Now take a look at the piece of our history that we just found on ebay!
That’s a coffee can we used to distribute back in the day. Perfection Blend. Our best guess so far is that it’s from the 1920′s or 1930′s. Our phone number was 0047. That’s right: 0047. Back when area codes did not exist.
Also notice the neighborhood is referred to as Richmond Hill (not Ozone Park, where we technically are now) and it says Long Island, when now it is proper to just say Queens.
Herb Dallis, 2nd generation owner of Dallis Bros, Coffee (until he sold the business to his son David in the early 2000′s), visited today and estimated the can is from the mid 1920′s:
“That was before the split between Woodhaven and Long Island. (…) See the telephone number, people used to get their phone and ask the operator to speak to HR 0047, there were no area codes. The 1930′s, if I recall correctly, was when area codes were introduced. Our coffees were sold in cans to homes in Queens, door-to-door. Perfection Blend was our main blend, composed of mostly Brazilian, Colombian and a little bit of Ethiopian coffees. Back then you could also buy these components from us as straights. In the late 1920′s, business grew and in order to focus on sourcing and roasting great coffee, we sold the routes to our drivers and they helped us expand.”
*straights = name given to single origin coffees back then, as opposed to a blend of different coffees.
Join our community of NYC coffee shops & roasters for a party to welcome the NERBC to town! There will be a latte art throw-down (with incredible prizes including a trip to Brazil), DJ, dancing and more.
The event will be held on Saturday, April 9th from 8pm-12am at the Highline Loft on 526 West 26th street, 5th Floor.
Co-Sponsored by Café Grumpy, Gimme!, Joe, Third Rail & Dallis Bros. Coffee.
Beer has been lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery.
See you there!
In the thick of barista competition season, I came across this passage in the Atlantic in an article about the Turing Test—an annual artificial intelligence competition that pits computers against ordinary people to see if a program can act “more human” than a human. The quote comes near the end of the piece.
“One of my best friends was a barista in high school. Over the course of a day, she would make countless subtle adjustments to the espresso being made, to account for everything from the freshness of the beans to the temperature of the machine to the barometric pressure’s effect on the steam volume, meanwhile manipulating the machine with an octopus’s dexterity and bantering with all manner of customers on whatever topics came up. Then she went to college and landed her first “real” job: rigidly procedural data entry. She thought longingly back to her barista days—when her job actually made demands of her intelligence.”
The passage struck me because, well, it’s always nice to see folks outside the industry recognize the complexity of the barista craft. And because sometimes it’s easy to forget when we’re nose deep in our work, that issues similar to the ones we deal with are being wrestled with in totally different fields. The tension between man-made and machine-made, efficiency vs. craftsmanship, is very much on the forefront of our coffee brains, and certainly the larger food and beverage industry, but it’s part of the same conversation—with different terms and different processes—being debated across global economies. What is sacrificed and gained when things that were done by hand and human attention are automated by machines? Perhaps it’s just an updated version of the conversation societies have been having since the earliest signs of the industrial revolution.
What I loved about this piece (besides author Brian Christian’s humor) is that he seeks to underline the things humans are inherently better at than machines, and how as technology continues to rapidly develop, humans have also been adapting. He uses the barista analogy to illustrate our minds’ flexibility and to sum up his piece as cause to celebrate what he hopes represents a shift from our elevation of the brains potential for pure, cold cognition to “a changing perspective on the sophistication of various tasks…”
Check out the whole piece here: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/03/mind-vs-machine/8386/1/ Its worth the read.
Teresa von Fuchs
Coffee Chronicles: A Visit to Dallis Bros. Coffee
Liz Clayton in Serious Eats NY
Join us for a tour of our coffee roasting factory and tasting room in Ozone Park, Queens!
The first Saturday of each month we offer a few hours of local history, coffee tasting, and a tour de force of our roasting plant hosted by our Coffee Director Byron Holcomb.
Our next tour is Saturday, March 5th beginning at 1:00 and wrapping up at about 4:30. Space on the tour is limited so book now at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tours are $10, and due to the tasting component we ask that all participants keep perfumes and colognes at home. We look forward to seeing you soon.
We did run out of the Koke two weeks ago, and now it is back. The beautiful balance of lemon and sweet red notes can be yours again.
Hello all. I just noticed that I published the wrong next roast date for our CoE coffees. We will be closed on Monday 2/21/11 for holiday. We will roast all CoE orders on Tuesday 2/22/11. Sorry about that.
Howard Portnoy of the NY Restaurant Examiner wrote a wonderful follow-up piece discussing his observations after our recent coffee and cuisine evening with our friends at Tom Colicchio’s Craftbar.
Join our very own John Gruosso and the good people of Noka Joe’s for a Friday night of coffee tasting fun.
John Moore of Dallis Bros Coffee will be the special guest of Martha Stewart Radio Monday, January 24th. Be sure to tune in at 7:30 a.m. as DJ’s Betsy Karetnick and Kim Fernandez dive into the world of specialty coffee roasting.