffee.” says Gadi who was a baker for many years. Baking is very similar in many ways to roasting coffee. Coffee, while roasting, even smells like baking bread.
Specialty coffee is a great development and has improved the coffee world for the better though I must say it is refreshing to meet a new roaster that is decidedly not part of the “third wave”. “No hipsters here,” says Maleigha, co-roaster of American Bulldog Coffee Roasters. “We got involved with coffee because we love it and love the fun of experimenting and discovering.” says Maleigha and it is this method of observation and intuition that governs their processes rather than being overly heady or scientific. Gadi will tell you, “It is coffee and it should be simple.”
These guys love food, coffee, and their dog Delilah, (whom puts the Bulldog in American Bulldog Coffee Roasters) and it shows in every cup. I sampled their espresso last week and it would stand up against any of the heavy hitters roasting today. Though tomorrow it may be a new seasonal blend. Go to Bowery Coffee at 89 E. Houston St. (where it meets Bowery) and join Gadi and Maleigha on their journey of discovery where the coffee is frequently changing but one thing is constant, it is made with care.