There may only be two ingredients in a great cup of coffee — coffee and water — yet the factors that contribute to that greatness are myriad and complex.
At Composition Coffee, which opened in West Palm Beach, Florida, earlier this year, owner Joshua Korman hopes to deliver outstanding cups of coffee that reflect much more than just the sum of two parts.
“The efforts of the picker and the farmer matter just as much as the roaster and the barista,” Korman recently told Daily Coffee News. “No one part is more or less important than the next.”
Located inside a former warehouse space that’s now bustling with retail sellers of apparel, plants, records, stationary and more, the coffee shop boasts a collaborative nature. Composition Coffee is the sole provider of food and beverages at Elizabeth Ave Station, offering coffees roasted by Pennsylvania-based Passenger Coffee as the house beans ground by Mahlkönig EK43 and Peak grinders for single-origin coffees and espressos extracted on a classic La Marzocco Linea EE.
Guest roasters will rotate slowly in and out — Delaware-roasted Brandywine Coffee was recently featured at the bar — with plenty of time for Korman to zero in on what makes each offering special.
“I think there’s a subjective approach to coffee roasting and there’s a more objective approach,” said Korman. “What I love about Passenger is that not only is ‘tasty’ the ultimate, but also the science behind it — whether that be the solubility and density of a particular bean, and how it acts where the peak aromatic potential and caramelization is for that particular coffee, and then roasting to that, instead of just subjectively ‘what we enjoy at our roastery.’
“I really look for roasters that are developing their coffee evenly and fully. Wherever that lands them on the spectrum of light to medium works for me.”
This kind of extreme focus on quality and precision brewing is relatively new to West Palm Beach, according to Korman, who has worked for a variety of coffee companies over the past 10 years.
Prior to planting the flag of Composition Coffee in WPB, Korman also went through training programs provided by Barista Hustle and by Passenger. As developers are currently active throughout the city, Korman is preparing plans to pursue a proper Composition Coffee brick-and-mortar location within the next year.
Said Korman, “One of the reasons I came down here is that it’s pretty untapped as far as the top-shelf of specialty.”