Last month saw the opening of an intimate, inviting first coffee shop by Story and Soil Coffee. The 484-square-foot space with lavender walls, one wallpapered accent wall, hanging plants and exposed brick offers nine indoor seats that will soon be augmented by patio seating.
Within this space, S&S offers a curated and rotating selection of beans from various roasters through a gauntlet of quality and precision-oriented tools on its way to the cup.
Acaia scales, a Mazzer Robur grinder and Pullman tampers all precede extraction on a La Marzocco Strada for espresso-based drinks, while a pair of Mahlkonig EK43 grinders break down beans from the shop’s “main roaster” Giv Coffee and current guest roasters Neat Coffee and Red Rooster Coffee Roasters for manual and batch drip options.
Flights based on both origin or brew method are on the menu alongside flat whites, nitro, and other up-to-date offerings that highlight coffees from roasters the shop intends to swap out on a biannual or quarterly basis.
“On occasion we may feature a roaster for a shorter length if they are international or are featuring an astounding coffee,” S&S Director of Coffee Michael Acosta told Daily Coffee News. “We cup our coffees blind and are attracted to profiles that hit a variety of marks including cleanness, vibrancy, sweetness, complexity and balance.”
Prior to partnering with co-owners Michael and Sarah McCoy to launch Story and Soil — the name of which, despits its perhaps most outward connotation of the people and agriculture associated with coffee, was actually inspired by the Bright Eyes album Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep your Ear to the Ground — Acosta ran a mobile nitro and espresso cart called N2.
“Mobile nitro cold brew was certainly a great way to start the conversation about interesting coffees and the awesome people behind them,” Acosta said of the previous venture, which will now take a backseat to the growth of S&S, for which Acosta sees plenty of room in Hartford amid a strong and supportive network of quality-oriented shops.
“Connecticut is seeing a huge surge of quality driven shops like Grounded Coffee, Silk City Coffee, Source Coffeehouse, Rebel Dog Coffee, and Lorca Coffee,” said Acosta, adding that staff members from all of these shops expressed support in S&S’s first week open.
Story and Soil may eventually expand into another shop where they’d like to pursue a wider food menu. However, there is no intention to bring roasting in-house. “Our roasters have such great relationships with farmers and importers already, and that is such a big chunk of the supply and value chain,” Acosta said. “We greatly appreciate all the work that goes into getting the coffees into our store and we want to preserve that ever-growing sustainability, transparency, and quality.”