Coffee & Tea

Outer Boroughs Brooklyn

Gillies Coffee in Brooklyn--who's got the 411?

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Gillies Coffee in Brooklyn--who's got the 411?

tom philpott | Mar 8, 2002 10:24 AM

Anybody know anything about Gillies Coffee Co. in Brooklyn?
It's an old-school coffee roaster on 19th St. betw. 4th and 3rd aves. (What's that neighorhood called? It's nestled right between Park Slope and Red Hook, and it's *very* industrial.) I happened by it on a bike ride, and it smelled great. There's no shop front--it's just a serious warehouse space with giant trucks outside bearing burlap sacks of green coffee beans. A sign outside proclaims "Gillies Coffee Co.--Oldest Coffee Merchant in America." I researched it on the Web, and could find no Website. but I did find that its owner and chief roaster is a venerable figure in the specialty coffee trade. He's on prestigious boards and tasting panels, etc. Then i looked it up in the two most famous recent books on coffee--Kenneth Davids' Coffee and Corby Kummer's Joy of Coffee. Both books put it on their short lists of reputable suppliers. Davids goes so far as to declare it a "treasure." Yet it seems to have a low local profile.
What gives? anyone know a cafe that uses its goods?

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